According to our guesthouse owner day two of the hike was ” a nice walk, a child could do it”. Which prompted our trip catchphrase “d***t Kathleen!”, which we of course say in jest because Kathleen was lovely. In truth it was much easier, it was all road or trail walking, it was mostly flat and it was a much cooler day. But 15 plus miles is 15 plus miles, no matter which way you cut it, it’s not easy.
The day started out going uphill from our inn, back up the road we had walked down the night before. And despite it being cooler it was HUMID! I struggled a lot that morning. Plus after the very elaborate application of mole skin to cover the prior days blisters I was already walking a little gingerly to begin with. All that aside, coming down off that hill into this valley was worth the struggle. The flat valley stretched out a head of us and strolling through the sheep fields was just magical.
Following our directions and the ever-present little yellow man signs we had no trouble keeping on track and on schedule. We went through a patch of conifur trees (which seemed very out-of-place among the rolling treeless hills). I later learned these government required crops that are later logged for export. The man who filled me in on the purpose did not say it kindly. Evidently the needles from the trees are so acidic they are damaging the salmon runs, which have since the English logged the Ireland hundreds of years ago, have evolved to needing less acidic conditions for spawning.
After we broke out of the valley we were on the other side of the pennisular in a very cute little beach stop called Inch Beach. We passed by a lot of “Do Not Enter. Beware of Bull” signs, on thankfully closed gates to get down to the little town. While we sat and ate our lunches another group of hikers we had seen earlier in the day passed by us going the other direction. They asked us if we had seen the bull signs and then told us they jumped the fences and walked through the field! We nearly fainted on their behalf. Don’t do that. Ever.
We sat and enjoyed our lunch at Inch Beach, there was a nice big fluffy golden retreiver that I got to pet. My tomato and cheese sandwich was to die for and I even got a nice big capuchino to keep me going. Then we picked back up and headed up the hill again. We then curved left long the hills and past the ghost estates which were built during a builder boom in Ireland before the housing market crashed and still sit incomplete and empty. The last bit of the hike that day was really hard, it was all highway walking. We were all really tired and my feet (blisters) were not feeling super. We happily landed around dinner time in Annascaul.