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Posted by Murrisk on July 22, 2001 at 07:01:35:

In Reply to: REEK SUNDAY posted by Tempus on July 20, 2001 at 10:25:13:

Up all night imagining you are having fun. Hitch hiking to Westport with traffic passing at the rate of one car per 30 seconds - dangerous stuff. A difficult climb, often treacherous, but always humbling especially when looking at the feet of "them what climbed it raw". Mass at the top - never the opportunity to be in the church, always outside "in the environs". Every hour on the hour but I only recall the 6:00 A.M. service just before/at dawn. Hot and sweaty after the climb. Buy a cup of tea or a fanta or a bun or a sandwich for exhorbitant prices in wind swept shelters. Try and stay out of the wind which always blows. Never venture too close to the back of the reek - a steep fall awaits. Eventually the chill sets in and you start the return journey. Leg and lower back muscles are stiff from the climb and "unuse" in this environment. The first streatch is semi vertical and shaley and slidey and most people fall or slide part way on their rumps. Standing upright is folly - you just start to walk then run faster and eventually an accident on the slope or you tumble, as many did, over the edge. In the early years no medical attention. Later the comfort of the Knights of Malta who stretchered people down the mountain. God bless them because as working folk they cannot have been in training either. Later, helicopters moved the injured from the mountain - easy off. From the statue down the legs go thump thump thump because of the gentler incline and the proximity of the bottom of the hill. Maybe into the pub but more likely home by the quickest way possible. Lifts to Castlebar are not so hard to come by. Everybody has been through the "fire" and there is a camraderie even among people who have never met - an implicit trust. Finally home to a bath or shower and a long well deserved sleep. No parent cries "its time to get up" to an offspring who "has done the reek".

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