Marc and Tom are two Austrian brothers who arrived in Millstreet yesterday evening on day 5 of a charity walk along the Ireland Way from Castletownbere to Ballycastle in County Antrim. They are walking in cooperation with Caritas for homeless people and are depending on the generosity and goodwill of people along the way for food and shelter. If you wish to donate here is the link breadlinewalking.com
“We are two brothers from Austria, walking The Ireland Way without any money, for Homeless People, Capuchin Day Centre, Dublin. We are walking more than 900 kilometer without any money, just with our tent and the helpfulness from the Irish population. And we hope that this helpfulness from the Irish population will also donate for their own population, who need help. Because homelessness can happen to everyone. And than you will need the help from other people, as we do need the help from other people in a foreign country.
We are two brothers. This year, we also walked The Israel National Trail, a long distance trail through Ireland, more than 1.000 Kilometer. Marc is a social worker and teacher. In 2015/2016 he walked the whole Wild Atlantic Way, more than 2.500 Kilometer. Tom is also a social worker and psychologist. For him it is his second long distance trail.”
The lads wrote a blog post (with photos) here:
… but you can’t read it unless you speak German … here is a rough translation:
Today starts sunny. We walk for a few hours and when we take our rucksacks down and want to take a break, it starts raining at once. So we put on the backpack and the rain cover and move on. After a few minutes it stops raining, but we still go for an hour in the sun. Again we want to take a break and after a few seconds it suddenly starts to rain again, despite the blue sky above us. So we move on exhausted again. This game is supposed to accompany us four more times today. We almost can not believe it, but Tom said at the beginning of our walk: “When I walk, it does not rain.” He was right, but it rains every pause. Therefore, we walk the 21 kilometers almost non-stop. We treat ourselves only once the snack, which we got from the family: eggs and tuna sandwiches, until we arrive in Millstreet. Marc likes almost every meal, every one except tuna and cold eggs without salt, but still eats almost everything, almost without complaining.
Millstreet is a bigger village where we would not be lucky at first. It is freezing cold today. It’s four degrees, at night it will cool down even more. But four degrees coupled with very strong wind and rain showers paired with exhaustion for the first time feels really icy. We sit in the church of Millstreet to warm up and do not make it out for more than an hour. Tom even falls asleep on the pew.
We see countless shops and pubs in Millstreet, but we can not go anywhere. But we would prefer nothing more than that. We should have no luck finding accommodation at the beginning of the day. Our search takes several hours, but is luckless. We call a Methodist church because we find the phone number somewhere and they tell us to try the local nun. When we finally find them after a long search, we can not sleep there, but get a frozen bread along the way, which should be thawed for breakfast. We are already planning to pitch our tent in the city park. Before we visit the evening mass in the church to warm up again. After the Mass, we talk to the pastor, who tells us that it is not possible to sleep in the city park, as this is locked in the night. Therefore, we are back at zero in the planning.
We decide to go to the train station about three kilometers away with the hope that we may be able to sleep there. But that is not certain, because Ireland has very little train traffic and if so, then there is usually not even a building. But our light in the dark would already be a bench in a train station today. On the way, a homeless Irishman asks us if we have any money. We have previously accepted a donation of five euros, which we give him directly. He thanks and goes on.
On the way to the train station, however, we knock on a short notice at a house and ask now with little hope, if we can pitch the tent on the property. And out of the darkness a light suddenly appears again. We can pitch our tent in the garden and have a cup of tea afterwards. So we open our tent and knock on the front door. The tea is suddenly a wonderful dinner with lamb and potato.