Well, what a spectacular weekend that was! The weather was ideal for some winter exploring and did you see those sunset skies on Sunday evening – just wow?! The colours were astonishing and I only saw them from my living-room window. I can only imagine how they looked from a hilltop or coastline – a masterpiece of nature.
On Saturday, the weather was equally kind for the first of my Wild Women Wanders in the Mourne Mountains. Six of us gathered for a leisurely hike and could not have asked for a better day. It was certainly cold and crisp but the sun shone and the rain stayed away making it very easy to walk and talk and enjoy the beautiful and far-stretching vistas of the Kingdom of Mourne.
The short uphill section along a gravel trail at the beginning soon had the blood pumping and before long we were shedding our layers! There was lots of ice on the ground due to the overnight freeze which added a whole new level of beauty to the landscape.
Unusually, it wasn’t windy when we reached Pierce’s Castle and we were able to stop here for lunch, some relaxed conversation and to really enjoy the views. Then, once we had refuelled we continued onwards, this time across the grasslands and boggier terrain. This involved paying a little more attention to where we were treading so as not to end up knee-deep in mud – thankfully, the ground was still quite frozen and no-one lost a boot! We stopped lots of times along the way to admire our surroundings and to enjoy a few home-made snacks to keep energy levels up.
Next, after a group discussion, it was onwards to the summit of Rocky Mountain. Following a short but fairly steep incline we were treated to an unexpected but wonderful paragliding display.
We stood atop the mountain for quite some time marvelling at the paragliders swooping and swerving through the sky – it was quite mesmerising!
The final downhill section was bathed in gorgeous winter sun and as we made our way back along the trail towards the carpark everyone agreed it had been a great day spent in the hills. It’s not often easy to make space in the busyness of life for some nourishing time-out just for yourself, but when you do it’s always of great benefit. Back at the car park we enjoyed a well-earned cuppa and some treats before saying our goodbyes and going on our way.
For me personally, it was a chilly winter’s day made up of meaningful conversations, laughter, new connections and time spent in my favourite place – a perfect way to spend a Saturday no less.
If you like the sound of this why not join me for February’s Wild Women Wanders which takes place on 8th February and is open for booking via Eventbrite. I would love to see you there!