Statistics: mileage 17 1/2 miles ascent 2576′ descent 2237′ 9 1/2 hours
Ann McGillycuddy, the owner of the Emirview House B&B, prepared a delicious pancake breakfast to power us through a long day, which began with good weather but, as expected, soon changed into mist and drizzle. As an aside, if you ask the Irish what the weather forecast is, the answer will be either rainy or dry, no mention of the sun.
We left Glenbeigh by way of the picturesque bridge over the Behy River.
After a bit of road walking we were treated to beautiful Rossbeigh Beach with its rather interesting posts emerging from the sand. Sources suggest that these posts are remnants of the 1903 shipwreck of a schooner, the Sunbeam.
We frequently encountered gates, generally placed to keep farm animals on the correct farms and we always made sure to leave them as we found them. Note the freshly painted, but dated penalty in the notice. Someone was saving a little of their history.
From here the first of many hill ascents began, one being Drung Hill. On the way up this “hill” (a small mountain) we passed through or over eight gates before arriving high up on the side of the mountain with fantastic views of Dingle Bay and, far below, the N70 or the Ring of Kerry road, which traces the coast around the Kerry peninsula.
The trail we were following was, in fact, an old coach road. Once at the top of this hill, we overtook a group of French people who had stopped for lunch, hikers whom we encountered again later in this hike. Our weather had changed from clear skies to mist and now drizzle; the mood was set as we came upon another group of ghostly famine houses.
Most of our afternoon was spent slogging through very boggy moors. We eventually slithered down a steep hill, then scrambled up to the top of Coomduff mountain. We should have had great views of the Ferta Valley, but the mist and clouds blocked this sight.
We did seem to be a bit of a curiousity to some of the muddy locals!
Once off the mountain we made our way down a road to a gravel driveway to a warm, cozy and very inviting B&B, the Failte Farmhouse, our stop for the evening.
Our host, Catherine Morris, served our afternoon tea and cakes and introduced us to some familiar faces … the French people with whom we had chatted earlier in the day! Soon we were all seated at Catherine’s dining table discussing our hiking adventures over a lovely dinner.