I really enjoyed my Gold Gaisce Journey. I did the hike with my brother (as he had hiked the route before) and two of my friends. We hiked from Marlay Park in Dublin to Hollywood in Wicklow. We hiked for four days and stayed in three hostels.
We brought a large rucksack each which we carried while we hiked. After about 20km of hiking I realized a power hairdryer and GHD were not actually essentials when packing for a hiking trip and do in fact add about 5kg extra to your rucksack. Also just because you are doing your adventure journey during Summer doesn’t mean it will necessarily be that warm and an alternative to shorts such as running leggings or tracksuit bottoms may be handy (something I also discovered about day 2 into the adventure journey). A rain jacket is always good and a decent pair of hiking boots. There actually isn’t too many spectators apart from sheep up in the mountains so you don’t need to pack your whole wardrobe just enough that you will have a change of clothes for the next day if something gets soaked so two t-shirts, two fleeces, a pair of running leggings, a pair of shorts and a rainjacket would probably be ideal. Pack a few pairs of socks and definitely bring a pair of thick socks like ski socks to make the hiking boots more comfortable.
We packed lunches for the first two days and brought some pasta and stir in sauce for the first evening which we shared between the four of us. The next day we bought dinner in the town we stayed in. We then ordered food the third night and bought a lunch for the fourth day from a shop. Also, before you book hostels you should check if they provide breakfast as most of them do.
I would highly recommend bringing blister plasters as one of my friends had so many blisters she could barely get her hiking boots on and unfortunately we hadn’t thought to bring plasters (at least her hair was straight though…). Another tip would be to get travel bottles to put things like shampoo, conditioner and shower gel in rather than lugging around big 500ml bottles of Tresseme hair products as while your bag may feel light enough when you begin your hike I assure you it will slowly begin to weigh you down.
It’s always best to do a hike in a group with a minimum of four people as then if one person gets injured one person can stay with them and two people can continue on to get help and no one gets left alone. Fortunately our little group managed to come out of the hike unscathed.
It is a really fun experience and definitely something I would recommend. The route which we did wasn’t too tough but was also challenging enough that it made you feel like you had accomplished something!