This was our first real walking day. Audio file introducing the first day of walking
. Between Bob Sweetman
and me with our multiple GPS devices
, you would think we would be able to find
our way. We also heard from the innkeeper and others that the walking path was
very clearly marked. We all know how much we can trust those famous assurances.
As we left the Killary B&B in Westport, there was in
fact a very clearly marked bike path. It was about 8 feet wide. One side was
green for cyclists and the red side was for walkers. It was nicely paved. It
meandered through rolling hills as we wound our way out of town, our GPS
devices chattering away with names like Hazlehatch, Knockranny and Carrowbeg.
There were also signs in the middle of the path that pointed the way to the
Great Western Greenway.
There weren’t too many bends in the path but a few. We only
had to cross one road as we left Westport. As we came along a big
pharmaceutical plant, there was a sign for private property. Since the green
and red path continued, we didn’t worry about it. A security vehicle drove
slowly past us but he didn’t say anything. After a kilometer or so, we came to
a dead end. This was rather discouraging as we were so confident we knew where
we were going.
We rewound our steps back to the private property sign and
discovered where we should have crossed to the other side of the road for the
real Greenway path.
The rest of our 8 to 10 miles or so were uneventful. The
path was mostly paved without much elevation. The weather was kind to us and
the surroundings were very peaceful with the occasional bikers, walkers, sheep
and cows. Bob and I marked 20 or 30 points along the way.
I am pretty sure one could do this completely without
sighted help, especially now that we have marked the variations in the path.
Someone in a wheelchair could do it as well.
Just to be safe, we put booties on our dogs. It sounded
really amusing with 12 dog feet slapping on the pavement. They had no
problem with the long route although they weren’t thrilled by the doggie shoes.
There weren’t any businesses along the way so we ate lunch
next to the path. There was only one outhouse so planning for minimal amenities
was quite important.
The cell coverage was better than we thought it would be.
Our BrailleNote and Braille Sense GPS devices didn’t need a connection.
Everyone was connected through my local Irish mobile phone for data so we could
use Seeing Eye GPS on our iPhones. I will have to post my User POIs so you can
get a sense of how far we are from your location.
It was really satisfying to reach our destination at the
Anchor Inn located in the village of Newport. Again glad to have my local phone
for WiFi as the router in the inn is super slow.
We found our way to the Welsh Bridge restaurant where a
football match was on. Audio file of watching the football match
. This was followed by a girls soccer team celebrating.
Lots of local culture to eat our food by.
Now, nothing like anticipating a good night’s sleep in
preparation for another 10 miles tomorrow.
Gena, Bob and Sue