Members of Irish Girl Guides hiking the South Leinster Way.
A group of Irish Girl Guides from Waterford, Carlow, Kilkenny and Wexford recently completed 50 kilometres of the South Leinster Way.
The girls, who were between the ages of 13 and 18, hiked from Kildavin to Inistioge with Assistant South East Regional Commissioner Cathy Connelly.
The first day they completed 22km from Kildavin to Borris, the second they walked 12km from Borris to Graiguenamanagh along the Barrow tow-path and on the final day they walked the 16km from Graiguenamanagh to Inistioge.
“This leg of the hike went around the side of Brandon Hill and through forestry before descending to the picturesque village of Inistioge on the River Nore,” said Cathy.
“Even though there was plenty of uphill hiking and it was a warm day, it was no bother to these ladies, who looked as if they hiked those hills every day. From Brandon Hill we could see over to Mount Leinster and see how far we had hiked.”
Cathy said the girls’ enthusiasm never faltered right to the end of day three and the last kilometre. “We were staying in Woodstock Guide and Scout Campsite in Inistioge, which - as anyone who has ever visited Inistioge knows - is at the top of a pretty steep hill.
"The last kilometre of the hike through Woodstock woods and gardens was probably the toughest, but we were absolutely elated to arrive in the campsite where Marie was waiting for us with a warm welcome and a very welcome dinner.
“As a leader, I am in absolute awe of these girls who hiked an incredible distance and did so cheerfully and without a single word of complaint, even though their feet had to have been as tired as mine were. They laughed and chatted the whole way and I loved hearing them discuss amongst themselves the skills that guiding has given them.”
Cathy said it was a pleasure to accompany the girls for the three days and that her role was made easy in that all she had to do was accompany them. “They led the way. A leader’s job is to make themselves redundant by giving girls the skills to surpass them and I think these girls will make excellent leaders in the near future," she added.
Irish Girl Guides welcomes new members from age 5+ and new volunteer leaders from age 18+. See online or call 01-6683898 for more information.