Out and about

18 Jun

Having additional transport, in the form of a bike, when living aboard is proving to be a bonus.

It means that we are not restricted to exploring on foot or to the limitations of public transport, although both of these have their own merits.

I’ve been using the bike to search out necessities in the town, saving quite a bit of time and effort. I’ve also been able to explore potential running routes that I would probably have overlooked. I’ve also been able to see a bit more of Ireland than I otherwise would have done.

On my birthday I treated myself to a cycle 16 miles up the coast to Wicklow (this is the county town, but quite a bit smaller than Arklow). I stopped for lunch when I arrived there (very civilised) and then had a wander around Wicklow Gael (obviously not quite so civilised but interesting nevertheless – ’twas an education on Irish history). On the return leg I managed to stay on the bike the whole way – I had a spectacular fall into the middle of the road on the way there, when I came to a halt but forgot that my feet were still clipped to the pedals – duh!. Not much damage, other than my pride and skinned knuckles!

Brittas Bay, on the way to Wicklow

Brittas Bay, on the way to Wicklow

This little trip whetted my appetite for more exploring. So, on Tuesday I set off inland to Glendalough, having had several independent recommendations as ‘THE’ place to see. Glendalough is a glacial valley on the edge of the Wicklow Mountains; its name means “Glen of the Two Lakes”. As well as offering spectacular scenery and a variety of forest & hill walks, it is an ancient monastic settlement. Apparently, St Kevin first built a church here in the 6th century – I can’t help thinking of Harry Enfield at this point!

Glendalough

Glendalough

Glendalough was indeed very beautiful and I can definitely recommend a visit. I would suggest getting there very early though, I wish I had. I arrived in the early afternoon and the peace and hoped-for sense of spiritualilty were hugely diminished by the coachloads of sightseers and parties of boisterous school kids. Nevertheless, I had a great day and slept like a log that night, having cycled 43 miles involving 3300 ft of ascent and 3700 ft descent.

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