Not sure where to start. It’s 6:30-pm and I’m having a cold beer, in glorious sunshine, at a beautiful seaside town called Waterville. It seems a long way from 9-am in Cahersiveen when I packed up in the rain.
After the first couple of kilometres my feet were drowned and I knew I had only one partially dry pair of boots and one pair of dry socks left. I spent the first half of the day in the Iveragh Highlands. Ascending and descending several boggy climbs while not being able to see a thing with the mist. I managed to stop for a cup of tea and to eat a banana and three cookies I had carried forward from the shop the previous day.
Eventually, after several ascents and descents, about 4-hours in, I reached the top of the last one. Below lay the Inny Valley. When I reached the valley I wasn’t thrilled to see 12.5-km to Waterville. As I made my way a long the back-roads, my boots squelched as the sun began to split the rocks. I made the decision to sacrifice by last pair of dry socks and change boots. A risky move, but Waterville was just too far to continue with that level of foot discomfort. I got creative and hung my wet boots and socks from my bag hoping they might benefit from what now felt like a heatwave.
Taking off my socks and boots for a few moments in my bare-feet on the warm tarmac was one of the greatest feelings I had all week. I am barefoot outside the pub while both pairs of boots and socks dry a bit more against the wall.
Boots back on, I had one more climb up onto a stunning peninsula. I then walked the entire ride of the peninsula to Waterville with beautiful views. If I’m lucky I will camp near the beach tonight and won’t have to walk another step. Tomorrow is another double stage day to get to Sneem…
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