Adrienne McLoughlin provides a report and photos from the Kerry Camino event held last weekend on the Dingle Peninsula…
The Kerry Camino annual 3-day walk of the Dingle Way, Tralee to Dingle, took place on the May Bank Holiday Weekend and 185 pilgrims took part this year.
This year’s event had the assistance of Caminoways.com in promoting this year’s walk weekend (those familiar with Kerry Camino and walking events might recall that their new website www.caminoways.com was launched at Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre in April 2015.)
Proceedings got underway on Friday evening with an Information and Registration session at The Grand Hotel, Denny Street, Tralee.
A photographic slide show was on display to give participants a taste for what was to be seen on the route over the weekend.
Some of the participants this year had travelled long distances to walk the Kerry Camino – Scotland, England, a few from Europe, and from all parts of Ireland.
A group of 185 pilgrims with Kerry Camino walk guides gathered at 9am at St. John’s Church, Castle Street and following a blessing from Very Rev. Fr. Sean Hanafin, Parish Priest of St. Johns, the walkers set off on the first day’s walk “following in the footsteps of St. Brendan,” with the route taking them along the Canal Bank to Blennerville, Tonevane and across the scenic slopes of the Sliabh Mish Mountains (Curraheen/Derrymore, Killelton) to Camp.
Having experienced both sunshine and showers along the way, the tea and sandwiches prepared for the walkers by Mike and Anne O’Neill at the Railway Tavern were well received.
Most participants availed of the buses provided by Kerry Camino to return to Tralee for the night, others had booked accommodation in the Camp area.
Sunday morning began for most in Tralee with bus transport to Camp, numbers having increased to 200, setting off from the Railway Tavern in overcast and misty conditions at 9am for Annascaul, with a brief stop at Inch Beach on the way.
A BBQ was enjoyed by all at Hanafin’s Bar on arrival in Annascaul. Again, some pilgrims chose to avail of local accommodation and others coming back to Tralee for the night.
Monday morning’s group travelled again on buses to Annascaul and 180 pilgrims set off from The South Pole Inn for Dingle.
Conditions were favourable for this last stage of the Kerry Camino, taking in Minard and Lispole and along the mountain path to the Church of St. James in Dingle.
Over the three days, pilgrim’s passports were stamped at stations along the route and Certificates were presented to all the walkers on arrival at St. James Church.
Some participants stayed on in the Dingle area but most returned to Tralee, tired but with a sense of achievement and hopefully with happy memories and new friendships made on the Kerry Camino.
The weekend would not have been possible without the help of many volunteers, with particular thanks to members of Tralee Mountaineering Club who acted as walk guides over the three days.
Since Kerry Camino was launched in 2012, numbers participating have increased every year bringing new and welcome walking tourism business to the greater Tralee area.
Further information on Kerry Camino can be found on the website www.kerrycamino.com, Facebook page www.facebook.com/KerryCamino, or by sending an email to email@example.com Scroll down for photos from Adrienne McLoughlin…