Stefon is a lifestyle, editorial and landscape photographer based out of toronto, ontario

Where Are The Stairs!? : Bray Head & Glendalough

Where Are The Stairs!? : Bray Head & Glendalough

Hi again, I'm back with my 2nd blog post in about a week (there should be some sort of award for this).   If you read my previous blog post about my highlights of the trip to Ireland back in March you would've remembered I mentioned traversing on a cliff face and being terrified for my life and my Nikon totally DYING while climbing Glendalough, that is what i'm here to write about today, it's quite the funny story to be honest.

On our 2nd and 3rd days in Ireland we decided to go adventuring again with our friends and the first thing on the list was doing Glendalough (again) mainly because we were TRICKED into climbing it the first time by Julie, so we had to redeem ourselves for being terrified for the whole 3 hour hike the last time.   This time around it was cold and rainy vs last time when it was sunny and clear and quite warm, the trail up to the mountain was more strenuous than I remembered partly because the wooden plank were slick because of the rain and mostly because I am out of shape lol.   When we got up to the top we took in some of the views and snapped some shots and then it was time to start the REAL climb up 1150ft to the summit,  we were all less terrified this time (maybe because we knew what was coming) so we walked on the planks with relative ease and my heart wasnt racing a mile a minute.   About 30 minutes into the climb while I was trying to take a photo with my F100 the shutter totally LOCKED UP and would not release and I was racking my brain trying to figure out what was wrong with my camera I thought it crapped out and that made me really bummed out as I JUST got this camera back in January, then I noticed the display was off completely and none of the electronics were working so I realized that the battery just died due to it being -5 atop the mountain.  

I tried everything to bring the battery back to life so that I can continue to document the hike to no avail, tried putting the camera in my parka to warm the batteries up, tried putting the batteries in my gloves and tried to keep them warm and nothing was working so I don't have too many photos from up there.  Eventually after the hike I had to buy new batteries at a local Tesco so I could bring it back to life

MOVING ALONG! the 3rd day of the trip we went to the beautiful coastal town of Bray to do the Bray Head mountain climb and the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk, the town of bray reminds me of something out of a movie; there's nice cottages, nice views and all I could totally see myself sitting on a bench there and writing a novel or something.   It's a town that inspires and fuels creativity,  one of the reasons why we did the hike in the first place was that at the summit of Bray Head there's this concrete cross that was erected in 1950 during the Holy Year.   The hike up was super rocky and muddy and it was on an incline so AGAIN there was a lot of huffing and puffing, about 25 minutes into the climb I asked Julie if we were close to the top and she says in classic Julie fashion "it's just around the bend here" so in my mind i knew there was about 20 more "bends" at the very least lol.

We finally made it to the top and took in the beautiful view at the top where you could see ALL of Bray and the surrounding areas, it was amazing! we even saw a guy jump straight off the cliff and come back up in a paraglider.   After we finished taking in the views Julie mentioned that we needed to take the trail around the mountain to get to another trail for the cliff walk and on the way there we saw cows grazing in the fields and laying around, and when we walked through their area (they were blocking our path) it almost seemed like they stopped dead in their tracks looked at us dead in our eyes and were like "what the hell are you guys doing".   When we finally reached the start of the cliff face I noticed that we were going UP and not down like Julie had mentioned, everything was going from bad to worse, my vision was becoming blurry and my legs were shaky and I felt like we were literally going to die (Danielle was keeled over almost because she was so scared) I ask Julie "hey when will we start to go down" and again in true Julie fashion she goes "it's just around the bend and there are going to be stairs so dont worry" I probably asked about 10 more times we reached the area with these stairs.   Reassured I wasn't going to die my body straightened out and my legs were finally stable again and we continiued on the beaten path to these stairs and down the mountain, after about 20 minutes we get to this gate that looks like something out of a horror film that you aren't allowed to enter.   I get closer to the gate and peer over and immediately my heart sinks, I turn to Julie and I ask her in the calmest of voices "WHERE THE FUCK ARE THESE STAIRS" and it was then I knew she bamboozled us again! she said "oops guys sorry I don't remember this part from last time, but its not that bad" 

NOT THAT BAD?! there were absolutely no stairs, not even signs that there used to be any sort of stairs! Danielle was beside herself, she was almost in real tears and wanted to turn back but I basically said to pull it together and hold Julie's hand all the way down because now she owes us! after about 20 min of climbing down (it felt like 2 days) we finally made it to level ground and hope was restored that we weren't going to die and continued with the rest of the walk which was amazing.

I know this whole story seemed like Julie is some sort of devious soul that is really trying to kill us but she literally is one of the nicest people we know, the reason why she stretches the truth when it comes to these things is because she knows that we (mostly me) am afraid of heights and if she told me off the bat that we'd be walking 800ft up a cliff face I would not even dare to do it, and part of the beauty of Ireland is seeing all these amazing views from every possible angle which we did so in a way I really have to thank her for forcing me to do these things because lord knows I wouldn't do them on my own accord.  So THANKS JULIE (but lets try and keep the lies to a minimum going forward) :)

Return To The Emerald Isle

Return To The Emerald Isle

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