Statistics: 16.5 miles, ascent 3049′, descent 2922′, 6 3/4 hours
Almost immediately after departing Glenmalure we walked below the ghostly ruins of Drumgoff Barracks, which were looming over the trail. These barracks were built in 1801 by the British, but in 1830 were sold to a mining company and later abandoned.
We soon passed a trail milestone – the halfway marker of the Wicklow Way.
Most of the terrain during the morning involved commercial forestry trails that wound steadily uphill. We, again, encountered planks placed to protect the fragile boggy areas from the impact of many hikers on the path.
Several times elusive trail markers were missed; we had to retrace our steps to get back on track. I guess our conversation was just too stimulating to pay attention! The deep, woodsy path was quite appealing.
As we emerged from the forest we found ourselves in lovely, rural farmland. Blackberries were in abundance and supplied us with a continual source of tasty snacks all afternoon. Often there were far-reaching views of what we would traverse in the days to come.
Sheep are seen in abundance in Ireland. Each farmer has his own method of marking the sheep with a vast array of colors. These sheep are very discreetly marked with a green dot. In some herds, the sheep had larger splotches (often of various colors), as if the farmer had dumped buckets of paint on them.
Margaret, our B&B host at her cozy Kyle Farmhouse, welcomed us with tea and homemade cake in the B&B’s lounge. Other hikers from the Netherlands, Germany and Ireland soon joined us. We all enjoyed a good evening as we traded hiking stories and information and dined on a delicious meal prepared by Margaret.