Every mountain top is within reach, if you just keep climbing.
You may have noticed on from my facebook and instagram, that I took the trip down to Killarney, Kerry with my friend Kelly over the weekend, and it was probably one of the best Irish trips I’ve taken in a long time. Myself and Kelly did the famous Carrauntoohil trek, up Irelands highest mountain peak, and what an experience it was!
I was a little nervous about how strenuous the trek itself was supposed to be, especially since most of it is on rough, rugged terrain, with little to no paths to follow. We set off at about 9:30 am with our lovely guide Eanna, and the trek took us about 7.5 hours in total. We didn’t rush it, as we wanted to really take in the views and take some nice pictures, so this was the perfect pace for us.
The views alone are so stunning during the trek, Kerry really is such a beautiful part of Ireland, and we also had a little furry friend to keep us entertained. You may also notice the cat in some of the photos, WELL! Listen to this.
At the very beginning of our trek, before we even reached the start of the mountain, this little cat scampered out of a nearby bush and ran over to us. He was incredibly friendly and let us pet him, and as we continued on our journey, we noticed that he was following us. We assumed he’d get bored and turn around eventually, but the little guy was our companion the whole time. He climbed the 3,500 ft journey with us all the way to the summit (see above!) with his amazing cat-agility, mind you! He even sat and waited with us whenever we needed a break. Our trekking guide Eanna said he’s done this trek over 100 times now, and never once has he seen a cat come near the mountain, so he was completely flabbergasted! Myself and Kelly joked that he must be a spirit or mage, as old as the mountain itself, there to guide us on our journey. Haha!
Overall, the trek was such a wonderful experience, and although it was challenging at times, the sense of achievement you get when you reach the top (as well as the views) make it all worthwhile. If you have been thinking about doing the Carrauntoohil trek, then I honestly cannot recommend it enough, it was such a special experience. If you decide to do it, then I strongly recommend getting a guide, as the routes are not easy to follow, so going it alone is dangerous. Our guide Eanna from Hidden Ireland tours, was absolutely brilliant, not only was he great fun, but he allowed us to go at our own pace, snap lots of photos, and even offering up interesting bits of history and folkore at certain points along our journey.
If you don’t live very near Kerry, then I also recommend turning the trek into a little trip away. That’s what myself and Kelly did, and it works out much easer travel-wise. To save us from having to make the long journey to Kerry from Dublin the same day as the trek, we decided to leave on Saturday, and stay in Ballyhoura Hostel, a lovely little spot in Limerick on Saturday night to break up the journey, so we only had an hour and a half to drive to Kerry on the Sunday morning. I also recommend doing the trek on the day you check into your hotel, so that you can arrive into the hotel early, change for the trek, leave all your bags there (they will be waiting in your room for you when you return) and indulge in the complimentary hotel breakfast before embarking on your trek that morning. Thats what we decided to do, and it worked out very well!
Myself and Kelly decided to stay in the Europe Hotel on the Sunday after our trek, to try out their “1 night experience” package, and it did not disappoint. The Europe has to be one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever stayed in (here or abroad) due in no small part to the stunning views of the Killarney lakes and the Kerry mountains, which are right on it’s doorstep. It’s decor is modern and beautiful, but with a cosy, welcoming vibe. After our trek we checked into our rooms to washed up before heading for dinner in the brasserie, which was delicious. I was in seafood heaven!
Shop some of my outfits here:
After what felt like the deepest, longest sleep I’ve had in ages, the next morning we headed down for breakfast in the main dining area, and popped outside to go on a mini horse-ride around the hotel grounds. Which, although short, was such fun. My horse was a sassy little thing called Sally who liked to smile in photos. Just look at those teeth!
Next, we headed down into the luxurious ESPA downstairs to get a massage, which was the perfect remedy for our tired limbs. After our treatments, we lounged around in the relaxation rooms, and the outdoor heated pool, chatting about what a great trip it had been. The views from the outdoor pool are so beautiful, it was so nice to just sit there for a while, and take it all in. Afterwards, we packed up our bags and (reluctantly) started on our journey back to Dublin.
I hope you guys enjoyed this particular travel post, I’m excited to say that this is the beginning of a series of more activity-related travel posts centred around all the amazing adventures Ireland has to offer. You may remember in my latest adventure post about Glendalough, I announced that I was going to trek Macchu Picchu with Kelly in September for the Irish Cancer Society, well unfortunately I have had to postpone my involvement due to some work commitments in September. I’m sad that I wont be able to go on this adventure with her, but I am exited about what September has in store, and I’ll be able to tell you guys a bit more about my plans soon.
Hoping you all have a great weekend!