jackill was nimble, jackill was quick...
...jackill got me over Faha without my hiking stick...
Not being one who had done much scrambling I was delighted to be guided safely across Faha Ridge by such stalwarts as dbloke, jackill and Cra. I have now learned what ‘interesting’ means, as in ‘here’s another interesting section.’ After we climbed down one such ‘interesting’ section I learned that a previous climber had sadly fallen to his death at that spot many years ago. But we moved along without incident and my companions inspired confidence and imparted valuable knowledge and experience. The rocks of the ridge were like bones thrusting out in places, and like true scavengers we picked our way up, over and around these bones. The meal we sought was safe passage above sheer drops and boiling crags. We found our meal and arrived on the Brandon ridge well fed and hungry for more.
It was an interesting bunch who wended their way across this landscape – Irish, Scottish and English were present, with French and Viking blood mixed in for good measure. This resulted in some curious conversation, including what Noah said to St Patrick, what Derry Bogsiders think of Southerners and why blue tracksuits with red piping are the best thing ever. Other hikers were greeted with sounds of dogs barking, cats miaowing and crows crowing (I think). It was suggested that instead of ‘hello, hi, hello, hello, hi, how are ye, hi’ whenever we passed another group, that perhaps we should simply intone repeatedly ‘mountainviews.ie, mountainviews.ie, mountainviews.ie’. We then thought that a simple ‘MountainViews’ embroidered patch visible on our persons would announce us just as well. The mystery of the lonely waymarker on Masatiompan was chewed over by some, and a certain Scavvy’s constant chewing was a mystery to others.
The last hill, Faill an tSais, finally fell to the Scavvy’s before the long march back to the cars. Any tentative suggestion of hitching or taxis would have been shot down so probably weren’t made. The regular rhythm of repeated footfalls on tarmac gave rise to reflection and introspection, as I considered the achievements of the day. Although the Faha Ridge might only be a stroll to some, I felt I had really overcome trepidation and gained invaluable experience. So my thanks to my companions for their help and patience and wonderful advice. It really was a great way to make a long walk short.