Day 34a: Flowering (BBW9 Duhallow/North Cork Way: Newmarket-Churchtown)

It was time to get back on the road.
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Even Maurice was ready

Today I had help from a very kind local guide, Mike Moroney, who also has a passion for the Beara Breifne Way. He partially accompanied me, and moreover offered me the chance to walk without having to tote my full load. At this point getting a little more practiced at accepting help (provided it doesn’t conflict with my core goal of walking the walk) I accepted and enjoyed the chance to walk an actual section without my turtle-house of a pack.

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Oh my god what is this I feel so freeee

While today, like the previous section, involved large amounts of concrete, we trimmed the distance down a bit and the absence of my load made a big difference as well. I felt considerably more able to enjoy the walk, allowing myself to indulge in the slowness I had endeavored to embrace again yesterday.

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Enjoying the forested lanes outside of Newmarket

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Peering down at dark waters

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And admiring the burgeoning hawthorn blossoms everywhere

In this way, I came to Lismire, the first of several small villages along my route. This too was a difference from the day between Millstreet and Newmarket – today included many small towns along the way, which somehow provided a sense of progress that the endless treading over pavement before had lacked.
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Lismire had a very fine intersection with proper signs and everything
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As well as a BBW sign and this most excellent placard

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As well as the evidence of what happens when you build houses no one wants, especially right before a recession (note the state of the first row vs. the farther back rows…)

On our way out of town, a woman strolled alongside us briefly, and spoke highly of visiting the Kilmacow graveyard a little ways down the road. I added it to my mental list, but first…

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Frilliest tulips!

I arrived at the cemetary soon enough however, and though it was not really part of my route I decided I would take a turn in and look around. I am glad I did.

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Gate number 1

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The daisy-strewn walk

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Gate number 2

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And past gate number 3…

Kilmacow (remember how Kil/Cill means church in Irish? relevant!) apparently refers to the remnants of a larger monastic complex dating back to the 6th century. The graveyard is housed in the central of three concentric enclosures that were once part of a single larger set of structures. It also housed some of my favorite Celtic crosses out of all the ones that I have come across so far.

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Look at those leaves!

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And those knots!

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And those lichens! Though in this case, I was also fascinated by the gravestone erected by the widow of someone who shared the same name as my grandfather, after whom Maurice the sloth was named…

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It had been some time since the grasses inside the graveyard had been tended, and spring had been at work. As I walked slowly about the yard, I waded through bluebells and buttercups, long grasses sweeping up to my thighs in places.

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I thought that the fresh flowers and the lovingly wrought gravestones struck a sort of harmony; markers of life and death together composing a garden that paid homage to both.

The map and the woman we had spoken to in town both alluded to a holy well nearby, so I set out in search of it. I did not find it, but I came across a number of other worthwhile sights.

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Looking out from the inside of the graveyard through luminous leaves

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A great maple, seeming to contain a whole world beneath its branches

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The berm of one of the outer enclosures, also cloaked in bluebells

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Views into the graveyard from the outside

Finally I turned and made my way back to the main road, forging on to my next destination and the transition it marked… (continued in next post)

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