Monday 22 April 2024

Gaisce Hike

Over the past year I have been participating in the Gaisce President's Award. As part of this myself and the others taking part completed the venture part of this award. The requirements were that we completed a hike of a significant distance and difficulty, and cooked for ourselves within a hostel environment.

On Thursday 11 April we went home and came back to school for 5.45 pm after a quick meal and a (in my case frantic) flurry of packing. Gear was checked, bags were loaded and we headed off to do our shopping at a local shopping centre. Ingredients bought and all students accounted for the second leg began. We stayed at the Glendalough international youth hostel (one I would definitely recommend) and got our rooms assigned. When the rules of the hostel were gone through there was one that really stuck out to me, it read: Don't mess with our goat. Apparently a not so friendly goat has taken up residence in the area surrounding the hostel and is hostile when provoked (like us all).

The next morning we had a choice between a cooked or a continental breakfast and headed off after we had finished and packed for the day. We started walking at around 10.30 am, and after a while on paved ground the path gave way to more challenging terrain. When we stopped for lunch we were all significantly more muddy and tired. The hike continued up into even more mud, at which point the fog closed in. I remember hearing shrieks of laughter in the distance as more and more people skipped and slid down the mountain.

In tip-top shape we entered into the last leg of the hike. By this point we were all exhausted and ready for home so when we finally finished sighs of relief were heard all around. After all of this we still faced into the final part of this challenge, and in hostel conditions this was just that: a challenge. My group shared a pasta dish and split the cooking and washing up. That evening we also got the opportunity to look at the stars from the Glendalough Lake. They were absolutely stunning. The next morning we all loaded our kit back onto the bus and headed back to school.
Isobel Kearney

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