Completing the circuit. My last day on the Slí Chorca Dhuibhne.
A short route today so I can to pack slowly and take my time on the walk. Heading out of Castlegregory on a long straight road across the bog, early morning drizzle passes, leaving a clear day with dramatic clouds over the Brandon range.
The road turns into a track along the links behind the coastal dunes and then ends at a mobile home estate above Aughacasla Strand.
I am back walking on sand again. The feet remember this and complain a little: 11 kilometres on it took their toll yesterday.
I am amused to find myself treading again in the footsteps of two German hikers who start earlier and walk faster than me. I have never seen them on the trail but meet them each evening. I recognise their tracks by now and it makes direction finding easier. Today they had to make the same detour as I do to get around a fast-flowing river that issues onto the beach.
The sand is softer here; progress is slower and reaching the headland below the path up to Camp seems to take a long time.
Off the beach and back onto road, I make a quick stop at the church just behind the shore. The Protestants of Camp clearly liked grand tombs in the past1 the grave-markers in the new burial ground up the road are more conservative.
It seems a regular thing for trails to end in a final steep climb, just when you think the end is in sight. The Dingle Way is no exception but at least this steep hill is on a road and once up it, I have conpleted the circuit of Slí Chorca Dhuibhne!2
The end of a multi-day hike brings mixed emotions. I feel elated at the achievement, regret that it’s over and some confusion as all the days’ experiences tend to merge together and take time to unravel into a memorable timeline. I am physically tired, emotionally drained but content that I have succeeded. I will record my general thoughts about the Dingle Way later, in another post.
I make my way down the busy N86, which has sharp bends and no footpath at all, to the Junction Bar3 which is also called Fitzgeralds, where I have arranged to meet Herself later. I settle down in a corner seat to eat some lunch, do a little sketching, write part of this post and people watch.
Herself arrives, tired from her own adventures and we head through Dingle to where we have booked an AirBnB for a couple of days recuperation.
About the route
View my route in Google Maps
This route is the red section, furthest to the top-right.
11.5 km (7 miles) in just under 3 hours.
Total ascent: 221m. Max elevation, 65m
- Since writing this, I have been informed that the grand tombs in Camp graveyard are mainly those of local Catholics who continued to be buried in the churchyard after it was taken over by the Church of Ireland
- Officially, the Way ends back in Tralee but the final section between Camp and Tralee just retraces the route I hiked on day 1 in the opposite direction
- The junction and station of the Dingle to Tralee narrow guage railway line lends its name to the pub