Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Croagh Patrick

This is Croagh Patrick.  It is my next challenge.  It is in County Mayo, Ireland.  Bill had talked to John about what places he would like to visit when we arrive in the country.  One of them, being this mountain.  It started as an overcast day but as we got closer to this goliath it became sunny and clear.   You can see the clouds in this picture, it was gone when we started to climb. 

Entrance to the mountain.  It had a cafe, gift shop, and bathrooms.

The path seems innocent.  Surrounded by the lush grounds and lined with a stone fence. Paved.  This will be important to the story.

This is our starting point.  The statue is of St. Patrick holding a four leaf clover in his hand.  The story goes that St Patrick climbed this mountain and stayed there for 40 days and night.   After his prayer and penance, he had a church built. There is more to this story but this is the cliff notes version.

At this point I am thinking,  I don't know if I will be able to go completely go to the top.  I will go to the base right before the mountain gets really steep.   The goal is (just to the left of the statue of St Patrick) to go between the two mountain peaks.   It  looks like a little bump.

 I had put my head down and just started walking.  Once I get  a task in my head, I am full trottle. That is how dedicated I am to embark on this mission.  I didn't look back.  I wasn't running but I was determined.

This was the first marker.   I got to this point and boy was I breathing hard.  I  took a picture and if you can see the image in blue that is Bill

Remember the paved path back in the beginnning.  It is gone.  This is how it will be while I go up this mountain. 

This is what I accomplished so far. At one on the many breaks I had to take to catch my breath, I took this picture. Not too shabby.

At another of my stops, I look ahead.  I can see my goal.  I can see the trail.  It helps with pushing forward.

This is the other view. I like to get an idea of where I am going and where I came from for reassurance.  And to make sure Bill is still with me. 

The trails can narrow sometimes.  I am glad I didn't get a good look at what I was doing. Some areas were a little dicey.  One wrong move and you can really hurt yourself.  Ignorance is bliss sometimes.

I took this after my hundreth stop on the trail.  Getting very rocky.  I am glad we had water for the trek.  Not yet half way.   When we do we will celebrate with a treat.

Facing the direction we came from, the view becomes spectacular.  I didn't notice before, but that ledge is awfully narrow.

We reached our point to rest and celebrate with a treat.  I can see the path.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

John and Tyler were with us.  That is John (bent over) with Tyler.  They had decided to turn around and go back.  John didn't want Tyler to over do it.  He was still recovering from an illness.  Tyler did an awesome job for someone so young.

We parted and we took our treats. Behold.  My favorite.  I had to take a picture because they wrap up their candy differently than the US.  Tasted the same.  Yum!!  I needed this sugar rush.  This was a tough challenge but I wanted to continue and conquer it.

Good thing I ate that candy bar!!  Rough terrain.

I need to look back and see how far I have come to give me the inspiration to continue this quest.

There is no stopping me now.  I see the end of the road.  Onward and Upward.

One final look back until I reach my destination. 

We made it.  Yahoo!!

The rush is overwhelming.   I had to strike a pose.   The adrelinie is pumping through my body.  The aches, pain, and sweats are all gone.  I felt very good about my accomplishment.  I set out to do something and I did it with the love of my life.  It formed a new bond betwen us.  

A very good day. 

I will post how at another time what it looked liked up here and what we ate to celebrate our "win".

 Orange Man Character Hiking Up a Hill clipartMountain climbing Abbie

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