The little hiking engines that could but couldn´t

Trip Start Jun 22, 2006
Trip End Jul 12, 2006

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

The hike today was the one IŽd been dreading for it meant hiking up over mt. Brandon with a steep descent for about 400 meters. Under normal weather conditions, I figured it would be challenging due to my knee, but upon looking out the window after I woke up and seeing that the weather was horrific, my trepidation rose. make that steep and slippery due to rain!

We again had a taxi ride out to the crossroads near An Bothar Pub where the dayŽs hike was to begin. WeŽd decked ourselves appropriately in layers with our expensive water-proof gear serving as our outer layer. We were in good spirits as we hiked in the pouring rain and our spirits never sagged even when hiking up the hill and being assaulted by sheets of rain that poured into every exposed orifice. It was impossible to see all our hiking markers as the visibility was next to nothing and soooooo..... we got lost. We didnŽt realize we were lost until weŽd reached the top of the mountain and I scoured the ridge looking for a marked pathway down and found zilch. The winds were so fierce up there that it would have been quite risky to continue. I could barely assume an upright position and probably resembled a neanderthal man, all slouched over and stumbling along with a walking stick gripped in one hand and a watery grimace plastered on my face.

Rebecca and I headed back the way weŽd come and walked back to the pub so we could call a taxi to take us to Cloghane (our final destination for that day). We also had a pot of tea at the pub and left puddles of rainwater in our wake. The taxi cost 35 euros and weŽd hiked about 8 kilometers out of the 20 or so we were supposed to do, but strangely we felt elated as we were comfortable in the fact that weŽd done our best and had been defeated by the weather demons and not due to lack of trying.

Once in Cloghane, we stripped off our soaked gear at OŽConnor's B&B and they put our wet things in their drying room. The weather naturally started clearing up in the afternoon and so I decided to go for a wee walk down the lane through the village. It was a very picturesque place situated on an inlet of Brandon Bay. Rebecca rested for a while and then joined me outside for a couple of pints at the pub. A German couple from near munich joined us there and we sat around visiting for about an hour or so. Later, I did a spot of journal writing.

Dinner at O'Connor's was surprisingly tasty - I had some zesty tomato soup and a goat cheese salad.

According to text messages I was still receiving from Shane in Tralee, he was attempting to find a place to stay in Castlegregory on Friday night. His messages had been thoughtful and romantic throughout the past few days so I found myself looking more and more forward to our reunion the next day. Little did I surmise at that point that it wasnŽt meant to be.
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