It was definitely not a resolution, not a plan of action for the New Year, certainly not a plan for self-betterment, nor a strategy for improving our life-style. No, it was simply a wish, a hope, a desire to do something different, a little target, a little achievement we might accomplish.
The Waterford Greenway runs from Waterford to Dungarvan, a distance of approximately 45Km. It is a walking and cycling pathway developed in recent years along a disused railway track. We live very close to the Waterford end of the Greenway and, indeed, walked along the old tracks for many years before it was redeveloped as a walkway. There were times when I felt this redevelopment caused a great deal of destruction to what had become a wildlife paradise as the old railway line fell deeper and deeper into wilderness. It is now a sanitised version of its former self but it has provided a wonderful amenity for locals and visitors and is very popular and in constant use.
Our hope – well, Mary’s plan, really – was that we would walk the entire length of the Greenway. We are not so adventurous, not so athletic, that we would consider walking the entire length non-stop, in one fell swoop, but that we would do it piecemeal, bit by bit. Peculiarly, this means that to walk it once we will, in fact, walk it twice for we will leave the car at one of the car parks along the way, walk to the next and then back to the car – twice the distance.
There was an organised walk last Saturday beginning at Kilmacthomas and heading west. It was part of a national movement associated with a television programme, Operation Transformation, which aims to promote a healthy lifestyle – care with food intake (dieting?) and exercise. We stood around waiting for the “off” but became impatient and headed off on our own. We passed the proposed “3Km” and the “5Km” markers, still feeling fresh and continued until we reached the next car park at McGrath’s Cross and then returned to Kilmacthomas, an overall distance of 10Km. Operation Transformation is for wimps!
Buoyed with our successful start, we went to Dungarvan on Sunday and walked the first stage of the Greenway, Dungarvan to Ballinroad, which, as we walked out and back, was a distance of 8Km. Filled with the enthusiasm of a good start we returned to Ballinroad today and walked to Durrow and back, a distance of 12Km. We are well on our way!
The Ballinroad to Durrow section is often mentioned as the most scenic and interesting of the entire route as it has sea views, a tunnel and a viaduct along the route. To be honest, we were disappointed and believe the section nearer home is far more beautiful as the walkway is alongside the River Suir with wonderful views across to Co. Kilkenny. We have walked this home stretch previously and will return to it as we have completed the others. More of that on another occasion.
Tomorrow is a rest day and the next day we will have visitors but we will return to the Waterford Greenway and we will complete the entire route – but that’s certainly not a New Year’s resolution! Perish the thought! Pffffffffffffffffff! (though it might be becoming a determination!)