Sitting and pondering was always was inevitable on this trip, be it in my boat, in my tent or in this case in a pub in Castletownshend.  But why the ’h’ surely it should simply be Castletownsend!

This sums up my couple of days here in this the very picturesque west Cork village time to think and ponder and with no internet and poor phone coverage my imagination and creative mind have been stretched and broadened.

The initial euphoria of having reached my target on Wednesday evening soon turned to disappointment as I found out I would be confined to dry land for 2 days.  To lose 2 days this early in the trip is a blow but I can always claw back some time later so all is not lost.  This is simply time to allow the body to repair and adjust from the hard days past and for the harder days to come.

It has also been a chance to meet new people and catch up with an old friend.  Over diner this evening I got chatting to a couple who live near Killkee, it turns out we share some mutual friends and more strangely they had witnessed and taken photos of me while I was on my first training trip on the Clare coast a couple of months back, a very strange coincidence but probably the first of many on this trip.

A tranquil campsite

I also had the pleasure of joining an English family after dinner the night before my departure they had overheard me speaking of my trip with the bar staff and were keen to know more.  It was nice to spend some time in their company and share some stories.  Before leaving they bought me a drink and paid for my dinner a most generous gesture, thank you very much, best of luck with the final weeks of school and enjoy the holidays.

A room with a view

To catch up with old friends was a major part of why I took on this journey so to catch up with Donnchadh and the O’Brien clan was a great treat.  Donnchadh is one of the fittest men I know and recently became a “Man of the RAS”, we shared stories of our recent adventures over coffee before the kids dictated we head outside and I introduced them to the boat and some of my kit.  The highlight had to be when Liam (The only boy amongst 3 sisters) was victim to one of his over exuberant sisters testing out the bilge pump and was covered by a blast of bilge water; soaking his smart beige trousers.  One of the girls did offer the solution that we wet the remainder of his trousers so at lest they were all the same colour.  Needless to say he was not impressed but was comforted by his sisters as his Dad and I had a little giggle at his misfortune.

Company in my tent on a rainy day

But all good things must come to an end and as forecast the wind died and I paddle out of Castletownshend heading west with big plans for big miles (and hopefully many more smiles).

Departing Castletownshend



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  1. Amazing mike brought tears to my eyes wish i could give you a big hug never thought it was going to be so tough.So proud of you .Stay safe .Love you loads,

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