Tough Soles 2018 / by ellie berry

Hello everyone, and welcome to Tough Soles 2018! 

When we started this walking project originally we expected it to take 6-8 months, which had rest days accounted for and realistic daily distances factored in. When we set off I counted maps, tracked miles, always making sure we were making progress, maintaining a fast enough pace. What comes with this style of walking is that you start forgetting why you're out walking, what brought you there. And so as time wore on we slowed down, not for lack of energy, but because we wanted to see and experience the places we were passing through. There's no point in walking the whole country if all you remember is looking at your boots. And once we settled into this new style of walking and exploring, my worst nightmare happened. I hurt myself. 

It wasn't while we were traversing some impressive mountain side, it was on a beach, on nice soft sand. I ended up with a stress fracture and some wicked tendonitis, that refused to budge in the few weeks I was hoping. 
Stopping for 5 months isn't the worst thing that could have happened, now that I've had the time to see that. And so here we are, closing up on a year from when we started. I think I'll write a longer reflective piece when that time actually arrives, but for now I'm excited to look at what's coming. 

We've already done our first trail this year - The Croagh Patrick Heritage Trail, as part of their annual walking festival. It was an amazing experience walking with a group, and we're thinking of looking up more walking events to take part in during the coming year.  Completing a new trail also gave us an excuse to look at our old map, and make a cleaner version. Green lines are completed, black is what's left to do! 

Seeing as the snow has been unexpectedly persistent our start back is slow and just small stretches at a time. Neither of us wanted to lose any digits to frostbite, no matter how exciting the thought of being back on the trail every night is. Today we start out on the SlĂ­ Ghealtacht Mhuscrai, a route between 50 - 75km, described as "steep and stony, then steep and wet, then steep and boggy." by Hikelines. Here's to some classic sounding Irish hiking! 

  All we need now is some springtime sunshine. 

 

And very very lastly, this is our new channel trailer, in case you're not subscribed to us on YouTube (which you should be! Please?).