Thursday, April 26, 2012
Sunday morning Clara and I put together a salad and rice in containers with some utensils so we could take a lunch with us on our trip to Glendolough. We didn't know how long the day would be or when we would be back, so a packed lunch, even a small one was a good idea. We had planned to leave at nine to get a good start on any bad weather, since Saturday's clear sky and bright sun was supposed to be followed by clouds and possible showers, but Lindsay overslept and was not ready in time. We were soon in Wicklow once we got on the road. We passed some very interesting farm land and gardens on the way. One interesting sight was an olive tree orchard boardrs by cobble stone walls and a tall birch hedge. The were several sheep farms and small cattle herds in the valley at the bottom of the Wicklow mountains throughout the wide green pastures. We headed up into the hills, climbing fast and heading over the ridges through winding sharp roads. It reminded me of the roads in rural West Virginia, but were very foriegn to Lindsay who had never driven outside of New York before she came to Ireland. She took the road slowly as a line of locals began to gain behind us, again reminding me of driving the roads back home. The park where we were going to hike was in the same town I had met Jame's almost a month before when I traveled to Burtown from Avoca. The area was a reserved section of the Wicklow Mountains National Park with a series of trails the led to som of the higher ridge points in the area and over looked a large rocky gorge nearly a half mile wide or more known as the wicklow Gap. We parked and found the trail we wanted to try which was eleven kilometers to the top. On the way up we passed a monasary village and graveyard with a large old bell tower and churches. There were two large lakes in the valley of the mountain which were surrounded with parks and boardwalks. We hiked past a waterfall coming from the several natural springs through out the hill side and a few areas with shaped rocks and erie trees hich were prayer places for the old monks. When we got to the split onto the trail we wanted, we decided to go the opposite firection around the loop than the rest of the hikers we saw. This was a common tourist area so we were constantly passing by groups and families. The path started off steep and climbed the mountain in a zig zag past areas of thick pine and a lumber lurry. The higher parts were bare of trees and just had grass visable before the overlook of the other mountains in the area. It seemed like scenic views one after another once we passed a certain altitude.from th highest point we could see back to the valley of kildare on one side and glimpses of the Irish sea on the other. Before we started down the path leading to the bottom we sat and took it in for a mintue. The air, the smells, the view of the horizon and the lake below us was all amazing. The path down was mostly stairs. hundreds of them, winding back and forth through a thick forest and across grassy ridges be side the large cliffs dropping into the lakes. After looking over the edge too long I would begin to loose my sense of depth and how far away the tiny trees at the bottom were. We finished the hike and walked back to the car for our lunch. We considered taking our salad and rice back to the lake to sit and eat, but Lindsay was too tired already from all the walking and the lake was another one or two kilometers just to sit and eat. Once we sat down for a while in a patch of grass by the car I felt my own fatigue kick in and my calves start to tense up. It was a nice drive back as dark weather moved in and we stopped for some Irish ice cream to relax with. We got back to the house and settled down for the rest of the afternoon. I spent some time playing music and drawing, then I took a nap and sat around for a quiet evening bfore I started back in the gardens the next morning.