Mom, you probably don’t want to read this post, so I suggest you not. I’m fine, I swear. Well, mostly fine. Just a little sore. Ok, a lot sore. And my pants ripped. I really liked this pair. But I didn’t drop my phone in the ocean and my leather jacket is fine, so, we’re good.
Okay, so, to start from the beginning. That’s a little hard because, well, I’m not exactly sure where to start with this story. I guess I could start with the fact that we visited Geoghan Mountain and Fogher Cliffs today, back out on Valentia Island. This area has lots of really neat rock formations, and also lots of rocky cliffs. We started by hiking up to the top of the cliffs, which was probably close to a mile walk. While most of the group wanted to go to the very tippy top, we turned off onto one of the earlier trails, mainly because no one was going down it, and at this point, we’re fairly sure that we like hanging out with each other. While we were going along, there were a variety of signs posted with various tidbits about folklore on one side, and a fence to keep the sheep from wandering onto the cliff trails on the other. Then we reached what appeared to be the end of the trail.
This is probably where the trouble started. You see, the Irish put up lots of ridiculously low fences, which are meant to be hopped over. My Irish friends have taught me that these basically serve as “proceed at your own risk” signs. Everyone goes past them, but if you do something stupid, it isn’t the fault of whoever owns the property, it’s yours, so nobody sues about it. These fences were slightly different. They were taller tan the normal little things that you find elsewhere, but they weren’t actual fences. They kinda looked like something to keep the sheep from wandering too far, and we’d been told not to worry about the sheep fences. So, like any two non trouble maker girls, we hopped the fence and began taking pictures.
Yeah, so, apparently that was an actual people fence. Also, as was very stupid of me, since I grew up in the country, I kind of forgot about this marvelous thing called “dew”, which tends to make early morning grass slippery. So I took a bit of a tumble.
Fortunately, my feet went out from under me, and I fell a bit vertically and not in a tumbly pattern. If I had been in a head over heels tumble, I probably wouldn’t have been able to catch myself, and I would have fallen all the way down to the rather uninviting Atlantic Ocean. As it was, I fell a good ways. I’m actually not quite sure how far I fell. It might have been twelve feet. It might have been twenty. It might have been a hundred. It kinda felt like a thousand.
The cliff wasn’t sheer, which worked to my advantage–I managed to catch myself on a small outcropping, which, while also grassy and dew soaked, had enough dirt on it that the treads of my boots caught, my hands caught a couple handfuls of grass, and my butt made a nice imprint in the the mud peeking out around the rocks. There was enough room that I was able to turn and, still partially seated, wedge myself between the rocks at a good enough angle to yell back and forth with MK, who was now on her hands and knees up above me. Being of my generation, my main concern was that my phone would not land in the ocean, which somehow equated to me tossing my phone up to her (thank God she’s a good catch), which she safely stowed with her things on the other side of the fence.
Now, to get me up.
Before I left the states, one of my friends had insisted that I go rock climbing with her every Friday. Since my home university had a rock climbing wall at the gym, and we both had automatic membership to the gym, I had agreed. I have never been more thankful for that stupid rock climbing wall than that exact moment, because that wall taught me two important things: 1) footholds can work as handholds, but handholds don’t work as footholds, and 2) it’s always better to push with your legs than it is to pull with your arms.
I’ve never climbed a dewy rock wall before, however, so competing with dew was new. I’m glad MK was there, because I was about exhausted when I got close to the top, and she literally pulled me up the last bit of the way. Then we both sat there, our legs dangling over the edge, dumbfounded. Eventually one of us decided we should start heading back before someone started looking for us. We also agreed not to tell our tour guide or Mary about what happened.
On our walk down the mountain, we found that one of the rocks looks like Pride Rock from The Lion King. If I had a stuffed animal of any sort, I would have insisted on taking the iconic shot where Rafiki holds Simba up for the entire animal kingdom to see. But, given my track record for that morning, if I were Rafiki, I probably would have dropped Simba, and the new king of beasts would have gone splat.
At least Simba probably wasn’t covered in morning dew.