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Women with Altitude weekend.

posted 17 Jun 2014, 14:10 by Mhairi Cameron

Friday 16 May- Monday 19th May 2014

Eire! Women with... balls! – Italian wanderings in Irish land.

By Diana Guglielmotti.

Landing in Ireland, my feelings are pretty much similar to on previous trips, happiness and vibrant curiosity predominate, but I feel also confident. I’ve done it so many times lately, it’s not going to be too different.

Dublin seems like being in limbo between Italy and the US, speaking in English but paying with Euros, drinking in the streets but Georgian façades surround me.

Out of the honky traffic jam, out of the capital and after a wee nap in the car, the stunning Connemara countryside appears through sunbeams and silver clouds, shining and twinkling after the recent storm. 

An unexpectedly imposing number of women is crowded by the Leenane Hotel across the ford. Here you go, apparently the adventure is still to begin! The whole hotel is buzzing with pink voices, take your goody bag, wear the badge with your name on it and you are officially a woman with altitude!

Shower is cold, coffee is hot. I opt for a quick shower and a long coffee. The kitchen at the hostel is jammed by a sandwich-maker squad, so I have an even longer coffee on the patio with a nice view. I was expecting fair sun but, as in Scotland, weather beats forecast 1-0.

It’s time to make the map and compass match, line up blue lines with red lines and measure your pace. One, two, three, four…sixty-sette, better do it in Italian or I’ll lose count. 

-I was sure we were supposed to turn left… 

-Oh God, I’m glad I’m not the only one, I thought I set my compass wrong! 

-Never trust your gut, always follow the arrow! 

Yes, I think it was unnatural taking that right, I don’t have a clue where I am now, how could I follow my instinct to go left if everywhere I look it’s blurry and white?! I guess that this episode will stay impressed in my mind,

next time I’m gonna use a compass, I’ll hold it as if it was my holy grail and no rain or wind will divide me from my map. 

This glaring error of navigation has given me the confidence toreach the other hot-spots on the way back to the hotel with no hesitation. I count our paces, Laura stretches out her arm under the heavy rain, our mystical guru is revealing to us the secret path, our team is magic!

I particularly love to know more about the land I’m walking on and the geological walk started with an immediate good vibe. Trish is the guide and she is great. She is flying the Irish flag with words of passion and affection. She is part of this land as it has been, thousands of years ago, the ice that engraved the hills we climb.

She is transporting us through space and time with her pride and expertise, reading pages about mountains, pages again but of words this time from the books she carries in her backpack.

Although it was rainy and grey, after a weekend away my mood is pumped up. 

It’s all about, let’s say, the connection of energies among people. While traveling, and by travel I figure any kind of means, you’ll more likely remember the taste of that beer or that particular spot because of a human interaction you have been through in that very moment.