Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Bone With James

On Thursday morning I went with James to visit The Reeks in Kerry. James has been having a rough old time of it lately with injuries and he hasn't been able to have a run or a good day on the hills since Christmas because of an Achilles injury. Our schedules have been out of sync as well and even though I had only arrived back from Wales the previous day and had been working overnight this was our only chance to get oot n aboot so I wasn't going to pass it up. We arrived good and early and we were on the move into the Hags Glen by 08.30. The weather was a bit iffy and the cloud was down and it was windy and rainy. Despite this we were in great spirits and from the off the banter and chat flowed.
James looks after himself very well and takes his diet and exercise seriously and last Autumn he has trained intensively with Midleton AC to reduce his time for five miles to 30 minutes. He almost achieved it too but the hard training five nights a week had unfortunately led to his Achilles giving trouble. An original misdiagnosis delayed his recovery but now finally he was getting back to his old self and we had been able to have a hill day. We intend to get out running soon as well but I hope he will have the patience to wait for me as I would need motorized help to get within an asses roar of six minute miles. Anyway we were fully suited up for the weather so we didn't mind the conditions. We wanted to give ourselves a decent workout without overextending James' recovery so we opted for The Bone which gives a long ridge to the top of Maolan Bui on the east Reeks. This allowed us further options to extend or not our day. James was quite strong despite his recent inactivity and we made good progress. We were delighted when we got higher to be greeted by some breaks in the mist which allowed sunlight through which turned to landscape into a glittering wonderland.
James ready for the off.

Pastoral Landscape

Enjoying a respite in the weather.

James fancied that he could see a rock formation that resembled my head here,,,,hhmmph

 Cliffs and ridges looked amazing and it was great to enjoy the beauty of my own mountains so soon after the delights of Snowdonia. James was evidently enjoying himself as well and it was great to see his almost re-discovery of the beauty of the mountains. By the time we reached the top his Achilles was letting it be known that it required further time to fully heal so we went as far as the summit of Cnoc na Toinne and descended the Zig Zags back into the Hags Glen. The weather was getting better and better and soon we were enjoying sunshine and great views. It is however distressing to see how quickly this way off the mountains has become so eroded. A trail that was barely visible just a few short years ago in now several feet wide in places and deepening by the month. When will the right thing be done and some proper tracks be constructed?. Anyway we reached the valley floor and enjoyed our walk out. James' heel stayed the pace and we are both looking forward to further outings soon.
The weather getting better and better

Down to Lough Gouragh

Terrible erosion in a short time

The East Reeks

The Bone