The trek is over. I officially completed the grand circumambulation (thanks John Smith, Melbourne, – great word which I had forgotten I knew) of the Irish coast on Sunday 18th June. The location was The Flaggy Shore, Newquay, Co Clare, inspiration for Seamus Heaney’s poem PostScript. A fabulous blue-sky day, joined by Noelle, my girls and their other halves Alice & Stephen & grandson Cohen, Suzie & Myles, Laura & Cillian. It was made extra special by being joined by Michael and Johns’ families and friends. Others who had supported me in as far away places as Caherciveen, Rosslare, Inishowen, Sligo, Ballina (Mayo), Roundstone also made the trip. A lovely banner to greet my finish in The Banner county and then a stroll for everyone along The Flaggy Shore where
‘the wind and the light are working off each other’ .. ‘inland among stones The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit By the earthed lightening of a flock of swans Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white‘
It’s a place that will ‘catch the heart off guard and blow it open’ (check out the full version from Heaney)
We were all then treated to home made Ice-cream by Brid and Roger of Linnalla Cafe before heading back to Cratloe for a BBQ. A great day and a great way to wind up the adventure.
Now that I’ve had a chance to sit down and review the whole experience, I thought you might be interested in a few statistics.
The total distance walked was 3480 km (2162 miles). This breaks down by province as Munster 1364km, Leinster 487km, Ulster 934km (Northern Ireland 399km and Donegal 535km) and Connacht 695km.
The number of full days walked was 149 in total.
I walked for 81 days in Munster and Connacht at an average of just under 23km per day.
In Northern Ireland, over a period of 20 days, I only averaged 20km per day, due mainly to blisters slowing me up.
From Donegal back to Clare I walked for 48 days at an average of just short of 26km per day with only two days break from walking.
The furthest distance in a day was 46 km from Kinsale to Crosshaven, followed by 41km from Carna to Casla in Connemara.
Before I set out, I believed, due to my internet research that the total distance would be 2500miles which is 4000km approx. My figure of 3480 km is more accurate. In fact, it may even be a little less than this because I covered more kms in towns when I was fundraising, going up and down streets and roads and in and out of shops and premises.
All in all it was a great experience and, from a fundraising perspective, well worth it. At the moment approximately €49000 raised in the South and £10000 in The North. Will keep you posted on FaceBook and Twitter.