Monday, January 08, 2007


Yesterday saw the annual 47th Ballybrack Scout Andrew Carroll Memorial Hike. All family and friends of children who are in 47th Ballybrack beavers, cubs, scouts or venture scouts are invited and yesterday 98 brave (some may say stupid) people turned up for the event. Being scouts or relatives of scouts from Ireland we knew we had to come prepared for the weather. Those of us who had done our homework knew the forecast wasn't great but the day started bright and reasonably warm for this time of year.

Glendalough is a famous Irish landmark, though it's not where St Patrick chased away the snakes (which is a myth). St Kevin Founded a monastery in Glendalough (read more here) in the sixth century the remains of which are still there today. All around the monastery is the most beautiful Wicklow countryside including the Wicklow Pass and Sally Gap. There are a variety of walks here ranging from short and buggy friendly to long, steep hikes. The Wicklow Way also runs through this area.

As always the hike started with a climb up the side of a waterfall at the top of which we joined a path that sweeped it's way up the mountain. The weather although a bit dull was clear and the view of the lake was fantastic. The path up the mountain seemed to go on forever and ever and Ben (possibly the youngest there and the only little one who walked the whole way) was lagging behind a bit.

Here he comes stomping his way up the hill.

Not very happy because his boots had started to rub, so it was time for a plaster stop. Shortly after the drizzle started and we all put on our rain coats. Ten or fifteen minutes later the drizzle turned into rain so out came the waterproof leggings and still we hiked upwards. Ben and I were bringing up the rear, along with four of the leaders. Paul (Dillon's scout leader) offered to give Ben a piggy back but Ben (stubborn as he is) refused and started walking at twice the pace. We soon caught up with the rest of the group who had stopped by some thick trees for lunch.

Everyone scrambled up the bank looking for cover under the trees so they could eat lunch. Ben managed to drop his roll so it got soaked through and was inedible! Luckily I had plenty of fruit and chocolate to give him energy. After lunch the leaders decided to head back to the car park via the quickest route and not continue upwards as planned. Ben was determined to get back to the car and off he walked quickly and quietly with his head down. By this time most of us realised our waterproof trousers were really only shower proof not gallons of rain proof. We don't know how waterproof Dillon's are as he was the only scout not to put his on!

We arrived back to the car park about three and a half hours after we set off and were greeted with hot soup and sandwiches served by the ventures. We all gathered for a group photo then it was home for hot bath.


ChrisB said...

Glad you made it. I was thinking about you all as it was an awful day here. (they had closed Bristol Airport because the runway was unsafe did you hear). Ben is a good little trooper and very determined well done him.

Asha said...

WOW!! Beccy,pics are so beautiful!Glad you are all greeted with hot soup!Quite an adventure!:))

Sam said...

is this a picture of Glendalough too?
another example of Dillon not wearing his raingear?

Anonymous said...

Beccy you have some wonderful walking tracks where you live.

Emma in Canada said...

Oh my gosh...he's a beauty. My uncle was a venture scout leader for years in Weston-super-Mare, I never made the connection that it was a continuation of Boy Scouts. Duh. I always think it's the Rangers here, but that's the girls. I think.

sallywrites said...

Wow! I didn't know that I had a gap named after me. A very nice gap though. What a beautiful place!


Beccy said...

I think Glendalough has to be one of the nicest places to walk in Ireland (i'm sure there are lots more I've never visited).

Ireland is also a great place for scenic driving. Not so good if you want to get from A to B in a hurry!

Beccy said...

Sally we returned from a wedding once over the Sally Gap. I was rather the worse for wear and neither appreciated the beauty or the fact that there were no decent roads to get me home quicker!