One month since we finished! It’s probably time to look back at how we got on…
So after a nightmare journey from Macugnaga to Milan (involving a very picturesque bus journey to Domodossola, a very nice “city” in the Alps) and a few cancelled trains we finally took a shower! It had been 6 days since our last shower (not counting the attempts to clean ourselves in lakes).
We scrubbed ourselves clean before tackling our laundry, and spent the following days eating and seeing the sights of Milan! We visited waterparks and Gardaland theme park, watched many World Cup games, ate our body weight in pizza and ice-cream, and discovered the wonders of the Milanese “happy hour”. Unfortunately a couple of us developed a sort of gastroenteritis, and we’re still not sure whether it was caused by the mountain water or the happy hour. Luckily it was short-lived for everyone and we had a really great time in Milan!
4 of the group went back to Ireland/the UK and Luca and I headed to the Lago di Como for a day trip, only an hour’s drive from Milan, where we climbed the majestic-looking Resegone (translation: Big Saw). There are a number of other peaks around Lake Como, forming a part of the “pre-Alps”.
The path we took was very well-marked, with signposts giving the approximate time to the next part at intervals. Of course we interpreted these as a challenge and tried to beat them! The trail started off at the cable car of Piano d’Erna and passed by some very quiet rifugi, before reaching the scree slopes of the peak.
After returning to Dublin I climbed the Sugarloaf a few times, which is an easy 500m peak near Bray, Co Wicklow. It only takes an hour for the whole thing so I went up a few days after work when the weather was nice!
The terrain isn’t great and it involves using hands and knees for a little bit, but it’s well worth the short climb for the views at the top (once it’s not cloudy!)
Two weeks ago I had planned a trip to the Galtees but unfortunately it fell through at the last minute. Instead we headed to Lugnaquilla, the highest peak in Leinster, and the highest in Ireland outside Kerry! The weather couldn’t have been better: intermittent sun but not too hot, and it started to rain 5 minutes after we got to the car. We approached from Fraughan Rock Glen, passing the Glenmalure Hostel (must stay there some day!). It was really peaceful, although we encountered some other hikers and mountain bikers on the way down the zig-zags, which is a wide and pleasant plateau walk for the first half.
Last weekend we headed to the Peak District, and details of that will follow in the next post!
Here’s one of our photos to get started: