After my earlier escapade at Dun Aengus, I had thought that I had experienced all of the thrills I would have while in Ireland. Thankfully, I was proved wrong at the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in the North. From a distance, it would appear that the bridge was just that, a connection from the mainland to a small, rocky island just off shore. However, what wasn’t apparent at first sight was that the landscape was perfect for rock climbing. Crossing the gap was uneventful, aside from a glare from the curator for attempting to bounce it, but the island was a whole different story. As usual, a certain testing of the limits occurred, with students pushing their boundaries as to how far they would go down the face of the steep, sloping edges. It wasn’t long before the seal of staying on flat ground was broken, and we collectively began scaling down the face to the waters below. Needless to say, climbing, at least to me, is an adventure, and thus my quest to see every last inch of the island began.
The preferred route was down a ledge on the northern outcropping, before heading to the right to a smaller section connected by a slim isthmus. Circling around this, I broke off from the group and scurried along to the other side. Here I came across a fairly level platform by the sea. I stared out at the ocean, wishing I had brought a bathing suit, as then I could continue traveling across a narrow channel to another island mere meters away. Since this was not the case, I continued around until I reached a spot directly beneath the cliffs on the westernmost point, where a mysterious cave could be seen. Again cursing my lack of swimwear, as the opening to the cavern was blocked by water, I attempted to figure out how to reach it without getting wet. To my dismay, the only solution visible would be to climb back up to the top of the island, and descend down a grassy area and drop into the mouth of the cave. I weighed my options, as pursuing this may have led to my being left behind by the group, but my mind was made up for me when others called down to me to return because the men in charge were angry at our blatant disregard for the no climbing policy. Sighing, I began my ascent, knowing that I must put this particular endeavor on hold until I return to the North.
– Patrick Michaelis