The night before the walk we will be staying in the Galway Bay Sea View Apartments, so that we can be ready to go on Friday morning. A huge thank you to them for giving us an apartment free of charge. They have also offered a special discount rate, for their standard minimum 2 night stay, to anyone who may be joining us at the start of the walk. Please contact them and mention the walk if you want to avail of this.
Day 1: The walk will commence from Spanish Arch at 9am on Friday 3rd May (Conor and Owen’s 28th birthday).
From there, we will make our way to Oranmore, taking a route out of town along the path running beside the railway line to the army barracks and then though the housing estates before dropping down onto the coast road and hopefully arriving in Oranmore for our first break (Costa Coffee) at around 11am.
From Oranmore we then hit the open roads and strike out along the R446 towards our next main break, which will be Rafferty’s Bar in Craughwell. If all goes to plan, we should arrive there between 2:15pm and 3pm.
After a short rest and something to eat and drink, we will then head off for our final resting place of the day (after 32km), The Meadow Court Hotel, which is between Craughwell and Loughrea. Thanks to the hotel for giving us a discount on our rooms for the night.
Day 2: An early start on Saturday for what we believe will be the hardest day of our walk. We plan on leaving the hotel at around 8am and will continue along the R446 for Ballinasloe. We will pass through Loughrea a short time later and our next main port of call will be O’Brien’s Bar in Kilrickle (approx. 11am). After refreshments and a rest, the next 20km will we believe seem like the longest part of the four days, as there is very little on the main road in terms of resting points. We will though reach Aughrim around 3 hours after leaving Kilrickle before the final arduous trek to and through Ballinasloe to the welcome luxury of the Shearwater Hotel (after 35km on the day and 67km in total). Four more family members will join us on the Saturday night, to walk on Sunday. Thanks to the hotel for giving us a discount on all of our rooms.
Day 3: Sunday will start with a short drive to Shannon Harbour, where we will begin the last 2 legs of our journey along the Grand Canal at around 10am. From here, we will walk along the canal bank, stopping for short breaks here and there, until we reach Pollagh, probably at around 3pm (approx. 19km on the day and 86km in total).
Extra special thanks to Marie Regazzoli for providing the accommodation for the night in the village of Pollagh and for her fantastic generosity of spirit. A true diamond!
Day 4: The last day (hooray!). Again it will be a later start (10:00am) and will continue along the canal until we reach Tullamore Town at around 1:30/2pm. Here we will be met by friends and family and hopefully other supporters and continue through the town until we reach the Charleville Estate and the King Tree (approx.18km on the day and 104km in total).
After the walk, we will go to Joe Lee’s bar on Church Street for a short while before we go back to the Central Hotel to get cleaned up and ready for some music and relaxation (back at Joe Lee’s) in the evening.
Another huge thank you to the hotel for giving us our room free of charge. They have also offered a special discount rate for friends, family and supporters. So let us know (via the contact form) if you are planning on staying the night.