First off, I have to confess that I’ve decided to take a sabbatical from the hike. The long days on busy roads are getting me down, so I’m planning to spend a few weeks in Italy visiting a dear friend. She even researched plane flights for me as soon as I emailed her that I might be coming, but I’ll wait till Killarney and a hostel with free internet access before I deal with the flight.
I had a bit of a difficult time getting out of Kenmare, as I couldn’t find a local to ask directions from! But eventually I found a lovely road out of town. Even the N71 was lovely, and stark, as all the fields were black and burnt. I’d heard both a notice on the radio asking people to beware of starting fires and that the farmers had been starting fires to clear out vegetation for the spring. Next, the road went through Moll’s Gap and over the mountains into Black Valley, one of the most secluded areas of Ireland I’ve been in yet. At night, under a full moon, the view from my bunk in the hostel was breathtaking.