23 September 2007

Camping in Wicklow

This weekend, Kelly & I went south of Dublin to County Wicklow, to go camping with friends Michael & Patrice.

County Wicklow is known as the "Garden of Ireland" because of its beautiful scenery. Only an hour south of Dublin, it feels far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city.

We found a campground just outside the small village of Rathdrum, 65km (40 miles) from our apartment in South Dublin. If you have ever seen the show 'Ballykissangel", it is filmed in the neighboring town of Avoca.

The campground was right on the Avonmore River. As you can see in the picture above, we found a beautiful spot on a bend in the river just above a waterfall (those are our tents in the background, great location !).
(click on the picture to see it larger)

We were right across the river from the Old Mill (pictured above). Most campgrounds in Ireland close for the year by September. This was the last weekend our campground was open.

The first night was very cold, but we had fire ! It was a bit tricky lighting the fire due to the windy conditions, but the wind eventually died down.

Kelly had prepared tons of food in foil packets for open fire cooking including:
Chicken & Mushrooms
Kielbasa, Onions & Peppers
Apples & Cinnamon
Zucchini, Onions & Olive Tapenade
and much, much more !

Patrice & Michael brought enough drinks for the 15 people Kelly had brought food for, but it was only the 4 of us. Needless to say, we didn't go hungry or thirsty this weekend. (Especially after Michael bought a Stuffed Turkey leg at the store !)

On Saturday, we drove about 15km to Glendalough, site of a Monastic settlement founded by Saint Kevin in the 6th century.

The Round Tower, a 33 meter tall stone tower to safeguard church valuables from those pesky Viking marauders in the 10th & 11th centuries.

The entire area around Glendalough (Glen of Two Lakes) is criss-crossed with beautiful hiking trails and amazing views of the Glen.
The trail I had hiked a few weeks ago, The Wicklow Way, also runs through Glendalough.

We walked the trails for about 2 hours and had lunch at the local burger stand. It was the perfect day trip for our camping crew.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous. It was about 65-70 degrees with clear blue skies. Warm in the sun, cool in the shade....No rain !

Chris & Kelly by the lower lake. Kelly carrying her trademark jug of water as always !

The hike up & around the lakes even brought us past a waterfall or two.

The upper lake at Glendalough. The epitome of breathtaking Irish scenery.
(click on this picture to see it larger, absolutely beautiful)

We arrived home Sunday at around 2pm...now we just have to get the campfire smell out of everything !


Alli Arnold said...

OMG! Amazing! So pretty! Looks like you had FUN. I must admit that I am sad to see a post/trip that doesn't include ME
...but I had a good run!

Anonymous said...

How lovely! So glad to see the sun shining. Has the weather been better? Is September a good time to come visit? Did you hear we are selling our house?
for real

Chris & Kelly said...

Selling your house!?!?! Zoinks!! This is the first I've heard of it, can't wait to ge the scoop.

As for September, yes, it has been absolutely lovely. I think what we've had this past month is what the whole of summer in Ireland generally is. I would say Sept. is an ideal time for a visit.

Anonymous said...

Lovely ! I wish that i could have been part of your weekend . Are your camping friens Cans , 'cans or 'ish ?
I am quite sure that this location is where grandpa wrote a letter to his da in America , confirm that with Lol, Em or Kate .
Love, Helen