Sunday, September 13th, 2009


The quote for the weekend goes to the pupils who completed their silver qualifying expedition; “it’s the hardest thing I have ever done”.  At the end of Saturday the pupils were beyond exhausted, beyond tiredness, beyond ice cream.  I know this for a fact as they piled themselves into a heap beneath a tree in Rostrevor car park.  Sitting only a few meters from the cafe with ice cream and buns, they merely wittered and mumbled to themselves and made no attempt to reach the cafe or even acknowledge its existence.

For the 3 days in the heart of the mourne mountains the weather could not have been better.  Clear air, gentle breezes and star quilted crisp nights.

It is interesting to note that the challenges for them seemed to be quite wide ranging.  For some of them it was not the physical side of things.  The walking and the heavy pack were less of a burden than the team.  Individuals struggled to work with others, to pace themselves against their will and move with the herd.  For others, all thoughts of the team were irrelevant to the pain and suffering of the rucksack and the insanity of climbing endlessly up a mountain.

Seeing the reactions of them is an interesting window into human nature.  So imagine when my surprise when I asked a team of boys what their highlight of the expedition was.  Their reply; seeing a sheep lose its footing and fall 300ft of sheer cliff.  Then they all began to laugh hysterically.  Some things never change.

Pictures from the Mournes (no sheep, thankfully).

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House in the Mournes

Originally uploaded by rossrossrossross

Stumbled upon this little gem on flickr.

This house can be found on the way into the Mourne Mountains on the path from Carrick Little car park. Apparently it has an interesting little bit of history. This is alleged to be the house of the Irish Giant; Patrick Murphy. 8 feet and 1 inch tall!

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Book scans from ‘The Ring or Mourne’ by W Haughton Crowe, Dundalgan Press 1969

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