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A little friendship…Diamond Hill and Keeping Friends

Diamond Hill in the Connemara National ParkOscar Wilde described the Connemara region as a “savage beauty” – he was surely referring to the rough landscape that is largely covered with peat bogs, rocky hills, and interlocking chains of lakes. I’ve got to say, if ever there was a lonely landscape, it would have to be this region of Ireland.

To really and truly appreciate Connemara you have to get some height – as in go climb a mountain or a hill. Although the Twelve Bens mountain range is right in the area too, I couldn’t resist the Diamond Hill hike; it started right outside my hostel door in Letterfrack and was a fairly easy 7km hike. They want you to hike and enjoy the scenery so there is a carved out and maintained path until three quarters of the way up the hill.

The last part of the hike gets incredibly steep though, so instead of looking at the scenery to my back I huffed and concentrated on making it to the peak – and I think it was almost better this way.On Top of the World

Once I got to the top of Diamond Hill, Connemara’s mottled coastline competed in beauty with the cool blue lakes and slices of sunlight peeping through the clouds. It’s stunning, beautiful, gorgeous…all of those clichéd travel brochure descriptions? – yeah, it was those.

But it was also incredibly still and quiet. Even in Scotland there wasn’t this much peace and tranquility at the top of the mountains and hills. The air was still, and even at a mere 400 meters up it seemed as if another human didn’t exist for hundreds of miles.Views of Connemara's center

But naturally, all of that peace and tranquility inspired a frenzy of energy in myself and my hiking partners and we couldn’t help but take these fun jumping pictures from the top.Jumping for joy Joy at Connemara's Diamond HillDiamond Hill Jumping

Diamond Hill is a loop hike so the whole time the scenery diverse and different scenery. I loved having my French friends for the day to do the hike with – but that’s one of those double edged swords of traveling, you meet really cool people, and you truly get along and appreciate the unique experiences you had with them, but, well, you move on. They were heading onward to Galway the next morning so we had some fun hiking, shared a couple of beers and swapped stories.View from the top of Diamond Hill

I’ll always remember hiking up this gorgeous mountain with them, even though I may never meet them again. This is just one of those travelers dilemmas – do extend your network to every cool person you meet, keep them as Facebook friends and try to stay connected, or do you suffice with the pleasant memory and bid them farewell as they hop on their bus?

Thoughts?

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  • EmmaOconnor

    One of the most difficult things for me as a traveller has been the regular 'goodbyes'. Travelling friendships tend to be short and intense and in the moment you feel like you want to be friends forever. I have books full of addresses people have moved from and phone numbers since disconnected. I always meant to stay in touch… but hardly ever did…..

  • http://www.thestudiosource.com/ Stacey

    Venturing an opinion: sometimes intensity is best left untarnished. Once we get to know people, we discover their quirks and neuroses, which alters the memory of the original experience. Sometimes that's fine, sometimes not so much. Maybe it's best to trust that the friendships that are supposed to grow out of chance meetings will take root without too much effort.

  • CandiceW

    Ahhhh, gorgeous.

  • EmmaOconnor

    One of the most difficult things for me as a traveller has been the regular 'goodbyes'. Travelling friendships tend to be short and intense and in the moment you feel like you want to be friends forever. I have books full of addresses people have moved from and phone numbers since disconnected. I always meant to stay in touch… but hardly ever did…..

  • http://www.thestudiosource.com/ Stacey

    Venturing an opinion: sometimes intensity is best left untarnished. Once we get to know people, we discover their quirks and neuroses, which alters the memory of the original experience. Sometimes that's fine, sometimes not so much. Maybe it's best to trust that the friendships that are supposed to grow out of chance meetings will take root without too much effort.

  • CandiceW

    Ahhhh, gorgeous.

  • Mary R

    I am also a fan of jumping pictures wherever I go. As for the friendships, yes, keep them up. some may not turn into anything long-term, but some of them will! You will likely meet again at an unknown time in the future and it will be like you never separated.

  • Mary R

    I am also a fan of jumping pictures wherever I go. As for the friendships, yes, keep them up. some may not turn into anything long-term, but some of them will! You will likely meet again at an unknown time in the future and it will be like you never separated.

    • ShannonOD

      Thanks Mary, I'd like to think that that is the case :-) I do try to keep up with new friends on Facebook and the such most of the time! As for the jumping pics – it seems to have evolved now that I do that too! It didn't start out intentionally though, more like hmmm – maybe it'd be more fun if I jump!

  • http://www.theroadforks.com/ Akila

    We don't keep in touch with people after we leave but maybe we should. I don't know why we don't — it's just too much effort I guess managing the myriads of awesome people we meet along the way. We loved the Connemara too. It is such a gorgeous place. :)

  • http://www.theroadforks.com/ Akila

    We don't keep in touch with people after we leave but maybe we should. I don't know why we don't — it's just too much effort I guess managing the myriads of awesome people we meet along the way. We loved the Connemara too. It is such a gorgeous place. :)

    • ShannonOD

      Really?! I guess I find that surprising..and then not at the same time- it does take a lot of effort, and it's not like you can really and truly connect with every single person you jive with. As the trip went on I had to start reconciling with the fact that some of these people really did just need to be remembered in that moment :-) My dad has a dream of retiring in Connemara…I told him I def wouldn't mind!

  • http://www.stophavingaboringlife.com/ Stop Having a Boring Life Rob

    I facebook them all the time. I've only been traveling ~10 weeks and already met people in different cities who have messaged me saying “let's meet up” or something like that.

    I think you can never have enough friends and everyone yo meet traveling is someone you already have something special in common with.

  • http://www.stophavingaboringlife.com/ Stop Having a Boring Life Rob

    I facebook them all the time. I've only been traveling ~10 weeks and already met people in different cities who have messaged me saying “let's meet up” or something like that.

    I think you can never have enough friends and everyone yo meet traveling is someone you already have something special in common with.

  • ShannonOD

    Thanks Mary, I'd like to think that that is the case :-) I do try to keep up with new friends on Facebook and the such most of the time! As for the jumping pics – it seems to have evolved now that I do that too! It didn't start out intentionally though, more like hmmm – maybe it'd be more fun if I jump!

  • http://www.stophavingaboringlife.com/ Stop Having a Boring Life Rob

    I facebook them all the time. I've only been traveling ~10 weeks and already met people in different cities who have messaged me saying “let's meet up” or something like that.

    I think you can never have enough friends and everyone yo meet traveling is someone you already have something special in common with.

    • ShannonOD

      I agree almost wholly – and I did stay in touch with a bunch of people that I re-met up with in other cities…but after a year, I found that although I was FB friends with a lot of them, somewhere along the way we stopped chatting as I tried to keep up with the other new friends. But you're right, meeting up w/other travelers was one of the best parts!

  • ShannonOD

    Really?! I guess I find that surprising..and then not at the same time- it does take a lot of effort, and it's not like you can really and truly connect with every single person you jive with. As the trip went on I had to start reconciling with the fact that some of these people really did just need to be remembered in that moment :-) My dad has a dream of retiring in Connemara…I told him I def wouldn't mind!

  • ShannonOD

    I agree almost wholly – and I did stay in touch with a bunch of people that I re-met up with in other cities…but after a year, I found that although I was FB friends with a lot of them, somewhere along the way we stopped chatting as I tried to keep up with the other new friends. But you're right, meeting up w/other travelers was one of the best parts!