Having completed the first stage of the Tochar Pádraig from Ballintubber to Aughagower on a very cold day in late December some fifty hardy pilgrims enjoyed much better weather and underfoot conditions on the second stage from Aughagower to Murrisk.
Our group gathered in Aughagower Church carpark on Sunday morning February 28th and after a brief introduction and short prayer we headed off on the 14km trek towards the Reek. The holy mountain, covered as it was with a spectacular crown of snow, seemed to beckon us forward and in no time at all strangers became friends.
Mass was celebrated at the Mass Rock at Bohea, the girls from Tuam enhancing the liturgy with a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace. A cup of hearty warm soup was most welcome before we undertook the long slog up Taobhnacruaiche – the point where we began the climb across the shoulder of Croagh Patrick.
Although the going was tough at this point it was made worth the effort when as we climbed over the precipice we were greeted with breathtaking views of Clew Bay. Tired but fulfilled we gathered in Murrisk – another stage complete.
The third and final stage of the Tochar will take place on Sunday May 9th when it is hoped that 300 young people will climb Croagh Patrick on the second annual Diocesan Youth Pilgrimage to our Holy Mountain.
Check out the photos of the walk here