Breakfast is at 8:00 am, we meet at 9:30 and hop on a small chartered bus that takes us to the trail head. The bus is a 22-seater, just the right size for our group.
We pass through the Black Valley, a small village, so called because up until about 30 years ago there was no electricity. There are multiple switchbacks on the narrow paved road to grade the slope and take us up to the gap without having to climb straight up. Plenty of sheep to watch our progress. Traffic on the road varies, lots of ‘jaunting cars’ (what they call horse-drawn carriages for two to six people plus driver), cars, and cyclists, both motorized and manual. The road is very narrow, one lane or less and it is necessary to get off to the side in most cases to let the traffic by for your own safety.
16km later we end in Kate Kearney’s pub, a half pint and a perfect way to end the day. Everyone is anxious to get back and take off their boots! Walking on a paved road is not the easiest thing on your feet.
Back at Scotts Hotel for group dinner and an early night.