Hill Walking in the Wicklows

Trip Start May 30, 2010
Trip End Aug 15, 2010

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Flag of Ireland  , County Wicklow,
Monday, June 14, 2010

We spent the weekend hill-walking in the "Wicklows" with our friends Jim and Oonagh. The boys loved climbing when it was open heather where we could see for miles, but became bored hiking in the forest with limited views.  Ireland had forests long, long ago, if I am quoting Jim correctly from a decade ago, but most of the forests were eliminated over centuries of overuse.  Ireland's forestry department began a tree-planting program some time ago, and the forests we recall from our last visit in 2000 as tiny trees no higher than our knees are now full-grown trees.  Things grow fast here!

We walked to the top of the “back hill” behind Jim and Oonagh’s mountain cottage Saturday and made a picnic of it.  From the house and the hilltop we saw Lugnaquilla, the highest mountain in County Wicklow.  Jim and Oonagh led Chris and Melinda up “Lug” a decade ago; Andy was very upset that he couldn’t climb it this trip.  We promised him there would be future opportunities to climb Lugnaquilla!

The names Wicklow and Wicklows have become a joke with our family and Jim and Oonagh.  We call the mountain range by its name with an “s” added; for example, we live in the Rockies.  This sounds utterly ridiculous to Irish ears, so we have become the “Colorados” to Jim and Oonagh.  It was wonderful to catch up in person as we’ve been friends for 20 years now, with visits every decade.  We all agreed the next visit would have to be sooner than 2020.

Sunday while Jim and Oonagh dismantled their living room in preparation for a remodel beginning Monday, we went to Glendalough, a well-known monastic site in County Wicklow.  The last time we visited it was very atmospheric with low-hanging clouds and mist descending from overcast skies.  This time, at the start of our visit we had blue skies and puffy clouds.  Glendalough’s charm for me lies in its ancient ruins among the low clouds and mist, so this visit seemed surreal.  However, the skies soon cooperated, and we had buckets of rain to contend with.  We acted Irish, however, and didn’t let a bit of rain stop our walk (until Liam’s pants were totally soaked and he was blue and shivering).
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Katie on

Wow- that is some green! Oddly enough, we have had rain for the last 2 1/2 days. I thought it was "green" here... Glad you are having a wonderful trip!

Deanna and family on

Hello there. The heathers are beautiful I bet those were so much fun to walk and run through.. Ireland is MAJESTIC to say the least. wish we could see it with you. BOYS: you must be growing you look so big and grown up.. I love the celtic cross. Thank you for sharing. Love, Deanna, John, Graice & Malachi

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