Caherdaniel to Sneem
When I draw back the curtains in The Old Forge, the sun is breaking through the early morning mist and a large hare is sitting on the lawn. It takes a look at me and lopes off. The omens for today are good!
My route today is along the continuation of the same butter road I arrived on from Waterville two days ago. There is a family story to this section of the road. Years ago we had a family holiday near Caherdaniel, bringing our bikes in the car on the Swansea Cork ferry. I thought it would be a good idea to cycle into the village, get some supplies and then take our mountain bikes back over the ‘mountain’. My sons were fine with their specialist bikes but mine, with loaded panniers, weighed a ton and was a real struggle. Walking the route today I can’t imagine how I made it!
As I climb the path, I pass Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus: the planets are marked with steel globes set at their relative distances from the sun.
Today, the sun has his hat on with clear blue skies and a gentle breeze to cool the space traveller.
The track goes over a couple of passes and descends into a series of lush combs and wooded valleys. We visited a holy well near an old church on a previous visut but I can’t find it today.
I take a detour to Staigue Fort, one of the best examples of a cashel in a stunning location at the head of a valley. I sit on the steps inside the huge circular structure to eat lunch and am entertained by the comments of some of the visitors:
“This is supposed to be an iron fort but it’s made of stone”
“They got the whole Irish army in here?”
“They slept on those shelves” (They’re steps)
“The doorway is small to keep sheep out” (but not people apparently).
I do wonder how much of Ireland some visitors miss?
Back down the busy road to rejoin the path where I take some water from the river to filter later and onwards over another pass before a long slow descent onto a straight track, dust-dry in today’s sun towards Coomassig View B&B which is conveniently right next to the Kerry Way.
I eat an epic steakburger in O’Sheas pub and take a stroll around the pretty little village of Sneem with its high bridge and triangular green. Unfortunately I am too late for the home-made ice cream shop, but there is always tomorrow!
About the route
This was a very pleasant route on a beautiful sunny day. A few steep but relatively short climbs, some shady lanes and a long straight road across the bog into Sneem.
20.5km (12.75miles) including the detour in about 5.75 hours. Total ascent: 593m. Max elevation 196m.