I was beyond ecstatic when Lauren said she wanted to do the C2C again...never was I more proud of her maturity and wisdom about what's really important in life. Sure, Disney is fun, but our idea of a "vacation" is so much more rewarding. I happily set about planning for June 2014, knowing we could do it better the next time around.
I recently strayed from the plan and toyed with the idea of walking Brittany, France. 360 miles of coast land, 111 lighthouses along the way, but not a difficult walk by any stretch of the imagination. The C2C was a significant physical challenge; Brittany would not be the same. I knew The Breton Coastal Footpath it would be a good experience, but something seemed to be missing.
But then...something happened.
I discovered that by combining several individual walks in Ireland, it's possible to walk 350-370 miles from Dublin on the Irish Sea to Dingle on the Atlantic Ocean. The walk encompasses every type of terrain imaginable and I'm confident I can book us in B&Bs/pubs along the way. The walk will be a challenge, although not to the same degree as England, but a challenge none-the-less.
My Dad's parents came to the States from County Mayo and I've felt the need to visit Ireland for several years. I probably don't need to tell you this, but going to a foreign country as a tourist is nothing like walking it for three or four weeks. The experiences are nothing alike. Walking allows you (forces you, actually) to take in the landscape, meet locals, taste real food (as opposed to hotel food that caters to travelers) and see things you'd never find from the window of a tour bus.
My heart says Ireland for many reasons, but I need to discuss the idea with my walking partner. Whatever our destination, it has to be something we both want. I need to find a leprechaun...
17 Day Itinerary
Our walk begins in St. Bee's on the West Coast of Great Britain at the Irish Sea. Almost 200 miles later, we will find ourselves at the North Sea in Robin Hood's Bay.
Day 1 - Moor Row, 9 miles The Jasmine House
Day 2 - Ennerdale, 8 miles Low Cock How Farm
Day 3 - Seatoller, 14 miles Seatoller Farm
Day 4 - Grasmere, 10.5 miles Town Head Farm
Day 5 - Patterdale, 7.5 miles Grisdale Lodge
Day 6 - Shap, 16 miles Brookfield House
Day 7 - Orton, 8 miles The Westons
Day 8 - Kirby Stephen, 13.5 miles The Black Bull
Day 9 - Keld, 14 miles Keld Lodge
Day 10 - Richmond, 14 miles The Old Brewery
Day 11 - Danby-Wiske, 14 miles Old School House
Day 12 - Osmotherly, 12 miles 32 South End
Day 13 - Clay Bank Top, 11 miles The Maltkiln House
Day 14 - Blakley Ridge, 8.5 miles The Sevenford House
Day 15 - Grosmont, 14 miles The Station Inn
Day 16 - Robin Hood's Bay, 16 miles The Raven House
Of course, these distances don't account for getting lost and doubling back a few times, avoiding an aggressive herd of heifers or navigating the moors.... or wandering off in search of a pint.