- By St. Patricks Classical School
- In Opinion & Features, St Pats Tribune, Transition Year
- Tags Connemara, Spiddal, Transition Year
On the week starting Monday, the 10th of October, both TY classes went on an excursion to the west of Ireland for two days packed with activities and adventures. The trip was a part of the Gaisce award that all TYs are taking part off, for which an ‘Adventure Journey’ must take place. It began at 6:30 am on a bitterly cold Monday morning, as we headed off on a bus towards Galway. It wasn’t until we reached Spiddal in the far west of Galway that we got our first stop, which was unfortunately short lived. We continued on until we reached the dock at which there was boat that would bring us to the Aran Islands. The hour-long journey was surprisingly easy both way with no incidents of nausea or anything else unpleasant.
Once we arrived on Inis Mór we had time to look around and go to the local shop before we went to the bike rental shop and to rent a bike. From there we began our cycling tour around the island, stopping off at the local secondary school to visit the TY class, and then continuing to Dún Aengus, an ancient Celtic fort. Along the way there were a few falls and accidents but, after a long and gruelling journey, we made it. Being at Dún Aengus was an incredible experience. There were enormous cliff faces at least 100m high which we were able to crawl up to the edge of and look over. It was fascinating learning about the history of the fort and it was truly breath taking to look over the ocean across the cliffs. From Dún Aengus we began to cycle back towards the town where we gave back our bikes and headed back for the mainland.
When we got back to the bus in Spiddal, we headed off to Galway city for a while, and then continued on to Westport. Checking in at around 11:30 pm. Needless to say, it was a long and eventful night. The next morning, we headed off to Croagh Patrick, which was only a 15-minute drive. That climb was, without a shadow of a doubt, the grizzliest and exhausting hike of my life. After only 20 minutes I was already starting to feel sore, but I persevered and just kept going. After about 70 minutes, with a couple of
breaks now and then, we finally made it to the summit. At the top, it was freezing cold and we had to hide behind the church so the gale force winds wouldn’t lift us off of our feet. After that, we began the equally long descent. From there we got a bite to eat and headed home. After a long bus journey we
finally made it back to the school at around 7:00 pm. I have to say, I will absolutely never forget all the craic we had and the experiences we shared together on that trip.