- By St. Patricks Classical School
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An account by Eoin McCann (TY2) of the trip to Aran and Westport.
An early start on a Monday morning had us leave the school at 6.30 in the morning on a bus heading west. We had a ferry to catch at Ros A’ Mhil, the far side of Galway City, at 10.30.
A bumpy boat trip had us on Inis Mór, the biggest of the 3 Aran Islands, about half an hour later where we had bikes waiting for us. All 50 odd of us took off around the island on a lengthy cycle that took us up and down many, many hills. Just when our thighs were about to quit we stopped for 15 minutes to throw some rocks at other rocks by the sea. Following that we continued to Dún Aonghasa, an ancient ring fort sitting atop cliffs on the island.
We then set off back to the town where we stopped for food before getting back on the boat in the evening. Back on the mainland, we went back to Galway City to the Pure Skill activity centre. Here there were many cages with different sport related challenges, golf chipping, rugby conversions, basketball hoops and hurling targets for example. We kept scores in each of the sports and the highest 3 people had their meal paid for in Supermacs.
Finished in Supermacs and exhausts we arrived in Westport near to midnight for a stay in the Clew Bay Hotel. An inclusive breakfast in the morning had us fueled as we headed to the nearby Croagh Patrick. A decent day for it, not that cold but a little bit of rain, most of us got to the church on the summit in about an hour and a half. By the time we had gotten up, the weather deteriorated. It was extremely windy and wet at the top so there wasn’t a view to be had at the top. Getting down was a bit trickier near the top which consisted of slippery loose rocks. Once we got past that it was easy sailing down to the bottom despite the rain that had gotten worse.
Down at the bottom some of us changed into warm clothes and headed into the nearby pub where dinner was being served. A choice of chicken curry or chicken and chips. All that was left to do was survive the 3 hour trip back to the school where we arrived in the evening at around 6 o’clock. A lot of exercise in the 2 days between the strenuous cycle, the activity centre, climbing Croagh Patrick and an early start on both days, but it was a trip that everyone enjoyed.