The view from the front of our B and B...you can see it is low tide in this picture; at night, the space is completely full!
This morning, we woke up in good spirits to sunny skies! We ate a wonderful breakfast of Irish farmhouse cheeses and fresh fruit, and then we headed off to climb Brandon Mountain. The mountain is somewhere over 3000 feet. The first 49 minutes of the climb were on tarmac roads, pretty much climbing straight up to a grotto commemorating St. Patrick and St. Brandon. There was also a warning at this point to bring along extra food, clothing, etc. I, of course, then wanted to head back to the B and B seeing as how we had none of those things. Andy, being the brave warrior that he is, made me push on.
The climb was on a grassy path through the mountain range and then onto Brandon Mountain. Sheep and their many piles of droppings, of course, kept us company as did many other hikers, who didn't have the correct gear either.
Andy on Brandon Mountain in front of the Connor Pass Lakes.
Connor Pass and its lakes could be seen as we climbed upwards. As we climbed, the temperature dropped significantly as the fog increased. We decided to turn around at about 2700 feet due to fog and mist. It was quite lovely though, and we felt very accomplished. Our B and B owners said that the Pilgrim's Walk up the mountain is actually more beautiful than the Dingle Way segment, so we felt really good about our decision to skip the walking yesterday for this bit today.
We went out for lunch and then to check our email. I want to keep this brief despite the fact that I could go on and on about it. We received an unpleasant email from our good friend, roommate and cat-sitter. Our kitty of seven years passed away. It's really impossible to describe how much this little guy meant to us, so the news hit us as a real death in the immediate family would.
Before the bad news, enjoying a Guinness in Cloghane.
Our B and B owners seriously thought we were insane as we really couldn't contain our emotions. The words we received were somewhere along the lines of, "Thank God it's only a cat, and not a family member!" I suppose for some it's difficult to understand the attachment one can have with a pet... Anyway, we struggled with going home and cutting this trip short versus staying on and finishing the walk. We're not sure whether it was the cowardice of facing the empty catbed right now or the reality that there is nothing we could do at home which helped us to come to our decision, but we decided to stay and try to make the most of our stay in Ireland. All in all, this really was the worst day of our lives thus far despite having nearly climbed our first mountain.