Day 1: Home, Dublin city centre - Sallins, Kildare.
Day 2: Sallins, Kildare - Monasterevin, Kildare (via Robertstown).
Day 3: Monasterevin, Kildare - Carlow Town, Carlow.
Day 4: Carlow town - Kilkenny city, Kilkenny.
Day 5: Kilkenny city - Cloneen, South Tipperary.
Day 6: Cloneen, South Tipperary - Home, South Tipperary.
The idea for this walk came about in my final semester of college. The year before I had spent more of the year living abroad than in Ireland, and had walked 1,100km through France and Spain with my boyfriend Carl. While spending so much time away, I had thought a lot about Ireland and the idea of home. So many people we met were in love with our country and culture. And so when it became time to make new photographic work, walking seemed like a natural option.
I didn't leave with a specific outcome in mind, and the images I made were definitely not what I expected. This walk was quiet and long.
I stayed in B&B's and hostels along the way. Not bringing a tent hugely cut down on the size of my bag. Which means I hiked with one extra pair of pants, one extra top, and change of socks and underwear, a book and notebook, my camera, a charger for my phone and camera, and a few snacks.
My route planning was fairly simple - I followed the grand canal south-wards out of Dublin, until I reached Carlow. From here, I ended up following Google Maps - which on the first day brought me along a closed road, over a mountain and down into Kilkenny. From Kilkenny onwards was a wandering mix of small and smaller roads, crossing into areas that I had vague memories of driving through a when much smaller.
Reaching my mother's home was a mix of excitement, exhaustion, and a lot of relief. I got to sit on the grass for a long time, and I relished getting a clean pair of socks.