David Trant (1st Year)
On Saturday 11th of May, Everybody got up early in the morning to get ready for our training days in Kerry. Some students went home Friday evening and headed to Carrauntoohil with their parents and if not there was a bus from Glenstal to go there. I went home Friday evening but the other boys told me they were also woken about 3:30 am. That same Saturday the Darkness into Light walk was on so all the other students went to Murroe to take part in this. All the students were woken at the same time.
Everybody involved in Machu travelled down towards south Kerry and we met in Cronin's yard at 7:30am and parked up our cars in the field we were going to camp that night.
We headed into the cafe and we had breakfast. It was a full Irish breakfast. After breakfast we gathered our bags and started or walk. It took us about 40 minutes to get to the base of the mountain. There were many ways to climb the mountain but we took a way that veered off to the right this paths name called the Heavenly Gates. On our walk we passed lots of lakes. The walk was not that steep for the first one and a half hours. We had to climb some parts and they were steep but we took regular break along the way to make sure everybody was ok. We took the breaks around every twenty minutes/half and hour.
When we got to the bottom of the Heavenly Gates it was very steep. This is the steepest bit of the climb that we came across. We climbed it and took a break at the top. It had magnificent views at the top of this section but we were nowhere near the top. Why it is called the “Heavenly Gates” is because when the sun is shining it has stunning views. We continued climbing till we could see the cross near the top again. I did not find the climb difficult. We reached the top and had a break there. We took a group photo with the cross on top. We went down a route called the the Zigzag path. When we were down the zigzags it was flat walking all the way back to the campsite.
When we got back to the camp sites and we had about 30 minutes until dinner. We set up the tents in that time. After we had the tents set up we went in to have dinner. Dinner was chicken curry. It was lovely to get hot food after a long day of hiking. After dinner we had a talk about Machu Picchu and there were slides and telling us about the trip in detail. After our camping rules and information talk we headed out to the tents. We got into our sleeping bags and went to sleep. Our sleeping bags were warm but it was cold when we got up in the morning.
We went into breakfast and it was the same as yesterday. After breakfast we got an equipment talk and we were showed some gear. We made a code of conduct and trip ethics. Some of the things were rated with cards. Two yellows is a red and if you get a red you get sent back to Ireland and will not be allowed participate in the trip. We talked in a circle about positives and what might people be nervous or worried about. There were lots worries but there was more positive things that were said so this was great. I will not say any of the negatives but there were positives like the experience, spending time with parents, going to a new country, some people first time out of Europe and many more things.
When this ended we drove to Killarney where we did a walk which would be like the steps in Machu Picchu. We got a photo at Torc waterfall and we took regular breaks along the way. We got a picture at the top and it was an enjoyable walk. Some people found it hard as they were tired after Carrauntoohil but it was easy to be honest. There were spectacular views over Killarney and we got nice weather for the walk. It took us about two hours to complete this walk.
We all went back to the car park and drove to Aldi car park where we got the bus back to Glenstal. It was very enjoyable and we all cannot wait to go to Machu Picchu.
Thank you to everybody it was very good experience and also to Felix Ross, Earth's edge for making this trip possible. This is what our weekend in Kerry was entailed.