I’m not sure I’ve ever seen as much beauty in a single day. It felt like being on one continuous movie set. The ordinary beauty of oak trees and streams creating a bridge between the less ordinary beauty of mountain tops, waterfalls, lakes and breath taking valleys. 8 hours of uninterrupted beauty.
The weather was kind. Patchy cloud and pockets of blue, rain that barely required a jacket. I was surprised how quickly bathing in this kind of uninterrupted nature had my mind far removed from the busy world I left. I felt an enormous moment of gratitude and satisfaction from the simple pleasure of making a cup of tea half way through the day (on my little stove). I knew then I was on my way.
I had breakfast at 9-am and I had made my peace with the fact that I might not be eating again until the next day. Then just as I was beginning to get weary, a cafe appeared literally in the middle of nowhere. It was open !! I devoured a soup, sandwich and slice of apple crumble, while a deer came and fed on the grass beside me.
I was happy to push on towards the black valley, one of the most remotely inhabited places in Ireland. I spotted a small church with it’s doors open. Something about it, called me in. I said a prayer for myself and all those I know and love.
Shortly afterwards, a dog ripped my new Colombia rain jacket. After a brief moment of first world rage, I was glad to see it was down by the pocket and so won’t affect my staying dry during the next 6-days. I ran out of water so I stopped to fill my platypus from the river. Crystal clear mountain water and tasting like it came from a Spring-well. Happy days.
Shortly after that I spotted a beautifully manicured piece of grass down off the trail and decided to set up camp while it was dry. There is a forest to my back and mountains to all other sides of me. As I look out of my tent door, I see a waterfall in the distance, sliding down the mountain. I am also feeling rather smug as it has just started to rain.
Excited for day two! If you enjoyed reading this please give €5 to the charity. Donate HERE