In July & August 2020 I hiked across Ireland, coast to coast.
It’s around 650km, 400 miles give or take.
I started on the shores of the Irish sea, in Dun Laoghire, Dublin.
Then I followed the Wicklow Way down over the Dublin and Wicklow mountains.
Then the South Leinster Way and East Munster Way across the midlands.
I followed the Blackwater river into Killarney , where I hike sections of the Kerry and Beara Way to eventually arrive at my final destination:
The tip of the Beara Peninsula, the last place the sun sets in Europe.
I’ve hiked in the US and South America, climbed Kilimanjaro in Africa and hiked trails and climbed mountains all over Europe and Asia but I never really bothered to explore Ireland before.
And if I’m being honest if it wasn’t for the Covid-19 pandemic I probably never would have.
I had originally planned to hike the PCT in the USA but had to cancel that due the lockdown.
Thankfully even with the lockdowns in Ireland I was allowed to hike there.
So I guess I should thank Covid, it gave me no other choice but to explore Ireland, my homeland!
Forcing me hike through the bogs, over the windy mountains, down winding country roads, through clichés of green fields.
Passed knackered old castles and ancient burials sites.
Forcing me to pitch my tent each night, hiding from the wrath of farmers.
Becoming neighbors with cows and sheep.
Forcing me to hike on blistered and battered feet.
Some how losing weight whilst eat nothing but junk for a month straight.
And seeing the little towns of Ireland, the names of which I could barely pronounce.
Forcing me to hike through the sunny days, the rainy days , the windy days and even the stormy days.
Through the bogs, over the mountains, down the roads and across the fields.
One step after the other.
Each day after the next
Until suddenly … it ends.
No grand monuments, just the end of the world as we know it.
So thanks Covid, you’ve made me love Ireland again, every goddamned dent of it.