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Entries about connemara

Ireland Day 9: Patrick's Footsteps

sunny 80 °F

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Croagh Patrick is probably the most climbed mountain in Ireland: according to legend, it is where St. Patrick fasted for forty days and forty nights. There is an annual pilgrimage on "Reek Sunday" (a "reek" is a mountain), which is in July. People climb it at other times as well, particularly in the summer. Since we were heading to Galway, and Croagh Patrick was so close to us, we decided to try to climb it. Daniel's parents had tried to climb it when they were here, but had not finished the climb. Thus, we were prepared to only go so far.D386910EDDF5E69DA47E171996245A54.jpegD397747DFD80EF89208FD4BCBBA5FE7E.jpeg90_D3AFD373C7E7141FD01EF774363B9737.jpeg90_D3BCA456E6D0CC2E8D0178D9D8A3DC0F.jpeg90_D3C9AF8CEBF0A0E761CFAEB531CCF97A.jpeg
Some pictures of the low part of the trail. There is a beautiful stream that runs down the side of the mountain, and the path at this point is mostly rock and dirt.
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When we had climbed some of the way, Catherine started to feel like she needed to turn back. We had a discussion about what we should do, and she said she wanted Daniel to climb the rest of the way if he wanted to. She said she would go back to the visitors' center and wait, read a book, etc. Daniel continued on his own.
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Daniel: I will write this part in my own voice since Catherine wasn't with me for most of the climb. The pictures show some of the beautiful scenery from the climb towards the ridge. It was actually a very warm day: the warmest of the year, and fairly sunny. In some ways it was a perfect day to climb, but it was uncomfortably hot. Catherine is actually in some of these pictures, making her way down as I climbed. I can't find her in them but I know she would have to be.
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One of the cairns along the way. There are prayers that are traditionally said at these "stations."
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More views from the mountain.
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People seem to have climbed down to write messages using rocks around the pond here. Many messages are unclear, as if people have removed stones from them. I didn't see anyone climbing down to add messages, either.
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There are a couple of small buildings with toilets and sinks. They aren't particularly clean but it is good they are there.
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Some more views of the climb.
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Some graffiti on the rocks. Advice, encouragement, and Eastern European rivalries.
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I took this picture with my camera exactly at eye level facing forwards. It shows how steep the climb is at this point. This is the cone, the final part of the climb.
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A glorious moment: my first glimpse of the chapel on top of the mountain. I was there!
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St. Patrick's bed and a cairn. Both have many small objects (rosaries, crosses, ribbons, etc) that people have left.
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There is such an incredible view from the top of the mountain: I am very glad I decided to go to the top. It is beautiful in every direction, and there is a great sense of accomplishment.
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The beautiful chapel at the top, where I lit a candle for a variety of intentions.
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I have to prove I was there, and didn't just download these pictures online.
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This appears to be some prayers in Cyrillic writing. Perhaps the Russians that graffitied the rock? It is nice to see the wide diversity of people who come here.
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More pictures of the church, including another selfie.
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And another.
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I took this picture accidentally, but it was a good picture to show what the trail is like.
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From the path going down.
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I took this picture also at eye level straight up and down. It shows how steep the path is.
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As I went down it seemed both easier and harder. It was quicker, but more painful and more frustrating. It truly is a "whole different muscle group."
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Back to the statue.
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Catherine had waited at the visitors' center while I climbed. She purchased a book about the 1916 Easter Rising and learned some Irish history. At one point, a man came down from the mountain bruised and bloody. Is frightened Catherine, so when she saw me she was very happy. We took this picture of us with the mountain in the background. I bought an "I Climbed Croagh Patrick" T-shirt, and thought about buying the one that said "'I Climbed' Croagh Patrick" for Catherine. I was happy to have achieved it, but exhausted from having done such a long climb.
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Both:A delicious dinner at an Italian restaurant in Westport.
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We drove through Connemara on our way to Galway. It was getting dark so we didn't take many pictures. However, when Daniel was studying in Ireland eleven years ago he took a picture in Connemara that was published in a magazine called Dappled Things. The picture is called A Connmara Landscape and is one of the first Google Image results for "Connemara landscape."
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Killary Fjord, the only fjord in the Republic of Ireland. It is a beautiful spot and we took several pictures even though it was starting to get dark. From there we went to Galway.

Note to Readers: we are now back in California, where we have our own internet connection. It was often hard to blog from Ireland as we would get in late, and also sometimes have spotty internet coverage when staying in rural locations. We plan to finish the blog, as we have pictures from each day and would love to share them with all of you. We also use this blog as a kind of photo album, and often use it to show people what we saw on our trips. Stay tuned for updates: we should be posting one or two posts per day.

Posted by danielcatherine 23:00 Archived in Ireland Tagged islands history statue views book stones climb chapel fjord shirt connemara westport saint_patrick 1916 croagh_patrick reek killary a_connemara_landscape Comments (2)

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