Oh my, what a glorious day! The weather could not have been more beautiful while we hiked thru the Gap of Dunloe! It was both sunny & cloudy, pretty windy at some spots and absolutely no rain! Thank You Lord for the blessings!
We took so many photos it was hard to find a few to share….I’d like to share them all; however to your relief I’ll only share a sampling! The Gap of Dunloe is technically a one lane paved road and is shared by hikers, horses, jaunty carts (two-wheeled carts pulled by a horse), cyclists & cars. It can get pretty crowded at times and only one vehicle can pass by at a time. As time passes people start to spread out as they find their own speed; there were many times when we were the only people on the trail.
On this tour we were dropped off at the trail head and you could choose to either walk/hike the trail OR take a jaunty cart for an additional fee. We, of course, wanted to hike it and we had 3 hours to complete the 7 miles to the finish, which is where a boat was waiting to take us across 3 lakes that are located inside Killarney National Park and drop us off at Ross Castle where our tour bus was waiting.
I would call this hike moderately challenging at least for my fitness level; some may think it rather easy and others may might call it hard. At the start of our hike, at a place called “Kate’s Cottage”, it is at an elevation of 180 feet; at the top of the gap, at a place called “Madam’s Seat” it is at an elevation of 784 feet. Although the path is paved there are at times some steeper hills where I became winded and “felt the burn” in my legs. The views are really magnificent: mountains, rivers, lakes, sheep grazing (one even getting loose and following along the path with us), green open spaces, rocks & boulders.
When we finished the hike our boat “captain” was a young man named Donal and his 1st mate Charlie Cocker Spaniel Mix. Donal the 5th generation in his family to run the boat tour on the lakes of Killarney National Park. He was so much fun and had so much knowledge about the park; it was very apparent he loved his home town.
We were supposed to meet the boats by 2:00pm & arrive back to the tour bus by 3:00pm; however because Donal loved to talk and point out various interesting facts about his beloved Killarney National Park we didn’t make it to the tour bus until 3:40pm; we were the last to arrive! I hated to make the others wait, but I’m glad we had Donal & Charlie as our boat operators….they gave the tour the perfect ending!
My favorite day in Ireland so far & a wonderful way to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary! Feeling so blessed!