Going the Pilgrim's Way or No Way

Yesterday we had to determine whether or not to hike over Mount Brandon. The good news is it seemed like the rain would hold off but the wind was expected to be terrible. We learned from our hosts that there was a different route we could take that cuts through the mountain at a lower elevation. It's part of the path called The Pilgrim's Route which dates back to medieval times. It's also called the Southern route since you climb the southern or backside of the mountain.

 View of Mount Brandon

View of Mount Brandon

We opted for the Southern route. Our host dropped us at the base of the mountain along with two other hikers. The rain did hold off but the forecast was right about the wind. This route is relatively short but does require a pretty steep climb.

The wind would make a high pitched howl like Mother Nature was talking to us directly. The gusts (40-50 mph) were so strong at times it literally would push us into a slow jog forward or 3 steps to the right.

We completed the steep climb and on the other side there were two farms to walk through that were nestled up against 3 small lakes. The wind was so strong that it would pick up over the lake and create waves and a white mist that would start small and climb several several feet into the air.

 Waterfall in the farm we crossed  

Waterfall in the farm we crossed  

At this point we were no longer sheltered by the mountain so the gusts of wind felt even stronger. So strong we were thrown so far we had no choice but to kneel down in the "thinker" position and wait it out. There were moments Amy and I just looked at each other and laughed nervously because we couldn't believe we were experiencing this.

We came out to a tarmac road and walked the rest of the way into Cloghane to our B&B for the night O'Connor's Pub. We got there relatively early in the afternoon and then it became social hour all afternoon and evening.

The owner of the pub made himself present off and on during the night. He is part businessman, bartender and story teller. The pub it turns out has been here since 1860 in the same family.

He asked us where we were from and we told him Los Angeles. A couple of hikers came in the front door in the middle of the conversation and overheard us saying we worked downtown and the female hiker said she worked downtown also. I looked up and my face super recognizing skills went into action and I knew she worked for my company The Capital Group. She confirmed this. Mind blown! Her name is Ingrid and she is doing with walk with her uncle Henrick. It gives new meaning to "what a small world". We spent the rest of the evening sharing stories of travels and even played cards while sipping my favorite beer "Tom Crean's" lager.

 Ingrid and Kim - Colleagues at The Capital Group

Ingrid and Kim - Colleagues at The Capital Group

Stats:

  1. Miles: 7.5
  2. Steps: 17,445
  3. Floors climbed: 122
  4. Hikers seen: 2
  5. Sheep: handful