As everyone interested in sport realises the media has been full of the Andy Gray debacle and I thought the best way of freeing my mind from all of this unexciting sports news was to go for a hike in Killarney. Luckily enough I had been invited by four American students who are studying here at UCC so I jumped at the offer.
We started out from the famous cottage of Kate Kearney. I was surprised to see how dead and empty the area was of action but then I quickly remembered it was still January and in the summer months this place will be throbbing with hill walkers, tourists and nature lovers.
It was nice to have to have the Gap to ourselves, memories of having my local GAA pitch to myself as I attempted to kick frees off the ground as an enthusiastic young footballer. So Andrew, Dick, Dylan, Joe and I began our journey. The sights were incredible. I was in New York last July and was flabbergasted by the awesome size of the buildings in Manhattan but it’s easy to forget about the beauty that, luckily enough for me could be a short spin away.
The tranquillity we all experienced was fantastic. For the first time in months I could just switch off and enjoy the trail, the company and the rugged beauty of the area. We then headed for Lady’s View through the famous Killarney National Park. As we walked we spoke about American sports like ice hockey and its brutality and Dick spoke to me about his days as a left tackle in high school and how pivotal the role is in American Football. We passed the upper lake and headed up the road to one of Ireland’s premier viewing spots.
It was a tiresome trek, about 14 miles in Andrew’s estimation. We stopped at Molly D’Arcy’s for a quick drink and headed home. As soon as I got to the door of my house I headed for bed and I from five to till about half eight. It’s easy to sleep when there is nothing on one’s mind.
If for any reason you are stressed and need time to unwind and de-tox from the big bad world, And Gray, maybe you should think about getting your hiking boots on and taking a long walk. You’d be surprised with how a day in the mountains can change your mood.