My husband Robert and I spent six weeks in Ireland last summer, exchanging homes and cars with a Kilkenny family. We traveled
over 3,300 miles on the twisty-narrow roads and stopped frequently just to take a walk. We were helped enormously on our foot adventures by responding to
the following ad in the Kilkenny paper: "Kilkenny Walkers, Sunday, July 12, 10 a.m. Everyone Welcome."
We joined the city walking group and were instantly connected with other affiliated groups throughout the island. The association schedules
great weekend trips to all parts of Ireland, including stays at hostels. So at one stroke you've got experienced leaders, camaraderie, free advice, and cheap
accommodations. And you go to places that no ordinary tourist would ever find.
Irish Hillwalkers are also on the Web, but Simon Stewart, the site manager, understandably says that while the group welcomes new members,
he feels it would be unfair to contact him or other voluntary officers to ask for detailed itineraries, etc.
Suggested Hiking Books.
Buy in Ireland: Paddy Dillon, Exploring the South of Ireland; David Herman, Ireland; Lord Killanin and Michael Duignan The Shell Guide
to Ireland. Buy here: Joss Lynam, Best Irish Walks (Passport Books, 2nd ed.).
The Mountaineering Council of Ireland, House of Sport, Longmile Road, Dublin 12; 011-353-1-450-9845; www.mountaineering.ie.