A Wild Women Wanders group met early and took to the hills once again at the end of July for a fantastic day of hiking. The cloud was low-hanging on arrival making for a mysterious wander along the valley to the base of Slieve Meelmore for the first steep section of our climb…best to get that first slog over with near the beginning in my opinion!
A hop across the river and over the stile, a quick jaunt through the boggy field and onto the rockier side of Slieve Meelmore and soon the super group of ladies that had joined me for a morning of wild adventure in the Mourne Mountains were chatting freely – getting to know one another, laughing and encouraging one another as we gently worked our way upwards. The pace was as usual on the wild wanders a leisurely one, but we were soon puffing and panting as the day was already increasing in warmth and there was barely a whisper of a breeze! Layers of extra clothing were soon shed and stashed in backpacks as we paused to enjoy views across the farmland all around us. The clouds gradually began to lift their sleepy heads and we were treated to fabulous views as we reached the summit of Slieve Meelmore. What a beautiful spot to pause for lunch – nestled in next to the Mourne Wall we refuelled, took some snaps of the amazing scenery and rested awhile in that wild space. The chat continued to come easily as we enjoyed a break after the upwards exertion before continuing our route downwards alongside the wall to the col between Slieve Meelmore and Meelbeg.
I was feeling so inspired by these ladies at this point to say the least. Some of them had never hiked before and trusted me to guide them on their first experience in the mountains – that’s very humbling and satisfying for me because it is my passion to share the beautiful wild spaces we have on offer here in Northern Ireland with others. We paused at this juncture and I jokingly suggestion a quick run up Slieve Meelbeg…everyone nodded and said ‘let’s do it!’. I couldn’t believe it! Off we trekked, upwards and once again into the clouds at the summit of Slieve Meelbeg where we enjoyed a well-earned cuppa before returning via the wall to the col.
From here we trekked backed to the carpark along the very wet and muddy trail. When we reached the stile to cross back over to our starting point I told the group to look back and pointed out the route they had followed. No-one could quite believe how far and how high they had trekked – it’s a great feeling to see women come alive in that wild space and realize that they are way more capable than they think and with the support of other women can achieve great things.
If you like the sound of this and would like to join a Wild Women Wander the next one takes place on Saturday 29th August and you can buy your tickets HERE.