The Black Valley, Ireland

1 Reviews

Co Kerry

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  • The Black Valley
    by Lochlainn
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    The Black Valley

    by Lochlainn Written Aug 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is one for the walkers amongst us - or indeed for anyone who may have been deposited in dreaded Killarney and has had a surfeit of plastic leprechauns, shillelaghs made in China and donkey poo to last them a lifetime! Don't worry, for a modicum of effort an escape - and a once in a lifetime experience - lies within easy reach. Killarney grew as a tourist resort (ie. trap) in equal parts due to its lakes and its proximity to the famed Gap Of Dungloe, which nowadays you are inveigled to ascend perched on the back of a smelly quadruped or being hauled by such a creature steered by an avaricious biped! But here's the amazing thing which most tourists are not told - it can be done on foot! And what's more the Gap extends further than the ambit of the overpriced donkeys, in fact it continues on through Ireland's highest mountain range and descends at last into the Black Valley. This was the last place in Ireland to receive electricity due to its virtual inaccessibility by road and you can see why when you arrive. The valley is exited to the south by a choice of more gaps, the more scenic being the ones leading to the Bridia Valley or to Lough Acoose, over both of which towers Ireland's highest mountain Carrantouhil. Where you go next is up to you - the dedicated hiker can press on along the Kerry Way to Glencar, I hitch hiked my way to Kenmare on the coast. Either way bring a tent, allow a few days for the journey, and savour the scenery en route. Or else do the clever thing (I never thought of it) and pre-book accommodation in the farms and guesthouses along the way (you'll need a good map to estimate your ETAs but it is do-able).

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