Archive | November, 2012

The Reek

5 Nov

The Reek

Alright. I am back, finally. I guess I never realized how hard it would be to sit down and think of something to write that people would find interesting. It seems that every time I try to write a new post  my mind goes blank and all I can think of is what I had for breakfast…and I am fairly certain that no one wants to read about dry toast and too strong coffee.

So, instead of breakfast I will write about the mountain I climbed in Ireland. Granted it was a rather small mountain (2.507 ft),but it was a mountain none the less and I was proud.

In County Mayo, just outside of Westport sits Croagh Patrick. It is said that hundreds of years ago Saint Patrick spent 4 days and nights atop the mountain and now it is a place of  pilgrimage. On Reek Sunday, which is the last Sunday in July, hundreds of people climb the mountain in the middle of the night. The most incredible part of this pilgrimage is the that the climb is done barefoot!

Now, I did not climb the mountain on Reek Sunday, nor was it the middle of the night and I did not climb barefoot, but I did climb it  (those that know me can attest that ANY physical feet is impressive when it comes to me). Not to be rude (I am going to be anyways), but you have to be crazy to climb this mountain barefoot. The whole way up is quite steep and VERY rocky. Sometimes rocky can just mean that the mountain is made of rocks, in this case the mountain is just covered in small rocks that are not at all secure. I am not particularly “cool” with heights or falling down rocky slopes to my death, so needless to say it was slow going and my heart got a little panicky several times. Anyways, after 2 hours of hard climbing (going down was easier, but waaaaayyyy scarier) we (the 2 French WWOOFers and I) got to the top and we all felt very accomplished and decided that we were Warriors.

Such a warrior

 

From the top of the mountain we could see for miles around us. Ines, Olivier and I were blown away by the sight of Clew Bay and its many islands (365-one for each day of the year!). We were also awed by the small church that was built a century ago. Back then there were no airplanes of trucks to haul bricks and boards and the builders got their supplies up the steep slope on the backs of donkeys. I am not a religious person, but if I were I would find this simple, unadorned building to be the perfect place to worship God.

The Church

I loved this “epic” journey up Croagh Patrick because it gave me yet another opportunity to soak up the beauty of Ireland and another chance to better understand the rich and inspiring culture.

The view

Although this is not the best of posts, I would like to dedicate it to my dear cousin Jack who would have been 25 tomorrow. He dedicated his short life to living and was not scared to follow his heart, every day his life inspires me, so here’s to the mighty Yak.

Jack built this wall in Easkey, Co. Sligo

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