Stradbally and the Wild Atlantic Spray

Posted: December 17, 2014 · By: Dave Elton · Comments: 0
Under: Beach walks, Walks

Sometimes you ask yourself: Why do I do this?

Christmas is closing in fast, it’s threatening rain, the weather forecast is for strong winds. Not to mention the fact your rushing in from “work” gulping down your dinner and getting your gear ready.
Stradbally Mountain - - 484619
Suppose it’s nothing I haven’t already done before and I did miss last weeks walk, so full steam ahead.

Fast forward to 7 pm and Stradbally, West Kerry. It’s dark and rain is threatening. Off we trot, down a narrow road towards the sea. As we reach the beach the full force of a 50 mph wind hits us from the West. Not a cold wind, but a strong wind. The early chat has quietened. Now it’s about conserving energy.

The group of around 20 all stayed close together. That was until we were faced by 3 river inlets to negotiate. We got over them all safely, but I challenge anyone who claims they did this without getting their feet wet!

By now a tight group had become a string of walkers. The conditions were testing everyone. Personally I found the this part of the walk a bit surreal. Suddenly the group was strung out and I was walking alone. Just the faint reflection of a couple of the group in front and a smattering of lights behind. The wind was blowing hard into my face and making walking difficult. Add to that a sea dampness and an incessant blasting of sand. The night was very dark and any sound of the sea was drowned out by the howling wind.

The only thing for it is to keep on plodding, one foot in front of the other. At times the experience was like something biblical or even a portrayal of “The End of the World”…. All light extinguished and an alien waste land. Eventually a few of us re-grouped and enjoyed a hot drink and some food.

The walk back was quite the opposite. Being almost lifted back up the beach towards Stradbally. This time the only obstacles being the “Many Rivers to Cross” (all 3 of them).

Three hours later we where back at our start point, much wetter, fresher and sand blasted than before.

In conclusion you have to say that staying at home would be a far easier option than doing this evenings walk. But as humans it has to be about testing ourselves and new experiences, both physical and mental. Tonight’s walk  certainly ticked those boxes.

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