With the kids all back to school after the lovely festive break and a promising weather forecast last Wednesday, I set off for a solo day hike in the Mournes along with our 9-month old Husky pup, Kai. He’s a natural born adventurer at heart so he’s a great walking companion, as long as you don’t mind being dragged through every boggy section at 100-miles per hour!
For me, there’s no better way to shake off the excesses of the Christmas season than with a wander in the hills – overeating, undersleeping and lack of routine are a recipe for angst and overwhelm in my household so the opportunity for some time to walk, think and be free were absolutely necessary to help me ‘reset’. It’s undeniably my favourite form of self-care and it never fails to put my thoughts in order and the physical aspect of wandering in the mountains is also a great workout after serious trifle overload!
I took to a favourite route of mine from Leitrim Lodge car park to Pierce’s Castle – the reason I love it so much is that it’s usually very quiet and despite it being a fairly short walk it does deliver some spectacular views across the Mourne Mountain range. There’s usually little wild ponies running around too and they enjoy coming over to greet walkers and investigate whether or not there are any tasty treats to be had!
I had certainly picked the best day of the week for a trek; the sun shone for most of my time there. I walked from around 10am until 1.30am, meaning I had a really great few hours wandering and was still back home on time to meet my youngest son from school. That’s a winning Wednesday in my book…I choose to ignore the fact that I left an overflowing laundry basket (standard!), sink full of dishes, unmade beds and floors covered in husky fluff in order to go…and don’t even mention paperwork! I guess sometimes it’s all about choosing the thing that brings most joy and life really isn’t it?!
Do whatever brings you life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions and compulsions.
-Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
I’m not really a big ‘new year’s resolution’ maker, but, in saying that, I do love the opportunity that the blank canvas of a new year, and this time, a whole new decade brings. It ignites the optimist in me in such a big way! So much possibility and hope for things to be different, and better. The chance for the people of the world to pull together and make this planet a safe and sustainable place for us all to inhabit and share. The possibility that each of us can live in a way that brings us joy and connection, the knock-on effects of which are surely compassion and action in many small and large ways?
These are the things that run through my mind as I wander along in that wild landscape of the Mourne Mountains. The air is clean and clear and I am constantly awestruck by the beauty of the rugged terrain and far-stretching views. There’s magic in those mountains I’m 100% sure, it’s such a special place that never fails to nourish and revitalize me in body, soul and mind.
If you would like a taste of wandering in the Mournes with me, I warmly invite you to join me for Wild Women Wanders – a low-key, monthly walk in the mountains in a small group. To find out more, please visit my social media pages: Instagram: every_treasure_blog or Facebook: Every Treasure. You can also book directly via Eventbrite links below:
*BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE: Wild Women Wanders – 18th January
*BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE: Wild Women Wanders – 8th February