The area, as I said before, is very little traveled and we hardly found a couple of farmers and little else. Of course, we saw deer, otters and a few moles along the way.
A few years ago I ventured with a friend through these magical forests of the interior of Ireland. We escaped from Dublin with a tent in the backpack with the intention of crossing Slieve Bloom walking for two days from the town of Portlaoise to the next town in the west.
Slieve Bloom is a natural Park and there is a tour for nature lovers with a total of 35 kilometers to make on foot. It is an area, as I said before, very little traveled and, apart from a farmer, the only living things you will find are birds, moles, otters and some domesticated deer.
The route around the mountains of Slieve Bloom is well signposted although the thick vegetation makes it difficult in some cases to follow the path correctly. The moss gets on all sides and the ferns can be taller than Pau Gasol so walk with caution. In any case, do not make the way without first agencyros with a map. I recommend the “Order Survey". This is the best mountain map catalog in Ireland and you can easily find them at any Easons bookstore in Dublin.
There is no type of accommodation inside the national park so you must take your store as we did. During the two days we traveled, Slieve Bloom rained us to the seas. The terrain was completely covered with a layer of mud and walking was difficult especially in some areas where the mud covered beyond the knees. It was a half-crazy experience but one of those that you remember because of the greatness that nature's strength grants in an uninhabited and inhuman place. I am sure that without rain I would not remember that experience with the special nostalgia that I enjoy right now.
If there must be elves and fairies somewhere, it must be, without a doubt, in Slieve Bloom. We saw a few Amanitas. Green turned trees into giant ferns. The enormous roots of ancient trees rose from the same land because of the humidity and the rain that was displacing the earth and its mineral energy. The waterfalls of moss fell from the treetops as if they were arms saluting the two strangers who entered the forest. The magical light of the shy Irish sun will offer you new visions and you will begin to doubt and believe in legends and fantastic stories. It looked like a ghostly place, full of magic and far from civilization that, oddly enough, was only about 10 or 15 kilometers in the form of two houses and a pub.
We do it in two days and resume our life in civilization in Birr. We made the last kilometers in hitchhiking. We had returned to the road and we were not happy to walk on the asphalt for more than two hours. A farmer stopped us and put us in his van. The man was surprised to find a couple of foreigners in that area. Most likely we were the first foreigners that the man saw touring around. "What are you two doing in this shitty hole ?!”He asked us, surprised and smiling.
We laughed with him and he left us in the same town of Birr. There was another surprise waiting for us. A castle that was once inhabited by a family of astronomers. A giant telescope and fabulous gardens. Ideal to rest your legs after the beautiful walk, eat a good “gammon steak”And prepare for the return to Dublin and work with the line coach.