Today was pretty gross, I’ve gotta say. Not that it lacked all redeeming qualities, but “wet slog” would not be an inaccurate summary of the proceedings.
Things that were okay:
Romance novel horse (srsly look at that mane blowin’ in the wind this horse could be on a book cover)
Curious horse (sniffed my face! Also possibly was offended at my lack of treats)
Some of the path was nice enough
Eventually I was shunted down to the main road and passed through Dowra, another of the many wee towns of rural Ireland. In Dowra I transitioned from the Leitrim Way to the Cavan Way; the final section!.
Not coincidentally this involved going from County Leitrim into County Cavan
After several hours entirely on roads, the trail set out to follow along our old friend, the River Shannon. I liked this plan conceptually…
Not a bad lunch spot at least
Alas, this is about where the going started to get really soggy.
Normal person’s response to this image: “Oh yay, a nice green hillside!” My response: “Oh no, another boot-sucking ankle-breaking cow-trampled hellscape masquerading as a nice green hillside”
Imagine walking through this for about half a mile or so and you’ll have a good idea how this section went. It seemed to take forever and there were many loud, angry, frustrated swear words uttered by me during this time
In some ways this section was less bad because at least you could see what was what. But it was still nowhere in the vicinity of good
Yet another stile style, this one frankly awkward as hell
I have rarely been so glad to be back on the road as I was after this part. Ugh. But it was not too much farther to my destination for the day…
The Shannon Pot is not, as previously thought, the source of the Shannon – but it is very close, and a pretty cool geological feature regardless, a point where the vast river swells from belowground to begin a 240km journey (the Shannon being the longest river in Ireland). As I walked this final stretch, I found myself musing on the imagery of a river flowing underground and then rising to the surface – the manifestation of an immense process that goes largely unseen. Writing is like that, in a way. Our thoughts run through the subterranean channels of our minds; writing brings them out into the visible world where they can be perceived by others.
And by ourselves, too. Sometimes the act of writing reveals things I didn’t know were running underground in my own mind.
Heyyyy look you are coming to a place
Did I mention it rained a lot today? Because it did
Aforementioned couple are self identified adventurers who were about to paddleboard the Shannon and, after that, the length of the Ganges to draw attention to pollution there. They invited me to join (in a kayak instead of a paddleboard). I’ll need to recover from this whole experience before making any decisions but it sounded like a fascinating journey to take on.
In any case, this marked the end of my journey for today. Tomorrow I have a theoretically short day to come into Blacklion… and the end of the Beara Breifne Way(!!!!)