Walking the left side of the valley enabled us to look back across the Gearharneen River to the sunlit mountains on the north side. And it is so quiet, just Mika and me and the sheep.
After an hour and a half or so we passed through the last farm owned by the friendly Mr. O’Sullivan who we met walking his dog. I was happy to thank him for allowing me and our fellow Kerry Way walkers to traverse his lovely farm at the tip of the Black Valley.
We then ascended up to the Pass where we enjoyed magnificent views back to Black Valley and ahead to Brindia Valley which is broader but every bit as beautiful.
Descending down into the Brindia Valley we eventually passed a few farms and came to a road which we followed to The Cookie Monster Cafe and Inn. It was the perfect place for a tea break but they are not serving to non guests I suppose because of Covid. Bummer. So we took the trail going up over the north Valley ridge and once again soaking in the views.
There was a well placed bench about a third of the way up to the ridge where we sat and partook of some fruit and chocolate.
The climb was on sheep paths but in less than an hour we reached the ridge savoring our last view of Brindia Valley while starting the descent to Lough Acoose in the distance. Reaching the meadow we followed the river along relatively flat ground approaching the Lake. We met a solo female walking The Kerry Way from the other direction. She was heading to Black Valley Lodge and had a long way to go as it was almost 2PM at this time.
Walking around Lough Acoose we made it to our destination, Lough Acoose House, where friendly Mary Healy(same name as my Mother) greeted us and walked us to the building next door which had the guest rooms. Ours was a clean and comfortable room but the sitting room with a fireplace was so cozy after the somewhat difficult 6 hour walk. 22K may not sound that long but it was lots of up and downs and some bog walking. For example, 20K in Ireland feels like 25-30K on The Camino.
We were told Mary had peacocks and sure enough one appeared shortly at the sitting room window.
Mary explained she acquired a few peacocks years ago and now there were 11, including a white one with 4 peachicks.
Before dinner I enjoyed an aperitif of a fine pour of Guinness Stout. Then Mary served us a delicious dinner of soup and beef stew.