Sunday Scaries – April 4th 2021

“A Sunday well spent brings a week of content”

Proverbs

Or so they say. Sunday Scaries are the real deal – the last day of “freedom” before the reality of the week sets in. Although Covid has really blurred the lines and everyday seems like Groundhog Day, there is just something special and sad about Sundays, especially when they come and go faster than the week prior did, waiting for it to roll around. Besides sitting outside in the sun and catching up on the TV series you’ve missed, Sundays are also a great time for reminiscing, especially since we are spending so much time at home and the freedom we once (pre covid-19) had seems like a distant memory at this point.

Today I opened my camera roll, and closed my eyes, scrolling until I felt like stopping with the intention of writing about the memories that came with the photo I randomly picked – a throwback to my past life. Today my camera roll brought me all the way back to Kerry, Ireland. Last March, my boyfriend and I decided to hike the tallest mountain in Ireland! Called Carrauntoohil, this mountain was one of the most incredible and rewarding experiences I’ve had. It had been on my boyfriend’s bucket list for ages, and at the time Ireland was on the verge of a national lockdown due to the Corona virus (we actually went into lockdown the night we got home!!) so we said if we don’t do it now, we never will. The sun was shining so we packed a lunch, filled up our water-bottles and off we went!

We climbed to the top of the mountain via The Devils Ladder; a steep, loose rock path that was definitely not for the faint of heart. You want to make sure you are super careful with where you step, as every move you make must be calculated. Being totally honest, I didn’t *exactly* know what I was getting myself in to, but that was probably for the best! Although a bit intimidating at first, a bonus of taking the Devils Ladder route was the steady stream of mountain water flowing down the path the entire time. My boyfriend was continuously refilling our water bottles from the stream and let me tell you, when they say mountain water is the best water, they aren’t lying!

Just when I thought we had made it to the top, my boyfriend simply laughed at me and pointed upwards. We were going up there. Being honest, I was okay for the majority of the trek, but the last leg just about killed me. The oxygen was clearly getting lesser the more we climbed and every limb on my body felt about 20 pounds but I was determined to do it. My boyfriend was amazing and really was the trail-blazer for the last leg; he scoped out the best path to climb with encouraging words the entire way. I had to take a few small breaks here and there but I did it! When we finally made it to the top, we were literally standing in the clouds. We had finished the climb to the top of the summit the same time as another couple, so the four of us took in the views, took some photos for each other and then ate our lunches. Someone had made little huts to sit in on the peak of the summit, so myself and my boyfriend ate our lunch sheltered from the wind (it was freezing!) and really appreciated every second. I was, and still am so proud of us!

The trek back down was obviously easier than the way up, but the Devil’s Ladder was definitely worse going down. A steep hill + loose rocks + climbing backwards is probably the worse combination possible, however if you take your time you will be just fine and its smooth sailing once you’re down. Our trip took about 7-8 hours roundtrip give or take, including the little stop breaks I took on the last leg and time for lunch.

Honestly, this was one of the most rewarding feelings I’ve ever experienced, especially being able to complete it with my partner. The views were stunning and the people we met along the trail, both novices like ourselves and more experienced hikers were lovely. Everyone was giving tips to each other as they passed to ensure every person had the best hiking experience possible. I would recommend this trek 10 times over if you’re looking for something challenging yet rewarding. I envy the people who live close and can hike this (or part of it) whenever they want!

Make sure to check back next week to see where in the world the Sunday Scaries will bring me 🙂

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