You Don’t Have to Move That Mountain…

On day two of our pilgrimage we left our sleepy hostel and went down to Croagh Patrick, a huge mountain in the West of Ireland that has been a site of pilgrimage since shortly after the time of St. Patrick (hence the name of the mountain). Here’s a picture of the mountain.

Nope, not the one in front or on the left; the big one on the right.

And so, we prepared ourselves for our ascent. Emily grabbed her coffee:

And I grabbed my trusty walking stick and set my jaw for the climb ahead.

And then we were off! The climb itself took about two hours, and was made difficult by all the rocks on the path.

Luckily, the path was easy to follow, if a bit roundabout

By the time you got to the last ascent, the path itself was made up of all rocks and the possibility of losing your footing and falling down shot through the roof. Luckily, none of us fell off the mountain and made it to the top where we had a wonderful lunch, albeit bothered by a rather large number of weird beetle-like bugs.

The House on top of the mountain, on perhaps the clearest and nicest day Ireland has ever had.

After lunch, a long-breather, and some chats with friends made from the States and Co. Clare, we bounded (read:walked slowly and carefully) back down the mountain. While going down was certainly faster and easier on the muscles, it was made difficult by the need for proper footing, especially when the path was all loose walk.

On one of the firm parts of the mountain; notice the lack of rocks.

We eventually made our way down the mountain, finished our prayer, and decided to spend some time sitting, grabbing water and smoothies, and relaxing in the visitor center. Our day finished with our return to our hostel, where we grabbed our things and left the town of Westport to travel to Dublin to meet up with some friends there for there for the night, eventually returning home the following day.

All in all it was a great pilgrimage, filled with prayer and sore-muscles, and it definitely created some lasting memories for all of us.

Perhaps one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited.