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wicklore
2010-10-10 22:27:48
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Did you hear about...?
The weatherfolk had predicted lots of sun, high temperatures and blue skies for Wicklow yesterday as we gathered for our Scavvy 5 walk. This of course meant that we got the opposite. The sun was blazing high over Lugnaquillia alright when we reached the summit, but unfortunately between the sun and the summit was heavy cloud, freezing wind and extremely limited visibility – down to 30 feet at times. It was winter without the snow. But this was a hardy bunch that didn’t complain and accepted the weather stoically. They did themselves proud as they moved at a very impressive rate along the 20 km route which we carefully selected to ensure there was nothing to see for most of the higher level walking!

26 hardy souls with hardy soles gathered at Baravore after we left some cars near the zig-zags. The close proximity of the walk to Dublin, Wexford and Wicklow meant that we had several newcomers who were warmly welcomed into the fold. We also welcomed those who had travelled from further afield for the walk, including MVr’s who came from Derry, Kerry, Laois, Cork, Galway, Meath and Armagh! All told, we had representatives from Leinster, Munster, Ulster and Connacht, as well as proud citizens of Scotland, Wales Cornwall and England.

We headed up the Table Track with promising weather, but from the col at Camenabologue the weather turned cold and cloudy. This was to stay with us until we had come half way down Cloghernagh several hours later. What we lost in views we made up for in relating stories of dubious origin and veracity. A version of the truth, or aversion of the truth some wondered. Buried battle tanks in Glen of Imaal? Cabbage patch skirmishes at the Dwyer-McAllister cottage? Artillary fired 30kms the wrong way and never seen again? The group were kind enough to listen and not heckle the storyteller. (too much!).

It was a tough walk in conditions that wouldn’t allow us to sit for long in any one place. Three MVr’s played the role of the Meandering Men as they took the opportunity to bag extra summits along the route. Map and compass were carefully used to navigate successfully through the cloud. Many learned how featureless and disorientating the Wicklow hills can be when visibility is down to 30 feet. But everyone had kitted out well and we survived the walk!

7 hours of walking was followed by 11 hours of merriment, and the guitar was still being played by jackill at 4:30am! We organised a (cheap) cake with candles for three MVr’s celebrating their birthdays (although one unnamed person from Cornwall later admitted she was mistaken and it wasn’t really her birthday!) A fine dinner was followed by raucous singing with the band at Lynhams, and many promises were made for future Scavenger Walks in all corners of Ireland. Thanks to all who attended and who really helped to keep up the tradition of bringing strangers together to have a great day!
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