Monday, September 8, 2014

Sheep's Head Way

I like to hike in peace.

Consequently, today, we find ourselves hiking the Sheep's Head Way  along "a peaceful, unspoilt peninsula" in a remote southwest corner of Ireland

If I Google "Sheep's Head Way" I get 14,500 results. If I Google "Giant's Causeway" I get 3.8 million results. We'll give The Giant's Causeway, the Blarney Stone, and numerous other "must-sees" a wide miss.

Location of Sheep's Head Peninsula.
The Sheep's Head Peninsula is a welcoming place.

The trails are lovely. Every day we've walked on rock, peat, and heather, often on spectacular ridge trails.

The weather has been sunny and dry, giving us great views across the peninsula to the Atlantic and adjacent peninsulas.

We've seen dozens of silent contrails left by passenger jets heading for North America. Thousands of people overhead, while we enjoy the solitude below.

We chunked our visit to the Sheep's Head Peninsula into 4 days.
Day 1, we took a scheduled bus to Bantry, just before the start of the peninsula. We then walked 16 miles to the village of Kilcrohane, about two-thirds of the way down the peninsula. This would be our base for the next three nights. 
Day 2, we walked to the tip of the peninsula, taking alternate paths as much as possible on the way back. Again, this was about 16 miles. 
Day 3 (today), our rest day (!), our walk included "Peakeen Loop" that took us to one of the highest points on the peninsula. 
Day 4, we plan to re-trace our steps to Bantry. There are alternate routes, but we enjoyed the day 1 route.

I'm looking forward to more hiking in the next few days. Next: The Burren.

Note: I'm grateful to Jerry Webb for recommending The Sheep's Head Way based on personal experience. I hope to walk England's North Downs with him later this month.

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