Hike in Kinsale
Kinsale Travel Blog› entry 6 of 8 › view all entries
I promised myself to get at least two hikes in while I was here in Ireland. Today I did the first hike. I hiked from my hotel out to a place called Charles Fort. The hike was following the bay, and was mostly flat with a bit of a grade at the end up to the fort. It was about 3 miles round trip, maybe a bit more. The distances here are in kilometers and I don’t have a 5th grader with me to convert into miles.
I left the hotel at about 7ish ("ish" that is the in phrase for our tour driver. "Sean, when will we be getting into the next town? Oh, I'll be saying 4ish!") and started walking.
My route started out taking me through a bit of the town of Kinsale. It is a fishing village that has developed a rep for good resturants. I think I would have to agree. I had a fish dinner the night before that was great. And I am not usually a big fish person. I enjoyed my walk through town looking at all the buildings and since I was on the waterfront, looking at some of the fishing boats. There is a major tide shift in this harbor twice a day. We are talking 10 or more feet.
I continued with my walk and walked around the head of the harbor. I had to cross the street because the side I was on ran out of sidewalk. This was one of the major ways into town, and I did not want to be in the road at that point. The roads can be very narrow. So I continued my walk passing a small wildlife park that was labled as being a bog. There is a 13 year old boy on our tour that is facinated with the idea of bogs (well ok there are a few men that are to), I had to remember to tell him of this park so he could go take a look. I continued and past on of the more popular pubs in the town. A place called the Spaniard.
Now most of the hike was fairly level and just minor increases and decreases in elevation. But at the end of this part of the hike, I had to start gaining some elevation to get to the hike. Here I discovered that Mt Woodson has a little brother here in Ireland.
Finally I was at Charles Fort. There was hardly cars parked in the car park, although I did see a motorhome (they are called caravans over here) and I wondered if it belonged to a "Traveller". I hiked around to the entry to the fort. Then I had my first dismay. The fort was not open until 10am. I was way early for that. I noticed that the gates were open so I approached the fort to take a look inside. I walked in the gate and saw a man that looked like he was a groundskeeper talking on his cell phone. I approached him and politely waited for him to notice me (not all that hard to do at 6-1ft and 200 lbs).
The fort is pretty impressive. It is built on a 5 pointed star design and has many deffensive features. It is a ruin at this point, but it is still very impressive. I had worn running shoes for my hike as most of the way was paved road, but here in the fort it was mainly grass with gravel paths. And the grass was wet to point of being muddy in several places. I wished I had worn my hiking boots at this point. I walked around the interior of the fort taking pictures and admiring the contruction and deffensive features. I then decided I had seen enough and walked out of the fort.
At this point I saw a local walking her dog, and she walked out into the deffensive ditches that surround the fort. I then noticed that there was a well worn path, and figured...Well I keep hearing women say "All men are dogs", so I figured I would be safe. Following the path, I was soon on the beach side of the fort looking up at the battlements. It was a very impressive site. I hiked out onto the rocks to get a better angle for a picture, but they were pretty slippery. At this point there was nobody around and I was concerned about slipping into the bay, so I took a couple pictures and climbed back to the path.
I was done with my toursity picture taking and started back for the hotel. The walk back was just as enjoyable, if not more so since I was walking down the hill :) I arrived back at the hotel, only to find the housekeeping staff was in my room making up the bed, etc. I had planned to take a shower and head down for breakfast, but had to go down and eat first. I just sat by myself so I would not disturb anybody else.