This conical/pyramid shaped Holy mountain stands out distinctly for miles around within the surrounding landscapes. At half the height of Ben Nevis, it can be climbed easily in half a day.
Though the hardiest pilgrims go bare foot everybody wore footwear of all types, from boots to flip flops, on the June day we climbed Croagh Patrick. The vast number of people trekking up and down this mountain have, over the years, managed to erode much of the soil from the path. It is a very popular walk and you will be sure to meet many other people on your way.
After leaving the car park, we passed St Patrick (in stone white with a piece of shamrock in his hand) at the beginning of the path.
We then climbed steadily to the half way point, where the path plateaued slightly for a short distance. The last half of the walk then got very steep, over unstable rocks. On this last stretch, people passing us on their way down encouragingly gave estimates (of varying accuracy) as to how much further we had to go to reach the top.
At the top we found a chapel, an offertory box and St Patrick’s rather uncomfortable looking bed, where he put his head down each night during his forty day fast.
It was in the descent that we, and many others, fell over a few times as we lost our footing on the unstable rocks. We all rather wished we had not left our walking boots at home. By the time we passed St Patrick again we had acquired a good array of scraped knees and elbows. People who go bare foot are really to be admired.
Croagh Patrick is one of the highlights of Macs Adventure’s Ultimate Ireland Drive & Hike Holiday. Visit http://macsadventure.com/holiday-1775/ultimate-ireland-discovery