Day 8: Castletownbere to Garranes

This was a short day of walking: just as I’d walked into what I thought was the middle of nowhere, there was a modest but clear sign pointing to Garranes Hostel and Dzogchen Beara Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Center. Then there was a very long road (by foot, anyway) to the hostel/center, at the end of which I found a stunning place to stay and a gorgeous group of people. It was refreshing to enter a hostel with a ready-made and inclusive social life, as at this time of the year most of the hostels are pretty empty.

If I were not to finish this walk, it would not be for the work of walking place to place, but for the fact of doing it alone. It is indeed unfortunate that none of my friends (many of whome are nuts enough to contemplate a trip like this) are lucky enough to be able to take the time off to do it. My other frustration with this holiday is that, even though I am going from place to place on foot, I am still spending a brief time in each town, then rushing away before I really get the chance to get to know it. I enjoy the satisfaction from having reached a place on foot, but I’m frustrated with these other aspects of this trip.

Ah well, I’ll continue on for now. The pictures are the road out to the hostel and Spare Cat, the first creature to greet me when I got there.

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