Adventures in the Gaeltacht

(Excerpted from the 2002 newsletter)

24 July 2002 - Climbing Mt. Errigal

Class today was more of the same, except that I seem to be getting it a bit better. Actually, I think my ear is finally getting fairly well attuned to the Irish language. Patricia says the same. Actually, I think that the main thing I'm going to end up taking away from this exercise is a sense of how to actually pronounce Irish spelling This is a bigger deal than it might seem since the Irish radically changed their spelling system back in the 60s so that it would work better in automated printing and information systems. Unfortunately this took a relatively clear system that, admittedly, had a fair few accent marks, and changed it into one with a plethora of vowels.

But really that's just whingeing. The big thing today has very little to do with Gaeilge, it has to do with the state of my zapped leg. I actually managed to climb Mt Errigal, the highest mountain in Dun na nGall and the eighth highest mountain in Ireland. Our school's hired guide helped me a lot by loaning me his walking sticks. There were invaluable on the steeper stretches both for supporting my weight and for maintaining balance. I might have made it without them, but it certainly was easier with them.

Not that it was easy, either. In fact it felt quite a lot harder than it should have, but my expectations are still pretty much pre-zap. When my classmates would ask me if doing the climb was a good idea, I told them that it all depended on whether or not I was able to walk into my next PT session. If they needed to roll me in, it clearly would not have been a good idea. Anyway, I'm pretty chuffed over making it to the top. It makes me think that this PT stuff is working out after all. I couldn't have done this a month ago.

David Rush
Last modified: Tue Jul 30 16:52:03 IST 2002