What we're about
This group was set-up to see how much interest there might be from like minded individuals who may have decent spare time off sometimes, weekends free, work holidays they may have to take etc & who have a bit of a 'get up and go attitude' & wouldn't mind a change of scenery doing some walking or cycling in the likes of West Cork, Kerry, or the West of Ireland with fellow like minded social companions in tow for company and laughs.
All members should see this group first and foremost as being a decent fun sociable group of individuals & not one as having a competitive race to the finish mentality!
Many of us who could conceivably get away quite often end up not doing so because it's not much fun going on your own. Time and time again, friends and colleagues who we might like to ask to accompany us on a small break away are understandably tied up with the normal life commitments such as work, kids, partners, etc.
Then again there may be others that we know too, be it another friend or whatever who is usually free from the typical commitments that tie many others down unfortunately? Are they normal, healthy & have the funds to possibly head away with you somewhere different on a weekend?
Barring the usual weddings, funerals, important family occasion, 'genuine emergencies' & so on which we all must contend with as well as being sick from time to time, have you perhaps asked this person or indeed more than one person on numerous occasions if they're interested but they always say no?
You're keen to do something different but are disappointed and left frustrated by others you rely on. You just know in your heart of hearts that these people are too set in their ways to ever change or even contemplate giving something different a shot and pushing themselves out of their comfort zone!
Why should you always have to be at the mercy of dithering "negative nellies" who hum & haw forever over simple break away ideas that you're always putting to them? We all know that accomodation prices can rapidly rise the longer you leave it to book. And all available accomodation in a given area may just all book out by the time you're waiting around on other indecisive individuals decide to make up their minds !
Why should you continuously have to put up with the nonsense of being let down time after time again by the same notoriously unreliable folks who come up with the most pathetic cock & bull excuses --- often at the last minute --- for not going?
It's the same "stick in the mud types" that constantly condemn things they've never tried or a place they've never actually been as being "crap"!? You'll never ever convince some stubborn mules 🐴so set in their ways, who'd rather sit at home alone every weekend watching every Netflix series possible & subjecting themselves to 3 hours of Tubridy torture 😥😣😷 on the gogglebox every Friday night to change!
Would missing the cup final or the Love Island finale that might happen to be on the telly this weekend be really such a devastating tragedy? You can always record them and watch them at a later date if you really must see them! Would possibly getting a bit wet & mucky be really that bad as opposed to thinking of the benefits of some great exercise in the fresh country air while getting to know some new people in the meantime?? Of course this is
being melodramatic here but you get the picture!
Instead of lying idle & being bored out of your bracket on your weekend or days off looking for something novel to do, why not join us and meet some fresh faces in this group with a similar positive mindset to yourself?
You'll meet some lively characters & get exercise in the fresh air while doing so! A chance literally to broaden your horizons by perhaps seeing the lovely sky beyond the majestic Dingle Peninsula or even the sun setting over the tranquil Clew Bay and a night out in popular happening Westport after?😀😉😄
Who with a 'get up and go attitude' doesn't fancy a weekend away from the same repetitive hustle and bustle in the city and the same old often monotonous scene at the weekends going to the same places, seeing the same faces & hearing the same annoying songs repeated in the same bars all the time? Who doesn't like a welcome change by getting away to the likes of Killarney, Dingle, West Cork, Westport, Lahinch, Doolin etc taking in the lovely fresh Atlantic air & idyllic scenery & doing some enjoyable exercise like following marked walking/cycling routes etc?
Going away to such places is a great opportunity to hopefully meet more new and interesting people...
(( MAYBE your future partner awaits who knows 😚❤😙...!! WHO SAYS the chances of finding somebody are just limited to coming from only a fellow group member either??))😉
...and not to mention enjoying the craic, music and the laughter in the evenings too !! 😀 with a few well earned post walk/cycle drinks in the local pubs. It takes a lot to beat the likes of a well earned stew and a few pints in the pub afterwards enjoying the banter in a lively pub in Kerry or Clare after a good day spent rambling out in the cold!
So if you're open minded, have a positive willingness to try something different from the norm sometimes, are able to travel and stay overnights if you can, love getting some exercise in the fresh air, are sociable and love meeting new people, then this group may well be worth trying!
Nothing in life is certain except the obvious taxes & death if we're being philosophical...! Will this group be any good? In a nutshell, honestly it may or may not be- who knows ?? Isn't it better to at least give something a try rather than not bothering your barney at all? There is no magic wand 🖌☄ that can be waved here to say it will be amazing! -- It all comes down to the members and how willing they are to put their enthuasism into it and the interaction between members.
Might there be other members you won't like and get on with? Quite possibly yes! In all walks of life particularly with large groups of strangers involved, there'll always be people who you will naturally gel with and others you don't one bit. The same goes for everyone. For instance, who doesn't see different personalities clash in their workplace??
It doesn't mean that you can't enjoy yourself nor should you compromise your plans because someone who you don't like or get on with is present. You can still be tolerant and polite to someone and agree to disagree when necessary in small doses without having to pretend to be best buddies just because you're walking beside each other! Why let that someone you don't especially like prevent you from possibly ruining your chance of having a good break away or even stop you from going away altogether??
One thing is for certain though:- You'll never broaden your mind, horizons etc nor will you realistically meet anyone new & potentially interesting acting like a recluse at home alone.
It's not unreasonable to expect anyone who joins the group to be able to manage up to 6 or 7 hours a day walking on moderate tracks with some hills or marked cycle tracks.
If equipped with the right gear, I don't mind a bit of light rain when walking. If the wind & rain was say to become absolutely atrocious on a group walk for example, then obviously common sense will prevail and we'll DECIDE COLLECTIVELY AS A GROUP either to turn back or not venture out in the first place. Nobody wants to see anybody else ending up with pneumonia in hospital for the sake of stupid pig-headed stubborness over a social walk. We're always going to be at the mercy of what the Irish weather throws at us.
It may be blatantly obvious to most members but it needs to be stated nonethless that:- No organiser nor any other group member is responsible if any member heads away with this group & the weather turns out to be very inclement. Nobody is forcing anyone else to go. We're all adults & have the freedom to exercise our own judgements with regard to the weather forecasted & make our own decisions accordingly.
I'm sure though that in the event of bad weather cancelling a walk, all members will be resourceful enough to find other alternative things to amuse and occupy themselves with!
There may be some experienced group members who might be better able to advise the other group members on the gear needed aside from the obvious basic things like hiking boots/shoes, raingear, jacket, thermals, outdoor rucsac, sunhat, compass, maps, food, water etc.
Even as an organiser, I'd like to have some sort of consensus that everyone's opinion is heard before suggesting locations for trips away as in picking places/walks that at least appeal to a good few members and not just one or two.
I've been looking at modest 5 to 6 hour walks around fantastic locations such as the Sheepshead Peninsula in County Cork plus the Dingle Peninsula. The Westport to Achill Island Greenway cycle route is another obvious option too. Westport is a busy vibrant lively town as anyone who has been there will know. I want to make the level of difficulty on the suggested walks/cycles etc as moderate or easy as possible for everyone to enjoy it.
Without wanting to sound any way smug or come across like a pompous smart a**e--- I'm not a clairvoyant mind-reader 🤔🤔🤔💆💆💆--- so I can't try to run a group effectively to keep members interested if I don't have even an inkling as to what the members tastes are, what people like or don't like! I'm sure anyone who has experience in organising meetups will concur with me on this.
Thus, please don't be shy about speaking up and voicing your opinions and suggestions, ideas etc!
In any group situation, it's uniquely rare that every person is happy with everything proposed and suggested. For example in many remote locations in Ireland, do bear in mind there may be no 4 star 🌟🌟🌟🌟hotels to be pampered in or gourmet restaurants to dine out in close proximity so pub food and local pub or basic B&B accomodation may be the only options if you wish to come on certain walks.
Other information that'd be helpful to find out from ye members is:-- Are some places too far from mainstream towns where some members can get a bus or train to and meet up with other members who may have driven down and lift share from that point? Do ye mind traveling say an hour or hour and a half even further far past Cork city or Killarney or would ye prefer to pick more modest shorter walks with less driving time back to the Greater Dublin area if this is where most of ye may be commuting to/from? I can think of lots of short walks say around towns like Kinsale (25mins drive from Cork city) etc which are closer to Dublin than remote West Cork.
Certainly after a long drive down from Dublin, I'm sure that nobody would want to face more than a 20 or 30 minute drive if staying in hotel/hostel/b&b accomodation on a Friday night for example before even starting out a walk or a cycle say on a Saturday so common sense will dictate where we might stay in relation to the walks or where walks could start in relation to what accomodation options are possible and available at that given time in the area of the suggested activity.
There are a good few walk locations that if planned well, would allow us to literally walk out from your accomodation after breakfast to commence walking with no driving that morning required! (Handy for those feeling a bit ropey or nursing a sore head!!). One example say of a possible ...no driving needed on morning of walk location...is the lovely picturesque Durrus village on the Sheepshead Peninsula in West Cork is a village where you can start a good length walk on foot from.
Other kind of trips that could be arranged could entail hiring bikes (for those of us that don't have the means to transport one) to complete the Westport to Achill Island Greenway in County Mayo, staying in Westport etc or even trying the Waterford Greenway....The reviews rave about this cycle route as the entire section is safely off main roads on a protected track (unlike sections of the Westport to Achill Island Greenway which isn't as I witnessed myself.
Even trying surfing in somewhere like Lahinch or Bundoran is an option for those of us who have never done it or only gone a few times like myself and willing to try it again.
I've no doubt that most if not all of us are all trying to watch the €'s we spend within reason of still enjoying having a good night or weekend away. Many members thus may have slightly different budgets so everyone is free to book their own accomodation and mutually organise/share with other members should they so wish.
If the cost of even the most basic accomodation options makes a suggested or scheduled walk unviable due to ridiculous prices, that walk will be cancelled and either a new walk location will be proposed or no walk will take place for that date. Places like West Cork and Kerry are way too far to consider going just for the day without staying at least one overnight unless you are lucky enough to have the means to access a private helicoptor!
What has to be taken into consideration is any festivals or big events going on in an area that will dramatically impact on the cost and availability of be accomodation. It would of course be preferable for all members of a group meeting up for any post walk food & evening drinks if members going were all staying in accomodation in close proximity to where we've arranged say to go for dinner & drinks etc.
Nobody wants the additional hassle of unnecessary extra driving on a weekend break in addition to the basic commute down and back to Dublin or wherever if at all possible. Nobody wants the nightmare scenario either of sometimes of trying to find and organise a last minute taxi when staying in a remote location miles away from a local town or village say where most of the group are staying and will be meeting up later on. You can't properly enjoy a decent drink or two either if you have to take your car to the pub/restaurant unless you are a non-drinker.
It goes without saying also that there is no issue with anyone who isn't a drinker (pioneer) from joining the group.
Everyone is free to do their own thing, make what they want out of the group and mix in whatever way they choose to enjoy themselves and just be themselves That's what a meetup group is all about.
I'd encourage members to get to know other members not least for the purpose of car pooling &splitting travel costs which always helps; especially for those members who don't currently have a car or those who don't drive.
Nobody wants to be left out of pocket or taken for a mug either! I don't think it's unreasonable thus for one member offering another member a lift down say from Dublin etc to say Kerry or Dublin to Galway to be expected to be offered to be reimbursed for at least a reasonable split of the estimated petrol/diesel plus tolls cost or a fair amount that both parties agree on. Agree it amongst who you may be travelling with as to what is deemed fair.
Nobody likes to have to ask or chase somebody up later to cough up the dough (money) if they offer someone a lift and the other person conveniently forgets to pay or who doesn't make arrangments to pay later on...-- say if they need to go to an ATM to get cash for example. It causes embarassment having to chase people up to be reimbursed plus it can often cause resentment too. Try to avoid this situation by not taking advantage of another member's offer of a favour or good turn to you!
Believe me that it's far quicker and cheaper to travel with someone else by car if possible if you don't have a car yourself. (The more the merrier!!) and share and split say costs of €40-€50 fuel usage estimated...if on a Dublin to Westport return trip with a 3hr-3hr 30 min estimated average drive time...even say it's €60 fuel used..that's €30 each compared to the slower 4 hour train that costs up to €75 for a one adult return ticket if bought at the last minute...
Plus the trains are often packed to the rafters offering no comfort. The Kerry train from Dublin can cost €90-€100 for a return ticket if booked last minute at peak times.. That's a big painful whopping €100 spent before the fun begins !😭😢😟 Plus you may need to pay for an additional taxi from train station too to get you to your accomodation. The train say is also only an option if the group are staying in a town like Killarney or Westport where there are stations or unless another member is willing to collect you say from the train station in Killarney or Tralee to bring you on out to Dingle say if a group outing happened to be on there.
I'm sure ye all have had enough of me harping on here now so it's time for me to just about zip it 🤐🤐🤐 and say:-
A warm welcome to the group & certainly don't hesitate to get stuck right in and your comments and suggestions! Let's make this work.👍
REGARDS- Eoghan (Group Organiser)