Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

Up Hill and Down Dale

on 3 July 2015

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After much bimbling round Dublin looking for some sort of supermarket to get food from for our trip – food on route dubious for legs 2&3 – we found a Dunnes and stocked up on tuna sachets, wraps and pasta mug shots. We also managed to find mugs and plastic cutlery so all final missing odds were accounted for! With my fleece in the plastics on the front of my bag and the waterproof cover over it rather than taking up a side pocket I was even able to fit these new purchases in! Most impressed with my own packing (read: cramming) success. We got to the bus stop for Glendalough 15 mins before it was due to leave – it was already loading and there were enough people before us that there were only about 7 seats left! We had a pretty uneventful drive of about 1.5 hours to get to the visitor centre at Glendalough.

We didn’t bother going into the visitor centre here as you had to pay and it didn’t look like there was much in there compared with outside, which was free so we went to check out the tower, church and miscellaneous other building in the big graveyard.

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Our first proper views of the mountains were from here and they did not disappoint šŸ™‚

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Having done our touristing, we grabbed some lunch from a burger place where we had some interesting company!

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We picked up a geocache on the way out the car park and then were off on our Wicklow Way! Unfortunately we were also off up an enormous slope up the side of a mountain, which is not fantastic when one has a big bag and is full of burger and chips!

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The whole first km was straight up, which is far from my favourite way to start anything. It took us a while…the views were worth it though šŸ™‚

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We hit a flat bit and a downhill and caught some time back, weaved through a forest and hit the bottom of the next hill – this one even bigger than the first and started to slooowly creep our way up.

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We met some of the volunteers who help maintain the Wicklow Way, who assured us it was not much further to get out of the muggy, fly-infested forest tracks and onto the open hills where the last bit of slope was gentle and then it was downhill all the way to the b&b. They were lying. Or had forgotten through familiarity how much more there was to go and how tough the terrain was. The gentle slopes did not materialise, fortunately we know how to chill when out and about šŸ™‚

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We did eventually find some downhill, then some more uphill…then the road and a long downhill…then another long uphill before we finally staggered into the entrance of the b&b to dump our heavy bags, order a takeaway and hit our shoulders with the shower. We were out 4.5 hours for the 10k distance, and that’s a long time with a backpack on! The b&b is lovely, the sheets are amazing and they’re making us breakfast and a packed lunch šŸ™‚ We shall see what tomorrow brings!

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