Transition Year Gaisce Hike to Glendalough

Our trip to Glendalough started off the same as any other, everyone having to meet at the hall and then the roll call, waiting for the person who’s late and then a pep talk from Mr Hayden saying how it would be fun and how we are all “a grand bunch of lads”. Mr Furlong, our renowned hiker then came in and decided it would be better to give us a cold splash of reality and remind us that we’d have to walk 25 kilometres or so in less than two days. He then followed this by telling us that we’d be walking the bulk of the hike in the first day.

After these rousing talks we all got onto the bus, all slightly nervous now. Mr Furlong drove ahead in his car and met us at the hostel, while Mr Hayden rode on the bus with us. Before that day none of our year had actually had Mr Hayden for a proper class, so he knew barely any of us. He started off the journey with a quick survey on how many of us owned an Apple product, all of us! He then after talking to me decided to find out how many texts people on the bus sent a month, it turns out that in 4 weeks I send more texts than one guy on the bus had in 6 six years of having his phone!
We arrived in style at the hostel at around 11:30 or so and got our rooms, after some confusion we were sorted and out hiking by 12, Mr Furlong was true to his word and got the hardest part of the hike finished first, after a steep climb up the side of a hill, we then had to drag ourselves up what seemed like several thousand steps built into a forest.

We skirted the top of one of the hills and after a few snack breaks and a couple of group photos we were on our way down. We had lunch at about 2:30 beside a stream that ran down the valley we were now in. On our way back we walked through an old mine area and had a brief geography lesson from Mr Furlong and Mr Hayden on the make up of the rocks there.

We were back at the hostel at about 5:30 and all just crashed out for a while before dinner. Then when we had dinner at 7 we were surprised to find it was actually really good, that said, I was the only one who got seconds, along with Mr Hayden’s dessert.

On the second day we were woken at around 7 to have our bags packed for 7:30 and breakfast at 8, breakfast at 8 turned into breakfast at 8:40, at this stage we were starving and thankfully got a full Irish and a packed lunch for the day.

Mr Furlong once again challenged us and got us to climb up what seemed like a steeper hill, just without the steps after it. After the day before we were struggling! But we made it and hit bog land. This was grand as it was mostly flat.

We had great craic on the way down, especially Sean, who’s shoe got stuck in the bog after he jumped off a bit of land and had to prop himself on some of us as he tried to put his now soggy shoe back on!

We walked back by the mine again but ended up on the other side of it which gave us a better view and as it turns out was easier to walk on anyway.
In total we walked 28 kilometres, but unlike what Mr Furlong told us we actually walked further on the second day. Just to show off his expert hiking abilities Mr Furlong then went on another hike to make us look bad.

But all in all it was grand craic and a bit of a laugh and thanks to Mr Furlong and Mr Hayden for going with us.

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