Thursday 14th February 2019
Day 16 Cappawhite via Milestone to upperchurch
Terrain, Forestry, windfarm, small roads, and uneven farmland
Stamp Pa's Bar Upperchurch
As we are leap frogging with two cars, on occasion we are walking in reverse as we are trying to make use of February daylight hours.
It is an uphill walk from Milestone along a forest road and a steady uphill pull through a Wind Farm. The going was easy and solid underfoot, the way marking was fairly good, it needs a little attention in places due to forestry operations. The day was perfect, blue skies, sunshine, no need for coats. The sun shone on the Golden Vale and the scene was picture perfect. We walked up and down through the Wind Farms, there are a lot of them, the sound of Swooshing soon became very unpleasant, although the views helped to overcome this. Seven Counties can be seen on a clear day, but a light haze this morning prevented a complete panoramic view. There is a picnic table at the highest point which is great for sight seeing, but we were pleased to leave the Wind Farms behind.
Once onto the road, it was peaceful and quiet with very few houses here. On down into the Village of Cappawhite before 12noon, where we were enclosed into the local shop for a few moments to allow the funeral of a local woman to pass. We moved our second car to Upperchurch and began our walk back to Milestone. The way marking was a bit confusing as we left the village due to the fact that there is more than one walking route, but from here on the way marking was excellent. Clear way marking with B.B.W. symbols as well as the familiar yellow arrow and hiker. We were taken into farmland across stiles, which had a lot of electric fences. This seemed unnecessary as we were walking inside a hedgerow which ran alongside a quiet country road.
This land was good at first but then it took a turn for the worse, with very wet cattle pot holed ground, even along the headland. Farmland is fenced right up to the hedgerow and in general does not allow for walkers. There were curious horses in the fields also, and while it was necessary to keep looking to our footing to avoid twisting or spraining an ankle, we also had one eye over our shoulder, and our walking sticks at the ready, this is not an ideal situation. The one thrilling compensation for the afternoon was an encounter with a large Stag complete with a Giant set of Antlers. He seemed just as interested in us as we were in him.
This 6km section took 2 hrs of mindful walking,and could have been routed on quiet country roads. Too much electric fencing to be negotiated, no track fenced off from animals which makes for unsafe walking, due to rough pot holed ground and the fear of being chased by animals.
But the way marking was the best since the Beara Way.