Wicklow Way Trip Report
While in Ireland for a couple of days for a work-related retreat, I took the opportunity to look around. The venue for our meetings was a youth hostel set on an idyllic mountainside, and in the hostel was a flyer for a short walk on the nearby Wicklow Way. In Ireland, as in the British Isles, "walk" translates roughly to the American "hike," with hillwalking being a bona fide hobby among the locals.
The day before the retreat, a couple of colleagues and I had visited nearby Glendalough, and did a brief walk through the woods there. It had been a while since I had done any hiking, and the chance to stroll for a only a couple of miles really stoked my interest. So it was with great interest that I saw the hostel flyer, and decided that a walk though the Wicklow Mountains was in my future.
On one particular morning, before the meetings started, I grabbed the flyer from the hostel board, and set out up the hills. The map advertised a 3-mile route to a overview of Powerscourt Waterfall. Although I hadn't brought any of my standard gear (pants, shoes, hat) with me, thankfully the trail proved doable without them.
The morning was sunny and cool, and the season meant that the grass was growing, but most trees still didn't have their leaves. I also passed a number of fields in which the fen would be high at a later month, but for my walk they were still rather barren.
The trail seemed rather popular with the locals, and I saw many out for a Saturday morning constitutional. I passed fields of sheep as I wandered through a small valley and up the next mountainside. At times, I saw recently logged forrest, while other times I discovered ancient fences. The walk wasn't overly strenuous, nor the day warm, which made for a great event.
I made my goal: the overlook for Powerscourt Waterfall, and stayed a few moments to enjoy the view. From my perch I could see the falls in one direction, but also the Sea of Ireland in another. Shortly after beginning my decent, I saw our hostel on the other side of the valley, giving me a bit of perspective on how far I had come. After a brief shortcut through, I returned back to the hostel a couple hours after I'd left.
Upon my return, I later learned that the group planned to do the same walk later that day. My feet hurting a little from the lack of proper footwear, and not wanting to give my dermatologist too much business courtesy of the Irish sun, I declined. The walk was a really good way of seeing parts of Ireland that the typical 3-day visitor wouldn't ordinarily see.