Coast To Coast in Ireland: A Hard Day on the Blackwater

My photographs do not do justice to this day’s walk. Perhaps because I am too preoccupied with the task of survival to worry about taking puctures.

You will recall that, six days ago when we started on the Blackwater Way, I registered some concern that this trail system was reportedly less developed and more rugged than the rest of the Irish coast to coast walk. The first part, the Avondhu Way, was challenging but not overly so and we successfully completed it. The second part, the Duhallow Way, started with yesterday’s overly long walk to Millstream. But other than the distance factor, it was an enjoyable walk. Six days on the Blackwater seemed to negate any earlier concerns.

So we were expecting today’s walk, a mere 25 kilometres, to be a pleasant end to the Duhallow Way as well as its mother trail, the Blackwater Way. Continue reading

Coast To Coast in Ireland: Intersections

Our taxi drops us back at Bweeng, in front of a forest of signs telling us where we’ve been – the Avondhu Way – and pointing us where we need to go. It’s the first of two days on the Duhallow Way and we know it will be a long one. Forty kilometres long if the route remains true to our maps.

Duhallow Way is one part of the much longer Blackwater Way, the other part being the Avondhu Way we have just traversed. But even that is but one small segment of a much longer trail, the E8 European Long Distance Walking Trail. Continue reading

Coast To Coast in Ireland: Two Days on Avondhu Way

Our day’s rest in Cork was well-timed at roughly the midpoint of our coast to coast walk. A chance to give our backs a needed break from carrying packs. But it’s still hard to leave our comfortable hotel room and catch an early morning bus to Fermoy, the starting point for the last two stretches of the Avondhu Way. Continue reading

Coast To Coast in Ireland: Avondhu Way

Where the East Munster Way ends, in front of a small church in Clogheen, so begins the Avondhu Way. It’s the first leg of a much longer trail system, the Blackwater Way, named after and loosely following Ireland’s longest river, the Blackwater.

Blackwater Way carries a certain amount of mystery and uncertainty. Of all the trails that form the Irish coast-to-coast network, this one has the least information available. And what information that can be found talks about poor or missing signage, reroutings due to landowner quibbles, too much travel on tarmac. And its remoteness. 

Continue reading