Stats: Weather, A little cloudy, pleasant later as the sun broke through  ; distance 10 Km, Height gain 400m.

 

We had a large contingent out today, the Grand Master Dermot, myself Ken, Hugh, Norman  and John and we were joined by our friends from Meetup, Amer & Blundell (both would make excellent chaperones for the Rose of Tralee) plus Cristina (our Italian Rose), Tatiana (our Brazilian Rose) and a new walker Erica (our Carlow Rose).

And who knew that the dark horse Blundell was the poster boy for modern multicultural Ireland, with him just back from South America, being fluent in Portuguese not to mention his knowledge of the Wicklow Mountains (total respect     ).

Meeting in Ballinteer as usual we took 4 cars in order to accommodate everyone. Leaving Dermot’s car at the end of the walk (beside Lough Dan, just past the Scouts Camp).

We started our walk on the Wicklow Way, the lane just after Glendalough House. Parking our cars in our usual parking spot, off the road in a wide verge we were all glad to get moving as it was quite cold while we got ready. Heading up towards Dry Hill, we began our ascent of Scarr and the effort soon warmed our cockles.

On the summit the winds were blowing powerfully so we opted to sus, sheltering just over the ridge and with the sun breaking through and the shelter from the winds, it was quite pleasant, that is until at the end of our refreshments when Norman gave us all a talk on the dangers of Ticks in the mountains and lyme disease. Frightened the bejesus out of everyone and for the next while, there was an awful lot of scratching, itching and twitching.

We then headed down the steep side of scar on the path towards Kanturk when John spotted a Red Tailed Kite and also informed us that they are quite common in Spain but much less so in Ireland, it was a majestic looking bird and seemed an excellent navigator of Scarrs strong winds.

The valley between Scarr and Kanturk was a little wet in places, though generally quite a good track but on the decent of Kanturk it was a different matter, as we headed to an area called ‘The Crap’ which was very appropriate as it was hard going, very wet and well … Crap.

On surviving the toilet, we soon got to the panoramic vista of Lough Dan and paused a while to take in its majesty. Passing through the unusual style gate and descending to the lake path, Amer noticed a lump of (I’ll be delicate here) poo, moving and on careful examination we discovered a dung beetle was attempting to move this prize, which was by comparison, the size of a house. He kept us all very entertained for quite a time and got a huge applause from everyone on succeeding to roll this trophy.

As we got towards the end of the path we realized that we hadn’t seen the Petrie seat but perhaps we all were too distracted to notice. On arrival at Dermot’s car the drivers were ushered back to their cars, Hugh requested everyone to wait and make sure that his car wasn’t stuck in the soft verge (which had previously happened) but unfortunately Blundell and Dermot didn’t hear his pleas and both sped off. Of course Hugh’s car was stuck in the mud. Luckily with the aid of an abandoned mound of gravel and just a little effort from me, Hugh didn’t have to spend the night in the mountains. We headed back to collect the remaining walkers at the scouts camp and most walkers headed back to Ballinteer for refreshments and a good chat after another successful day.