Karen Penny is a woman on a mission as she circumnavigates the entire coastline of Britain and Ireland to raise £100,000 for Alzheimer’s Research.
Karen’s walk took her through our beautiful part of Country last month and was met with our usual wonderful hospitality.
“ Ireland is definitely 4 seasons in one week. I have gone from sun cream in the mini heatwave to hat, scarf and gloves in the snow and now 3 days of torrential rain!
On Monday I left County Cork and walked into County Kerry. It’s always sad to move on when you have stayed somewhere for a couple of days and have got to know your hosts really well. MacCarthys Bar in Castletownbere looked after me so well. I needed a rest and they so kindly put me up with amazing hospitality…..taking me to places I couldn’t get to on foot and making me feel so part of the place. Adrienne, Aidan and Niki thankyou so much. No goodbyes as we will catch up soon.
Storm Freya brought snow and heavy rain….I am used to walking in it now. It makes so much difference when you get somewhere and can dry out in the evening, nothing worse than a wet sleeping bag. Everything is in dry sacks ziplocks and a bin liner as extra precaution. The phone has 5 layers of cover and hasn’t been out much these last few days as it just shuts down when wet.
Moving into Kenmare a lovely town I stayed with Rob and Lesley Smith in their gorgeous Air B&B BlackBerry Hill Kenmare. They picked me up in a hail storm and made me feel so welcome all for Alzheimer’s. I didn’t think I would eat all they gave me but I did! Thank you both.
From Kenmare I walked the roads to Sneem. With hindsight the walk was a little long and my feet are still sore. 18 miles with my rucksack on tarmac is not a good combination! But if I hadn’t I would not have met John O’Sullivan in Kenmare, Kitty the poste, Maureen from Sneem or John the delivery driver who stopped and gave me a weeks supply of rice cakes …with chocolate on !
It’s so great to stop and talk …it’s unbelievable how Alzheimer’s affects families and everyone has their story to tell….such a terrible disease and everyone I meet wants to do what they can to help.
In Sneem I met Sharon from thegreenchair originally from Wales and now the owner of a homely upholstery business. She helped two runners this year Simon and Rachel who are running round Ireland currently in County Donegal and she also helped me dry out and find accommodation.
Sean is the owner of Goosey Island Motor Home Park Sneem and Dan Murphys Bar Sean, Caroline and his family kindly put me up in their own home for the night to save putting my tent up. The rain and wind was howling and I was so greatful. Dinner and pancakes at his sisters Claudine and what a delight to meet all the lovely children, nieces and nephews… there were a lot of pancakes cooked that night.
Today we all went to school and I had the pleasure of talking to pupils from St. Michaels National School Sneem about my walk. It was a wonderful hour in school. All the children were so enthusiastic and asked brilliant questions, they were a pleasure to talk to and even joined me for a short walk in the rain. Many thanks to Michael Hussey for organising .
Tonight I am in CaherDaniel not far from the Skelligs where Star Wars was made. The rain is lashing down but I am at The Travellers Rest Hostel with a log fire. Nearly dried out ready to start again tomorrow.”