SUMMER-LIKE sun during the winter in the south east, snow in the Glens of Antrim in spring, side-splitting Sligo humour and the strong scent of aftershave off Irishmen settled along the east coast.
Those are just some of the experiences of a 62-year-old English actress who is walking the entire coastline of Ireland.
Jannina Tredwell is already more than 2,500km of a 4,000km journey in aid of the wildlife charity Tusk.
The retired teacher set off from Kilmore Quay in Wexford on February 14 and has been walking an average 160 kilometres a week ever since.
The retired actress and teacher says she has been subjected to the best of Irish hospitality, as well as the unwanted attention of wild dogs.
Along the way, she has developed a love of seafood chowder and Irish pub-style lasagne.
When and where ever possible, she has stuck rigidly to coastal trails and at times has been forced to wade across rivers or re-route inland.
“People reckon you have all this time to think,” she told The Irish Post while walking towards Kerry head.
“But a lot of the time, you are trying to figure out how to get across the terrain. The first two weeks I was spoiled, walking the beaches in Wexford in the sunshine.
“I was ringing my friends in England, telling them about the glorious weather. They said: ‘You don’t get weather like that in Ireland, not in February’.”
A knee injury suffered during those early weeks meant Jannina didn’t know whether she was going to “make it beyond Rosslare”. But she recovered and has been crossing blanket bogs and shingle ridges ever since.
“The scenery in North Donegal and Connemara have been the high points,” she said. “But the Glens of Antrim were tough because I was there when the heavy snow was falling and I got stuck.”
She added: “I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of people along the way. I’ve stopped and spoken to dozens of farmers, had scores of pub lunches and I found the sense of humour of men I met in Sligo particularly funny. Every Sligo man I met made me laugh.”
Besides the obvious economic observations, the wildlife enthusiast who is travelling with her two dogs Jago and Tressa and the logistical support of some friends in a camper van and her husband, said she found that Irish men living on the east coast “wear more aftershave” than those on western seaboard.
She joked that often people asked her what she is walking for and when she explains that the elephants in Africa are becoming an endangered species, the reply is to nod in agreement, but for reasons of emigration.
Jannina expects to complete the route “sometime in August” and said that when it’s all over she hopes to have raised £50,000 for Tusk. “Then I can put my feet up and watch TV,” she joked.
Jannina Tredwell’s Itinerary so far…
(Start): 14 February
Wexford: 17 February
Courtown: 20 February
Greystones: 24 February
Babriggan: 3 March
Carlingford: 8 March
Portaferry: 14 March
Hollywood: 18 March
Glenarm: 22 March
Cushendall: 24 March
Portrush: 28 March
Buncrana 3 April
Machaire 12 April
Killybegs: 23 April
Bundoran: 1 May
Killala: 10 May
Mallaranny: 18 May
Louisburgh: 23 May
Galway: 4 June
Doolin: 12 June
Kerry Head: 21 June