Mourne Wall from Slieve Donard

February 11, 2010

Mourne Wall from Slieve Donard, originally uploaded by féileacán.

Today randomly during work, I had an incredibly vivid memory of hiking with a bunch of junior high kids on a very foggy morning in Ireland. I was working at day camp for the summer near a town called Newcastle, about half an hour away from Belfast, Northern Ireland. While most of the time I was working with the primary school kids, I would occasionally get loaned out to the Junior High camp, especially for their long day hikes. This summer marked my first experience with the full immerse quality of spending all one’s time outside.  Sometimes it was archery, obstacle courses or leading kindergartners to arts and crafts and other times it was taking kids in rainsuits up creeks or playing elaborate full scale games of monsters with them (this generally involved hilarious amounts of mud).

The particular moment I remember is walking along a hill, similar to the one in the photo, the fog is so dense I can barely see the kids in front of me, but on either side of the path are deep wet green grass, boulders and occasional foxgloves. If I remember we went over 10 miles that day and the kids were troopers, if not a little bit whiny. That summer still ranks as one of the best times of my life.


  1. Wow, wonderful image, wonderful story. Our visit to you while you were working at that camp was incredible. It where some of my most powerful memories of interacting with the Irish landscape come from. That walk we took up through those hills beneath Slieve Donard was incredible. Sometimes I close my eyes and imagine myself back along that path beside the stream running down between the hills. Powerful memories, those.

  2. I had a great walk up Slieve Donard too. Though the weather didn’t let me get a photo near as good as the one above. Thanks! http://richardtulloch.wordpress.com/2010/04/01/county-down-northern-ireland-mourne-no-more/

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