Monday, January 18, 2010

The Burren

So a couple of days ago there was a student activities fair that some friends and I checked out. Basically just a bunch of clubs asking you to sign up and join. When we were there we found the usual clubs that you find back at home, but then there were a few that were definitely not at BC activities day, like kayaking, equestrian, mountaineering club, and surf club. Deciding to join the clubs we don’t have the opportunity to back home we signed up for most of these. This weekend we had our first mountaineering club experience, and the destination of the hike was called The Burren. The Burren is an area of land in county Clare that literally is just mountains and hills of rock, half the time I felt like I was running through the set of Lord of the Rings.

But to start from the beginning, I woke up and got to the bus at 9 am, a difficult task for any day of the week but especially a Sunday. Eventually we were off 30 minutes later and on our way to county Clare which took about an hour and a half to get to. On the way they periodically stopped and let people off the bus to go up different paths. Due to the fact that Hubick, Lindsay, Lissy, Elora, and I didn’t have the proper shoes, pants, and just general attitude towards everything so early they put us in the last group designated the “slow group.” Getting off the bus Hubick and I realize we are the only two guys in the entire group of 22 people, besides one of our tour guides Neil aka Lars. We started our ascent to the top of God knows where and along the way practiced our extreme mountaineering, laughing about how good we were and how the medium and fast group have no idea what they are missing without us in it. We started off on the path which quickly turned into nothing so we began to climb up. 1 hour later we reached what I like to call the Land of My Fore Fathers, which was just a circle of rocks built up about 9 feet high. 30 minutes later we reached the top of the hill where I we all thought we would end but instead we continued onto a second peak about an hour further from where we were. Exhausted, tired, hungry, aching, and delirious we reach the top of point two and are told that we are going to turn around and head back down. Kill me. Hiking up for two and a half hours is one thing, turning around and hiking back down is torture. Nevertheless we cursed the skies, wind, and our tour guides as we turned around and hiked the 2 hours back down.

Now I know that there was a lot of bitching in there, that was mostly for my dad because he would love to hear that I spending my day starving myself and pushing myself to the limit and hiking all day. But the top of The Burren is truly an unbelievable sight. The winds up there are so strong that I am certain if I opened up a sheet and connected it to my backpack I would be paragliding down the side of the mountain instead of hiking. (Probably a better idea than hiking down.) Half the time it was a struggle just to stand up but it was definitely worth it. The sight at the top looks out over the entire Galway Bay and the beginning of the Atlantic Ocean. You can see the Aran Islands from there and you know that you are just on the edge of a vast emptiness of water. Lets just say that the end definitely justified the means. After explaining to some of the people in the group what 'SFD' meant we were back where we started in no time. And with just enough time to grab a bite at the pub at the bottom and have some of the best chowder that I have ever had, sorry Bostonians. On the way home I passed out, and woke up back on campus and pulled a death march back to my place realizing that sleeping tonight is not going to be a difficult task.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so proud of you Jimmy, long hike, no food or water and lots of bitching!!! Sounds like a great adventure. How was the weather? Everyone is fine here. love Dad