Is this Ireland or Antartica?

Trip Start Jan 01, 2013
1
7
17
Trip End Jun 01, 2013


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What I did
Mangerton Mountain

Flag of Ireland  ,
Sunday, January 27, 2013

 At UCC clubs and societies are very important, which is why I wanted to get involved on campus and the first club that I chose to do was the Mountaineering Club with my friend Sarah. When we decided to go on the hikes we had no idea how legit this club actually was, but we somehow survived the day. I woke up at 7am to pack my lunch and to make sure I had my change of clothes and everything I needed to stay warm. We arrived early to the bus stop and got on the bus at around 8:30 and got to our destination of the Mangerton Mountains in County Kerry at 11:00. Seeing the mountains was a bit overwhelming, especially since I had never really hiked prior to this experience. Once we got there we immediately got off the bus and split into two groups, a hard and an easy group, of course Sarah and I chose the easy group. 
We started going up the mostly mud and rock "trail," if you could really call it a trail and were moving at a pretty fast pace. The views were unbelievable and kept getting better when we went up further. At a certain point the wind started to kick in, but we we're still going up. We got to a certain point  known as the Devil's Punchbowl which was beautiful. Almost directly after going up after this it started to snow, then hail, and the wind was so strong I was getting pushed by it. I will admit I struggled at this part, it was hard to see, let alone move, and while your doing this hail is hitting you in the face. Even though at this point I was pretty miserable and I thought I was going to die on the side of the mountain, once we got to the summit the hike was completely worth it. The pictures I took do not give the view justice and the happiness I felt for just finishing my first real hike was pretty amazing. A little while after this we stopped and ate lunch and then started our decent down the mountain. 
The decent for me, was harder than going up just because of how much pressure went on my knees and they started to hurt a bit. After finally getting back to the bus, we put on our change of clothes and warmed up a bit. We stopped to eat at a Bed and Breakfast where I had a delicious Caesar Salad, then drove back to Cork, got back to my dorm to took a hot shower. It was a very long day, but I could not be happier that Sarah and I decided to do the Mountaineering Club, the things we will be able to see and the experiences we will make would probably be impossible without this club and I am excited for the hikes to come!
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