Saturday, 23 July 2016

Walking On The Kettle (Sheeps Head Way).

They ("who are they") call Ireland the kettle.  When the temperature rises the moisture rises from the land and quite a few days of last week our peninsula was in the mists and clouds.  Making Ireland look mystical and mysterious.

I have started to step up the hiking/walking preparation to get fit for walking the Dingle Way in August.  That's 112 miles with a rucksack, a tent and a beer belly to carry over the mountains and tracks and streams.

Myself and number 2 son went for a walk over the hills on the Sheeps Head Way on Thursday.  It was rain like mizzle and we couldn't see the bay.  My wife drove us over to Ahakista and we joined the route at one of the yellow painted finger posts that say: Sheep's Head Way.  I decided to wear my trusty wellington boots and my son wore a pair of trainers or "the runners" which they call them in this part of Ireland.

We slipped and tripped and climbed up the hill over Glenlough and stopped now and then to follow the finger-posts in the mists that had enveloped us and the hills and bogs.  Then it started to rain and we squelched our way along the ridge back to our place five or six miles away.  Guess who had decided not to wear their waterproofs?

We did it though and it was incredibly peaceful and so enchantingly free from this crazy world we live in at the moment.  You could always go for a hike this weekend and turn off the news.  The flowers are putting on some wonderful displays and the sheep graze contentedly.  Do you go walking in your wellies and with no waterproofs?

Here's some mizzly photographs for you:

Bog cotton growing in the peat bogs.

A walk into the mizzle.  I felt like I was a character in the Hobbit.  Hope Smaug isn't waiting for us.

Over the hills and far away.   Wasn't that a Led Zeppelin record?

Take me home country roads or even Sheeps Head Way.

Dunmanus Bay in the distance.  They other bay on our peninsula.  We live facing Bantry Bay.


  1. Good luck with the training. I never wear wellies, but I have a pair of goretex lined walking boots so basically it's dry feet, unless water gets in over the top. I don't mind the rain so long as it's not cold. For mud a pair of fell running shoes, but don't have them with me when I need them. The innov8 sole grips anything. At least mine does, but the midsole is a bit thin for a long trail, especially if there are sharp stones about.

    1. Thanks Gwil. I went to Killarney today and came home with some walking/trekking shoes. I paid 20 Euros for them. They should last a few weeks! Some shops wanted from 45 to 100 Euros for a pair of hiking boots. Yikes!

  2. Reading your blog left me with the urge to go walking again, which I often did when we lived in the UK. We don't walk here because we are on our feet for so much of the day and because we are living on a farm in the countryside so do not feel the need get away from the town environment that we used to live in.
    I love those misty landscapes....when the mists are on the nearby hills it gives the feeling of being in the Scottish Highlands, especially when the mists drift across the face of the hills. Magic.
    Good luck with the walk. We did a long distance walk from Melrose to Lidisfarne a few years ago, and that was just over a hundred miles. We stayed at B&Bs along the way and it took us a week. The feeling of achievement when we reached the end of the walk was unforgettable.

    1. Hi Vera. I walk mainly to get fit and to try my bad back. The walking seems to be helping a lot.

      I love the solitary isolation and oneness with nature when I am walking on my own. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the madding human crowd in the towns and cities.

      The mists are magical and the air is so fresh and you appreciate that we live in a beautiful natural world.

      I just looked up The St Cuthbert's Way Vera. It looks splendid. We are planning to ask farmer's to camp if we can't find any official campsites and also stay in some of the hostels. May be they will have a bar and we'll have a few Sherbet Dabs too. Hope all is well on your smallholding. Thanks!


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