The Dingle Way – Stage 2 – Camp to Annascaul is a moderate 5 to 7 hour walk at a distance of 17km. This stage has only one steep climb with the remaining walk only undulating ascents.
Between Camp and Annascaul the majority of the route is very negotiable, mainly on small roads, with the exception of a small excursion across a field.
Rejoining the trail to the west of the Finglas River crossing, the walk follows a straight south-westerly direction for 2km, gradually rising out from the valley.
Views of Caherconree Mountain (835m) and the impressive megalithic fort perched close to its top are behind, to the east of the valley, and provide the main focal point of interest.
Small stacks of cut turf dot the landscape as the trail gradually starts to descend towards a small plantation of coniferous trees. This is a fairly sizeable forest and continues for 2km before emerging and joining a minor back road heading south.
Keep an eye out for cars coming along this road as the noise from the Emlagh River might drown them out. You briefly follow the course of this road until it crosses the Emlagh River whereupon it exits up a rough track with a short ascent.
The route climbs to the saddle between Corrin and Knockbrack mountains and then gently decends to the other side of the Dingle peninsula with great views of Inch Beach where the continuous stream of frothing waves come crashing ashore.
A gentle walk brings you down toward the wildlife sanctuary of Inch Strand. Here there is a welcome opportunity to take a break at Inch Beach with a café, shop and a pub nearby serving lunch. This famous setting is where parts of Ryan's Daughter was filmed at the end of the 1960s.
After regaining some strength and starting back on the trail, the trail starts to ascend behind a line of houses that face out towards the bay. The walk gradually edges its way inland aiming for Maum at a height of 180m above sea-level.
Rounding the small summit of Knockafeehane, there is a spectacular view of Lough Annascaul as it rests in the arms of a dramatic u-shaped glacial valley.
In some of the fields in the more immediate foreground, keep a watchful eye for some ancient standing stones. The road stretches out in a perfectly straight line which is very uncharacteristic of the area, with the final 2km bringing the walker into the heart of Annascaul.
This village is most famous as the birthplace of Tom Crean the great explorer and his home lies on the site where the South Pole Inn is now located.
This village has excellent accommodation and a number of hostelries that will see you fed and watered at the end of your day.
You will also experience the wonderful culture and heritage that associates itself with this famous west Kerry town.
Have a good nights rest, don`t have too much guinness and get up early for stage 3 Annascaul to Dingle