Sneem to Blackwater Bridge

Posted By on September 14, 2015

Sneem to Blackwater Bridge

9.29 miles; ireland

today brought more rain. in fact, the local weather service issued a flood warning for the area, so it’s not just me complaining. so i decided to cut this hike short and got a cab from blackwater bridge to my b&b.

yeah, the trail

yeah, the trail

the trail was basically either a mud pit or a brook, sometimes both at once. lucky for me, a large part of this section was road walking, which i normally hate, but it was so much easier to walk on in this rain. oh, and that’s another stile on the left. i swear i’ve gone over at least 50 of these things. that might even be a conservative estimate. they are mostly made of “trex,” that recycled plastic “lumber”stuff. but sometimes they’re metal, and sometimes they’re not even like step ladders—they’re just little benches shoved through the fencing. a few of those latter kind proved a bit problematic for me with my short legs. i’ll be bringing home some souvenir bruises.

bat roost

bat roost

rather disappointed that the sign to the left of the door didn’t come out at all, but this house was a designated bat roost, and entry was strictly forbidden, per order of the local governing council. is that cool or what?

irish clover

irish clover

today’s hike went through a very wooded part of kerry. it was weird after days spent out in the open, to be closed in on both sides like this. and all the older trees were moss-covered and beautiful.

you know if you read any fantasy that the forest (The Olde Forest) is always characterized as being malevolent—angry if not downright evil. i always thought this characterization was odd, but then i’d never seen a real european forest before, either. these woods were truly dark and impenetrable. creepy. now i know what they mean in the books.

scenery

scenery

i did occasionally come out of the woods to catch glimpses of the hills, swathed as they were in clouds.

old cottage

old cottage

and this was an old cottage with a great big tree growing in the middle of it. no idea how old it is, but i’d wager that that tree had to be 50 years old if it was a day. you see this sort of thing in new england, too, but you have to remember that we have the fastest reforestation rate in the country, at least in my part of new england. a cellar hole with a tree growing out of it in my part of the world might only be 20 years old.

moor panorama (click to embiggen)

moor panorama (click to embiggen)

the very last part of this hike before blackwater bridge went over one more hill, and it was beautiful! i’ve tried to refrain from panorama shots, because i find them a bit silly, but i couldn’t resist any longer. as always, click on the image to embiggen it.

the view from blackwater bridge

the view from blackwater bridge

and that is, naturally, the blackwater river. it was roaring through the bridge.

it was at this point that i made the call for a cab. my feet were, naturally, soaking wet, and i was tired and sore. and there were 10 1/2 more miles to go to get to my next b&b.

also, i’ve decided not to hike the last section tomorrow. they are calling for yet more heavy rain and local flooding tonight, and there are some stream and river crossings on the trail tomorrow that i’m guessing will be downright impassable. also, my legs are killing me. this is more hill climbing in 4 days than i usually do in a year in flat rhode island and southeastern connecticut. i will try to get out and see some sights in killarney, so i hope to still have stuff to post about tomorrow.

and that was day 4 (my last day) on the kerry way.

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