I was spoiled for choice last Sunday. There was a Photofest in Dublin which had peaked my interest [and other members of the Galway Camera Club were planning to go]. But then I got an email from the Galway Walking Club announcing that the A walk would be the Western Bens – the three mountains west of Ben Baun.
Excellent, I thought to myself, I’ve never climbed those hills. Alas, as I write this, I still haven’t. From the moment we got out of our cars to the time we got back to them, it never stopped raining. And by rain, I don’t mean drizzle, mist, or even a shower. I couldn’t even call it a downpour because most of the time, the rain was travelling horizontally rather than downwards, and straight into our faces. I’ve only experienced one other day on the hills that came close, in terms of wetness, and Sunday was worse.
When I wrote my tips for taking pictures while hiking, I omitted one important tip – sometimes you’re better off staying at home. Despite all of our fancy gear, we were all completely soaked through and through, and to crown the day, we had to ford a stream to get back to our cars. [Well. I think we had to - our walk leader was chomping at the bit to do a stream crossing, so across we went]. My main concern was keeping my cameras dry [particularly crossing the stream] – I never took the 5D out of the bag all day but I did take some footage of misery with the G9.
The clip above shows the fun we had when we stopped for lunch – it’s hard to see on the video above but the rain was still teeming down. The only consolation was that we were sheltered from the wind. WE abandoned the plan to do three peaks – we climbed one and then headed back to the starting point.
As I have said before, no-one forced us out on the day, though it was days like this on the farm when I was a boy that made me vow to get an office job when I grew up. Anyway, the rain stopped as soon as we got back to the cars, and by the time we passed Maam Cross on the way home, the sun was shining.