Waterville to Caherdaniel
After yesterday’s boggy low-point, today provides a thoroughly enjoyable walk.
I make an easy start from Waterville, taking some time to walk along the sea wall and get things for my lunch from one of the two mini-markets situated next to each other at the top of the village.
The route takes me out past the golf links, buggies already out on the perfectly cropped grass.
I am on another ‘butter road’, this one named after the local, and national hero Daniel O’Connell: “The liberator”.1, there will be more of him tomorrow.
Once off the surfaced road I am walking on a green track the sheep have mown for me. Stone revetments line the path where it passes cross the sloping terrain.
There are simple information panels at points along the route in Irish and English. I like them, they provide simple information without being obtrusive:
“Piobaire Bui, the house of a piper. Legend has that Piobaire Bui was returning home late one night when he heard beautiful, airborne music. Once home, he began playing that tune on his pipes but when he heard tiny feet dancing outside his door, he knew it was fairy music and never playing that tune again.”
The green road travels along below the new road which snakes around the contours of the hill behind high stone walls. The two meet on a bend, newly tarmacked, and I cross the yellow lines, double white lines and then yellow lines again to continue my route up a steep incline to a col. My way is slower but the pace is a natural one. These paths I walk have been walked by many before, the journey similar even if the destination is different. Cattle, butter and produce to market; young women and men to trysts; old men and women to weddings and funerals; donkeys, horses, carts and baskets; now mostly by hikers and holyday-makers.
The col has a fine wedge tomb with two resident cows. We ignore each other and I go over the fence by a stile to find a flat rock, perfect for lunch: a chicken salad baguette, a banana and an oat bar.
The sandy beaches of Derrynane are below. There are two routes into Caherdaniel: one around the coast and the other higher up. I take the high road which leads me through beautiful hillside woodlands with cascading streams, bluebell and cellandine in dappled sunlight.
Down through fields towards the village passing under Daniel’s cashel which now sits above a garage and vehicle graveyard. It doesn’t seem to be cherished although it gives the place it’s name – you’d think it would be the main attraction.
I enter the village passing the Blind Piper pub, then wonder why and return for a cold drink.
We spent holydays here before we moved to Ireland and little has changed. I have a rest day tomorrow but the next day, on the way to Seem, I should pass the house we stayed in.
My B&B is ‘The old Forge’, a little way along the main road with no footpath to separate me from the fast traffic. It’s one of the best B&Bs so far and I have a fine view across the bay from my room. I eat at the Blind Piper and sleep well.
About the route
This was a relatively short section on a fine sunny day. Muddy (not boggy) in places. The information panels were useful and the view from the col over Derrynane is magnificent.
13km (8 miles) in about 4.5hrs. Total ascent: 422m. Max elevation: 242m