Knockmealdown Active organised the first full length organised walk of St. Declan’s Way from Cashel to Ardmore on July 24th to 28th last.
The walk included short presentations each morning at the start of the walk outlining interesting information on the route for the day.
The event began in Cashel, with a send-off from the Lord Mayor and proceeded to Cahir on day one. Day two was the shortest leg from Cahir to Ardfinnan with stops along the way in Cahir Castle and at the Swiss Cottage. Day three was the challenge walk, 23km from Ardfinnan to Lismore over the Knockmealdown Mountains at Bottleneck Pass and the day was truly spectacular. One of the highlights was the Medieval Banquet on the Cappoquin road welcoming the walking parties into Waterford organised by the members of Knockmealdown Forum. The day finished with a lovely reception at the Lismore Heritage centre.
Day four, Lismore to Aglish, began with a torrential downpour as the group walked through Lady Louisa’s walk across from Lismore Castle. Another downpour bade the group farewell from Cappoquin where the local community council and Barron’s Bakery had a wonderful warm welcome organised. Lunch was taken at the quirky Dromana Bridge on the way to Aglish.
By day five many of the party were getting weary and there were a range of running repairs being undertaken by the medical team. The route took the group from Aglish to Lismore via some of the most wonderful tracks . The generosity of the people of West Waterford was simply astounding. Houses along the way let walkers use their facilities and at points along the way refreshments were left out for the weary travellers.
On reaching Ardmore the sense of achievement was palpable. It was an incredible journey undertaken by some incredible people.This is an event that will run again and perhaps even become an annual occurrence in the walking calendar.