In the second of our new Hillwalk Stories series, Barb Ward from Seattle, USA, looks back on one particular day spent hiking The Dingle Way as one of the best days of her life.
Day 1 of our walk started with a hearty traditional Irish breakfast, served by the wonderful Brosnan family, and mostly blue skies and great anticipation of what the day would offer to two 65-year-olds. We knew this first day from Ventry would have the most elevation gain but we started along the beach and pinched ourselves that this was really happening!
We saw very few people along the way, always watching for our little yellow “friend” to guide us to the next spectacular view. We gained elevation, walking along the sheep paths with breathtaking views of the Atlantic and ancient forts and dwellings.
One of my bucket list items for this Ireland trip was to see a working sheepdog, not in a demonstration, but in real life, doing their job. We came upon a Mom and her lambs in a pen and there was a dog lying down just outside the pen. As we approached, the dog stood up and in a split second, after this photo was snapped, the dog somehow signalled for the sheep to move out of sight from us further into the pen. Bucket List ✔️!
We were prepared for wet and cool hiking in May but the day only got warmer and sunnier, allowing for views we may not have seen on a typical foggy, cloudy or rainy day. As the Blasket Islands and Slea Head unfolded ahead of us we were speechless ….and thankful for the Irish luck we had to have this clear weather. And did I mention the temperature was in the mid-70s?
As we reflected on that day’s walk with a bite at the pub while we waited for our ride to our next B&B, I can tell you this one one of the best days of my life. Hillwalk Tours takes care of the details and you just get to enjoy it all!
We had plans to be back in Ireland in April 2020 but like most, we are staying at home, weathering this pandemic the best we can, and praying for everyone everywhere in the world. And when you are told you can’t go to Ireland…. you bring Ireland to you…. Slainte!
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