Walk they said, no problem they said. Well as we walked the couple mile incline to the top of Slieve League we thought we were going to die. I am not in bad shape but OMG. The first quarter mile was the hardest, it was a straight up incline and boy did we feel the burn! Yet we were determined to make it to the top even if they had to carry us back down.
As you hiked steadily upwards the views got to be more breathtaking and we began to get our breath back. There were people who drove their cars to the top but with winding roads and no guardrails it was a bit hairy when there was a car coming up and one going down. We stayed on the inside of the road and figured if we fell over we might go down a small incline in to sheep droppings and not over the cliff to our death.
Going up the winds were at our back and we believe we got a few gusts of 40-50 miles per hour. More steady winds were at about 20-25 miles per hour. At one point we got pelted with freezing rain and did it hurt when it hit you in the face. Yet we continued on and within minutes the sun came out. Of course it disappeared again but that is the wonder of Ireland.
On our hike as with everywhere we go in Ireland, we meet people and just strike up conversations, we met a nice couple from Ireland hiking with their dogs. Both of the ladies were friendly and reassured us that we had already hiked the worst of it. I think they lied a little.
We met another couple from Ohio, the girl was outgoing and very friendly, the husband just smiled and let her go. I thought that is what Jack would have done, but come to think about it Jack would have just waited at the bottom of the hill in the parking lot for me.. He would have stood there and watched me walk all the way up as far as he could but he would never had made the trek.
We did make it to the top of the cliff and could have made a further climb up the side, there was a path cut into the side of it but the winds were so strong, and for those of you who know me I can be a bit of a klutz. I thought it was the wiser choice to not push it, we met up with the ladies from Ireland on the way down and they said we made a good call. They hike it all the time but decided against it due to the high winds.
You think going down would be easier than going up, but when you have strong winds pushing you down a steep incline it seemed to be more difficult. So Sheila and I just took slow steady steps and braced ourselves as we hiked back down and we made it.
It was all worth it! I would do it again in a heartbeat. I am hoping to figure out this video thing so you all can understand how beautiful, breathtaking and challenging this trek was. I continue to be amazed by the beauty that is Ireland