A Little Travel Memory … An Important Lesson in Hiking Etiquette

Sometimes joy and fun in an experience is directly proportionate to how difficult it is…

…the short hike to the lookout point for the Blasket Islands in southern Ireland is one of those circumstances. It was cold and windy for my driving/hiking adventure and with the ever-present misting Irish rain a constant companion every time I stepped out of the car.

Blaskey Islands

Slea Head Drive rings the Dingle Peninsula and takes half a day to drive if you’re like me and stop for pictures, hike a little, see a few old rocks and stare down the odd sheep here and there. The Blasket Islands in particular are an intriguing stop on the route because they once contained a very isolated and pure form of Irish culture and language until the mid-1950s. The residents were mostly cut off from the mainland until evacuations in in 1953 and their traditions, resiliency, and culture have noticeably tinged the Dingle Peninsula.

So, there we were hiking through the sheep pastures and taking epic jumping shots over the look-out point and reading through our handy local history book when my bladder sent me an urgent SOS message.

What to do when the only thing nearby for miles in either direction is wind and rocks and a steep hike back down to the car? You prop yourself behind a rock, check that you’re not in sight of any humans or sheep, and drop trou, of course!

And before you think me strange, it is actually acceptable when you’re hiking. In fact, I give you complete permission to commune with nature next time you visit sheep pastures in Ireland…but as a hard-learned tip, make sure you’re not peeing against the wind.   :-)

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10 Responses to A Little Travel Memory … An Important Lesson in Hiking Etiquette

  1. Leigh McAdam March 21, 2011 at 3:59 am #

    Good advice.

    Hiked the Dingle a few years ago but didn’t make it to the Blaskets. Looks like we had similar weather.

  2. Vega Club March 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm #

    ireland…2 years before…..great place…so much green….

  3. Jennifer Barry March 19, 2011 at 5:04 am #

    As a person with a tiny bladder and an ex-Girl Scout, I’ve been there many times. :)

    I totally want to go to Ireland someday, preferably in the summer. I am 1/4 Irish including my last name.

    • Anonymous March 19, 2011 at 7:34 am #

      If you have a choice of time of year, the month of September is beautiful –
      the weather has the potential to be better than some other months and it’s
      right into the beginning of off-season! :)

  4. Erica Kuschel March 18, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    It is times like that when I curse myself for being a girl. I’ve learned the how tos of being outside the hard way… especially drunk in the sand dunes of South Padre… *cough*

    • Anonymous March 19, 2011 at 1:44 am #

      Umm…Erica..sounds like more of a story there…you’re holding out on me!
      :)

  5. bluegreen kirk March 18, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Now you cant expect one to hold it forever now do you! You bladder sent you and SOS thats funny. When you gotta go you gotta go.

    • Anonymous March 19, 2011 at 1:42 am #

      Thanks Kirk! You’re right, you just can’t help it when nature calls! :)

      Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 12:22 PM, Disqus

  6. Jason March 18, 2011 at 6:22 am #

    I love your opening line to this post Shannon. ‘Sometimes joy and fun in an experience is directly proportionate to how difficult it is…’ is so true. I wouldn’t worry to much about having to ‘lighten the load’ in that situation, as they can get allot worse than that.

    Ireland is a place I have always wanted to visit but never quite got around to doing so. The landscape in the background of your image is how I picture Ireland to be. It looks nice and cold out there, but beautiful all the same.

    • Anonymous March 18, 2011 at 9:16 am #

      You should get there, seriously. It ranks pretty high on my list of amazing
      places I love with all my heart :) And yes, that shot in the background is
      pretty representative of a good chunk of what the country looks like!

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