Croagh Patrick

Date: 8/28/2018
Who: myself
Length: about 4.5 miles (2.25 up + 2.25 down)
Time: 2 hours
Weather: cloudy, windy, rainy, cool

This hike was during the trip to Ireland last Summer with my mom. Croagh Patrick is known as Ireland’s holy mountain, because Saint Patrick is reputed to have fasted and prayed on the summit. When I realized that we were so close to this famous mountain, I knew that I wanted to hike it if possible.

The day started with a 15 minute taxi ride from our hotel in Westport, County Mayo to the trailhead. I hiked alone up the trail, and into the clouds to reach the summit. There is a chapel on the summit, but it was closed and locked. The weather worsened during the time on trail, and it was raining gently for the descent.

This sign at the bottom of the trail describes activities required to complete the Croagh Patrick “pilgrimage”. I heard that some pilgrims even make the hike barefooted! I completed the hike, but not the pilgrimage requirements.

Croagh Patrick pilgrimage sign

This hike followed the BLUE line:

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After the hike, I had lunch with my mom in Westport. That evening, our tour group enjoyed a private concert of live traditional Irish music at Matt Molloy’s pub, with Peter Molloy (flute), Joseph O‚ÄôLeary (fiddle, bodhran), and Tony Reidy (guitar, vocals).

musicians tuning up at Matt Molloy’s pub; mom in background snapping photo

Slieve League Cliffs

Date: 8/25/2018
Who: Patti and myself
Length: about 3 miles
Time: 2 hours
Weather: sunny, warm

My mom and I took a 2-week trip to Ireland in August 2018. The trip was through Inishfree Irish Music Tours with tour guide Hugh Carthy and tour leader Tim Grimm. The tour featured sightseeing during the day, and private concerts of traditional Irish music each evening. It was all wonderful. The highlight of our fourth day in Ireland was Slieve League cliffs in County Donegal. The schedule included enough time to hike from the Teelin cafe to the cliffs. Some of us hiked, and others rode the bus to the upper parking lot.

along Slieve League Road
Slieve League cliffs

Some of the musicians we met in Donegal were Ian Smith (guitar and vocals), Martin Crossin (uileann pipes) and Stephen Campbell (fiddle and vocals). We listened to live music that night at The Reel Inn in Donegal Town.

This hike followed the BLUE line:

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