Camping at Mourne Mountains (august 2014)
Today we hiked up Mourne mountains, stepping step-by-step on rocks that littered the entire mountain’s skin as well as grape-sized sheep poo. The boys named a stray sheep we spotted in the forest yesterday Hobo, and today, they shouted out that name at every sheep we saw in hope for a response, and indeed, received one most of the time.
It was windy, but thankfully not wet as all I had was a cotton hoodie that wrapped two layers of clothes inside. We came across rivers and creeks, and even tried drinking some from our cupped hands. Again, like the trip to Cavehill, it took us less time than expected to arrive at the top.
The hike was not easy, but as I looked down from the top, I could see our tent as a tiny speck in the distance and awed at how far we had gone. The mountains had appeared to be massive from below and I’d imagined the climb to be much longer than what it took us. Nevertheless, it was really windy up there and we took shelter behind a stone-piled wall. I wondered how the wall had managed to stand for so long seeing that there was no concrete whatsoever in-between the stones to hold them in place, and yet, the wall even appeared to run along the slopes and dips of the mountains.
The boys wanted to go higher, and as much as I wanted to see more, I was a bit too tired and cold by then to go any further so I sat on some stone steps and waited for them. When they returned, we started making our way down and it was then that a wave of rain and wind hit. We hurried to the stone wall and huddled behind it, snacked on some of the food we brought while waiting for the rain to clear then made our way down.
The thing with hiking is descending takes longer than ascending. After many windy turns and careful steps, we were back to where we had begun. We went to the cafe at the reception to have some warm drinks and I took a shower after that and felt much fresher than I had been in a long time.