Friday 15th February 2019
Day17 Upperchurch to Toomevara via Templederry
Terrain Road, forestry track, farmland
Stamp Hogans shop Templederry, Tipperary Inn Toomevara
We had to stay up last night until 7.30pm. Pa's Pub in Upperchurch has the Stamp for the Passport. Due to the nature of village and small town life in Ireland's current economic climate pub's are opening later and in some cases just a couple of night's a week. Upperchurch is one of the Villages we have walked through that has had their post Office closed in the last two weeks. The passport stamp is not essential to us but it is good to connect with locals whenever we can. We drink a pot of tea to be social, as we don't drink alcohol when we are on distance walks. It would be good to have the opportunity to socialise earlier as we sleep in our Land Rover it is good to settle down earlier, rest the legs and feet and write up the notes. This is a beautiful village and the colour of Pa's Pub is a great asset. The sculpture, The Story of Life outside the National School is unique, and drew us in to take a closer look. One of the school children told us very proudly that it was carved from Bog Oak by local man Phil Bourke when he was 76, and is now in his 90's and still very much a part of the community. The making Hurley Sticks was his profession.
Our walk began out of the village of Templederry with a tough uphill pull on a good old road track. On up alongside some forestry, there were no reassuring way markings which threw us a bit for fear of having to turn back or re-route. As we rejoined the road the markings came into view, a welcome relief. We had a nice forest walk for a bit which gave us the shelter for our food. On into farmland before once again returning to roads, which were steep in places, to take us back into Upperchurch. Back in Templederry we had our Passport Stamped in Hogan's Shop, Bar and Post Office. Michael was the first person to take the time to log each walker in a book that he set up a year ago, we had wondered if each stamp holder had been asked to keep a register, but he said no, it was just something he decided to do for himself, Great Michael...
More hills led us to Leteragh Castle, Monastery and Cemetry, where O'Sullivan's march had taken him. From here we crossed the very busy main road, from Nenagh to Thurles. It's about 5 km's to Toomevara across the Bridge. We were beginning to tire, but we walked a feel good track along the beautiful Nenagh River which lifted our drooping spirits. But not for long, the track soon took us onto farmland, the usual, no division for the walker, and sure enough there were cattle visible in the next field. This was not for us as we were still recovering from The Bull experience and the three curious Horses so it was turn around time and back to the Bridge to take the back road to Toomevara. We arrived into Toomevara just as darkness was drawing in, due to a heavy mist falling, extra km's at this stage of the day hadn't helped.
We had our Passport Stamped in The Tipperary Inn in Toomevara. The owner and her daughter were delighted to Stamp our Passport and are very interested in the walk. Last Summer they gave camping space to walkers and the use of their washing facilities. We were very tired at the end of this stage.