[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible” margin_top=”5px” margin_bottom=”5px” background_color=”rgba(255,255,255,0)”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”none” sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]Mum is slowly getting over the trauma that is the congratulating tune that happens at the end of any Ryanair flight and the tension builds with three sets of staring eyeballs focusing on only two things; me and the view from the taxi windows.[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]Rewinding slightly, we’re off back to Kerry, Ireland and we’re taking my folks with us. Why? Well, because since falling in love with Killarney in March 2014 and wild camping in the summer of that year, and wanting to get my fifty something old folks involved in something ace, we merged all three together and voila!

We were given two preferences by the oldies (sorry) 1. We should stay on a camp site and 2. We must be in close proximity to a pub. I preferred the latter and got to work on the first.[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]I turned to our trusty companion Air b&b and found it, the place – Carrauntoohil Eco Farm.

The ad promoted picturesque farm land which had a running stream, nature and fairy trails, a camp fire set up, a shed load of animals (figuratively) and the freedom to set up your camp, chosing between sleeping wild or getting cosy in your tent. This place would allow us all to be completely free and take what we wanted from our ideals of sleeping arrangements and gave my folks the safety they needed. This spot is located in Carrauntoohil, which is relatively close to Killarney’s National Park.

This was the last time of course, that I was to be trusted with a map.[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]So here we are, on our first family micro adventure and after appointing miss no sense of direction here to find a camping location, tensions rose quickly as we got further away from Killarney’s town centre and we drove deeper into the mountains of Carrauntoohil. There were all different types on silence during this 30 minute car journey, the best was the last as we all finally shut off and enjoyed Ireland’s beauty.

We arrived at the Eco Farm and were greeted by John, two alpacas, two dogs and a pet lamb and I reckon a couple of chickens were there an all, wondering what the hell was going on. John was surprised to learn that we’d arrived without a car, but not as surprised as us. We learnt about the surroundings and history of the farm around the camp fire and this is always the best way to learn, by the folk who know the land you’re in.

Thank God we raided Spar in the town centre before jumping into the car and were now armed with sausages and plenty of beer. We wondered the local land and finally laughed at the journey and turned our negative into a positive – being this out in the open with no sign of life for a good mornings walk (honestly) forced us to shut off and just enjoy being out. Now for those sausages.[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”center” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]Well, what were the chances of us sleeping on Carrauntoohil’s floor, having her stare down at us with her beauty and 16ft steel cross?

Chances were, Vaughan was gonna make me climb her.
Frick sake.[/fusion_text][fusion_text]After that morning’s 6 mile walk to the nearest store (you won’t find beer there either), I was hoping for a steady day of exploring the floor of Carrauntoohil. Ohhhhhhhhh no. Today was the day that Vaughan had every intention of getting to her 3,406ft peak.

It didn’t matter how slowly I fed the alpacas or how mum steadily took her time making up enough ham sandwiches to feed a family of twenty, we were off. We were bloody off.

It took us ten minutes to reach Ireland’s interpretation of Base Camp from our camp. We were being guided through Base Camp by the smell of bacon and sausages which were being slow cooked on fires lit by campers in their tents and were greeted by friendly donkeys at t’other end.[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”center” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]We had a very steady walk across the mountains flat(ish) floor, making sure to take in all we could get and exploring its streams and collecting fossils. We’re not here for the race, but to experience.

Looking up at the Devil’s Ladder from its rocky bottom was automatically a clear not a bloody chance option of getting us up to the top. We opted for the zig zag pathway up the the Cnoc Na Toinne mountain and pondered our next move over those ham sandwiches. A cracking spot for a sandwich FYI.[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”center” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]There have been so many times that Vaughan has pushed me and my stubborn attitude wouldn’t back down and it was time that I let go of this and faced up to not regretting pushing my limits. My parents have headed down to the lakes. V is leading me up this narrow, rocky, unstable path which would eventually take us to the top of this mountain and give us a view over the Hag’s Glen. I’m pushing myself, my mind and my body. I’m swearing, sweating, I stink, I want to give up, I’m not a climber, I bloody hate hiking, we’re continuously stopping, am complaining, almost crying. But am bloody doing it. Never once did I stop saying hello to each passing explorer so retrospectively it obviously wasn’t that bad and if you passed me on this hill and gave me encouragement, thanks.

It probably took me over an hour to get to the top, but I got there and bugger me, the relief, the view. Wow.

My calves are on fire, my freckles are beaming, I’m knackered but I know we’re not even close to completing this mission and I could have quite easily stayed in this spot I’m currently in, probably for the rest of my life if it meant I didn’t have to get back down.[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”center” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]I couldn’t stop, or I wouldn’t carry on. So we got up and got moving and I apologised to V for all the shit I’d just put him through.

We walked across the tops of the Devil’s Ladder and couldn’t see the floor from its top. We thanked our lucky stars we didn’t have to tackle this thing (ha) and moved along to the real problem. Carrauntoohil.

At this point we were greeted by the group who were cooking food back at Base Camp and wondered how the hell they were all here with their naked tops, music, beer, bastards.

Climbing Carrauntoohil, for me, the whole hike/crawl was like this – ///-///-/-/-/^ – She was pretty tough and quite difficult on the feet with her rocky floor and she never seemed to show her peak which was incredibly frustrating. There was no time to look around for me, I wasn’t stopping with this one until I got to the top.

WE ONLY GONE AND BLOODY DONE IT![/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]An Irish hiking group patted me on the back and complimented my red plaited hair, asked if I was Scottish and we sat down on the rocky floor and took in the view. The day was beautifully clear which made this part all the more ace.

We’d spent four to five hours exploring the mountain floor and getting to the top so we knew time was limited on getting down before it began to get dark and the quickest way was of course, the Devil’s Ladder. We said farewell to fellow explorers who were heading to complete the horseshoe course and get in two more mountains before the day was out and went on our way.

So to put the Devil’s Ladder into context, it took some balls. It was the scariest thing I’ve done. Heights I’m alright with, but a rocky base beneath your toes at 2,000ft, drops, no ropes –  this bit was tough.

Now that my torso is attached to a pair of jelly legs and we raced against the clock to get back through the land and to Base Camp.[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”center” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]One piece of advice if you’re not a hiker/climber like me – Don’t rush. Ignore the race everyone seems to be on and take your time. Focus.

And the best part of having your mum with you on a trip like this is there is guaranteed to be food cooking on your return. We even made it to the pub, now that was a bloody good beer.

What were our sleeping arrangements? Folks had a tent and their own equipment and V and I had our usual sleeping and bivvi bags and were protected by the tarp. Weather held up beautifully except for rain on the night of the climb. If you befriend the farm cat Tyson, he’ll sleep on top of you.[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_3″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]The following day we got a lift into Killarney and from there walked to its national park (see all major sites visited from our last trip here, we all know what can happen when I rabble on). It rained pretty much all day but once we got into the trees of Torc mountain none of us cared. The park is an absolute wonder to explore and is so vast with its mountains and lakes that you could probably risk a micro adventure in here.

My folks were in their element here. They get out and do a lot of walking so this place was a real treat and nothing too great. Jesus Christ I think I’d have been half way home by the time Vaughan set me up for another biggie. Torc waterfall is as always, absolutely stunning and the walk up to it is ace if you can get into the shallow waters. Follow those stairs which seem to never stop from the waterfall and thank us later.[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”center” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]There is no place better to dry off than a good old Irish pub. And we had a favourite; the’98 Bar, narrow but spacious pub which is filled with locals who recognise you, great bar staff who also recognise you this isn’t good is it? Beautifully played live music, obviously a shed load of beer and an all round awesome atmosphere.

Back to the camp fire where wifi allowed us a dose of music, bobble hats on and we cracked on making cheese on toast on an open fire. The mountains stared down at us, the skies filled with stars and the fire was crackling away. This is the life.

[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]Our trip to Ireland was short but very sweet. We filled our time wisely and having no transport was taken with caution. This restricted us to staying fairly local to the camp but forced us 1. to head out on foot which is always the best way and 2. to actually discover the area you’re in.

John and Vikki could not have been more helpful and I can’t rave about this farm enough, they’ve got a pet lamb for gods sake, you have to go see her![/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”5″ bottom_margin=”5″ sep_color=”” icon=”” width=”” class=”” id=””/][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”no” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” class=”” id=””][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style_type=”none” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” borderradius=”0″ stylecolor=”” align=”none” link=”” linktarget=”_self” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””] [/fusion_imageframe][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” 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