Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Hiking in Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Porto, Portugal on June 25th!

Monday, June 12, 2023

We're going to get an early start and go for it!

We got up at 6:30am Sunday morning, and the first thing we did was to drive the short distance to the parking area at the Gap of Dunloe. It's a popular spot, and we wanted to make sure we had somewhere to park Max, especially on a Sunday when it would likely be busy.

And the plan came together just like that. We got a good parking spot for Max, and yes it did become busy!

The Gap of Dunloe was created during the last ice age. It is a U shaped valley that runs between two mountain ranges. And there is a narrow, but paved road that runs the length of the Gap. 

They recommend that you don't drive the road, however there is nothing stopping you from doing so. On busy days however, you will have to deal with the many walkers, cyclists, and horse drawn carriages that also use the road.

When we first set out, we saw three different horses in three different fields!

Horse #2.

Horse #3.

There are some hiking trails in this area as well.

But for this day, we wanted to walk the Gap from the parking lot to the "head"... the highest point in the valley. It's a steady climb, but really it's nothing more than a walk. One way, it's 6.2 kms (3.8 miles). And you gain 240 meters (800') in altitude. So it's enough to get the blood flowing, but not really difficult.

We got started at 9:45am.

A few other people out walking as well.

The first of many horse carts.

The road ahead.

Really pretty scenery.

Zoomed in, you can see our road up through the gap.

A common chaffinch.

The same bird.
He's a handsome fellow!

Looking back the way we came from.

Scenery along the way.

Almost at the top, looking back down on the road we walked up.

At the top. Yes, a few people drove.

It took us an hour and ten minutes to do the 6.2 kms (4.8 miles) one way uphill. Good exercise.

Looking over the other side.

Heading back down.
 It was around 11:30am now and there were quite a few more horse and buggies.

Not sure why these sheep have so many different colors.

Another one.

And some local deer.

Arrived back at Max, and sure enough the parking lot was FULL. We had lunch there, and then moved back to where we had been the night before at the church parking lot. We're only 7 kms from the trailhead parking for Carrauntoohil... the highest peak in Ireland.

Max, parked for the night at GPS 52.061053, -9.650783

It's supposed to be a perfect day tomorrow for climbing Carrauntoohil. It's not very high... the peak is only 1,038 meters (3,400') in altitude, but it's tough enough climb with a couple of very steep sections (one is called the Devil's Ladder), and the weather can be very changeable close to the top. It's generally considered to be a challenging hike, but we're feeling like we're in pretty good shape, so we're going to get an early start and go for it!

Cheapest ever price on a Stand Up Paddleboard.

And in Canada...


  1. I'm sure you'll do great! Love the chaffinch and have never seen one. The colorful sheep are interesting; maybe a way to tell them apart? Sure looks like a pretty area!

    1. Thank you Emily! You will hear all about it in tomorrow's post!

      We have seen the chaffinch before in other parts of Europe, we even managed to get a picture of one when we were in Albania. He is a handsome looking bird.

      I found a good article that explains why the sheep are painted and there is more than one reason but one of them is to identify the different farmer's sheep. Here is the article, it is actually quite interesting.

  2. Wow, that really was interesting, Ruth, thanks for sharing the article. Who knew?!

    1. I thought it was interesting too! Now we both know more information that we will probably never need again. :-P


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