Thursday 7th February 2019
Day 10 Millstreet to Newmarket
Terrain, mostly road some woodland.
Stamp. Market 18 Cafe Newmarket . Two stamps.
The day started with two hours moving cars, as this morning we decided to walk from Millstreet to Newmarket and not the other way around. This involved driving both cars from Ballyvourney to Newmarket, leaving one and returning to Millstreet with the other. We wanted to walk in the same direction as the O Sullivan march to get a sense of the undertaking that was felt by him and his followers.
After a late start We walked out along the main road past Drishane Castle and Demesne. After turning on to a quiet country road we were stopped in our tracks by the train passing the level crossing in exchange for a wave we got a toot on the whistle.
Just beyond we came to the Blackwater Ford. Images of a scene here contour up in our minds as we gaze on the fast flowing waters. A great number of O Sullivan's followers were lost here, the weak and wounded. Images of hundreds of horses, cries of children possible screams as all tried to cross the cold waters. Today for us it takes one minute to cross the new footbridge to the other side. As we left here we were still thinking and talking of times past. A short way up the road we stopped to talk with a local man outside his house who chatted about the ford below , not of O Sullivan but of new year's Day swims and of RTE'S program of Donncha O Dulaing's Highways and Byways, and of a boat that was laid on to ferry him across. He was excited to tell his stories and we thanked him.
Little quiet country roads from here led us to Derranagree where we took shelter from the now cold air in the church, to have our food. We continued along on similar roads until the 5k sign for Newmarket. Here our route took us uphill for a couple of Kilometers and then onto a track down a steep hill to a ford and bridge over the river Dalua and into Island woods. We searched and eventually found with the help of a local man the Tree with 12 trunks. It was not accessible due to undergrowth. We were surprised by lack of signage and the response from the local man was "we don't do that sort of thing around here".
From here it's uphill through the woods and across Annie's bridge and further on to the roadway where we were still climbing until we eventually saw Newmarket below us in the distance. We were happy to see it at last. The track through the woodland was longer than we had expected but the woods were so beautiful that it was a treat to be here and off the road.
We had hot Chocolate in the Market 18 cafe where we received not 1 but 2 stamps for the day. One represented the village of Derranagree.
Today we were threatened by a number of dogs as our route passed s lot of houses. It seems most of them are not controlled and are allowed to harass the passing traveller. It was noticeable too the amount of security on houses on these little back roads. Even the Church has notices advising people to not leave possessions in Cars.
We are parked beside the museum in Millstreet which has very good public toilets.