Learn from my mistakes! (by Ciara Donaghue)

Learn from my Mistakes

It a normal Sunday morning, except for a sandwich, I have my bag for my Glen walk ready from the night before.  I leave town at 0930.  As I have a terrible sense of direction I put on my best friend google maps.  She tells me it will take 58 minutes.  I was sure it was a 40 minute journey but I trust her so off I go.

The route feels all wrong.  I’m anxious I’m going to be late, but I trust google maps as it has guided me on many an occasion when I was lost.  As I drive through Donnybrook it dawns on me.  Two days before I had asked google maps to avoid all tolls so, of course, she is taking me through town to the N11.  I weave frantically back to the M50.  Google maps is now confused and for the next 30 minutes I have to listen to her trying to reroute me off the motorway.  I’m driving so I can’t turn her off!!  Conscious that I’m running late I dash into a garage, buy a sandwich and some M&M’s, dash back to the car and throw them on the front seat.

I arrive in Roundwood at 1031 stressed from driving and swearing at cyclists.  The car pool people are there, I breadth a sigh of relief.  After some discussion about who should go in what car, I am driving two others to iron bridge.  A last minute change of plan and they are driving me, so I grab my stuff from the boot of the car and put it into theirs.  Off we go, I have made it, I can relax!!

Five minutes into the drive I get that sinking feeling and swear silently to myself.  My sandwich and bag are on the front seat of my car.  I can hardly believe it!!  There’s nothing I can do so I hope that someone in the medium medium walk has packed too many sandwiches and won’t be hungry.  On arrival to iron bridge, slightly panicked I jovially relay my tale of woe and thrown myself on the mercy of my group, who very generously reassure me that I won’t go hungry.

I have been quite excited about this walk.  Being relatively new to the club and having taken heed of Hugon’s advice at the talk in Foleys the week before I had my new platypus.  It makes me feel like a real walker.  It’s a hot day and I’m appropriately equipped!!  As we go along I can’t get any water out of it.  I have turned the nozzle right and then left but nothing despite my efforts, not a drop.  More silent swearing, I despair and wonder why anyone uses them, I’m going back to using a bottle.

After some fitting jeering over my nonexistent lunch, lunchtime arrives and feeling embarrassed I take out my flask of tea.  With the generosity of my fellow walkers I eat very well, cheese and relish sandwich, a mini mars and two chocolate biscuits.  I recommend anyone going on the medium medium walk to forget their lunch as a better one is generously donated.

During lunch discussing again how useless my platypus is I take it out of the bag.  The first thing said to me is turn it the other way up.  Oh dear, I feel a right fool.  Of course that’s the way around it should go, the water flows.  These platypus things are great; I will never use a bottle again.

It was a great walk and I made it there and back safe, fed and watered.  After the walk I take my phone out of my bag to see if anyone has messaged me to discover that in my haste I had forgotten to turn google maps off so the poor girl had been rerouting me for 4 hours to try and get me to Roundwood.  3% battery and then it died.

A mountainous thank you to all who not only fed me but made it a memorable day.