I turned too soon off the path. So began an upward trek onto the forested slopes of Carrignagunneen. What followed was a half-hour derring-do battle against nature, an impersonation of Rambo at his swashbuckling best pitted against all the evil pine trees of Wicklow. Too stubborn to retrace my steps, and lacking a machete, I resorted to bending, squeezing, pushing, pulling and head-butting branches out of the way. Edward Rice Burroughs would have been proud of my Tarzan moves as I desperately sought a way up and out.
Eventually I emerged like Indiana Jones out of the gloom of an Amazonian jungle, bathed in sweat and covered in pine needles (those needles, just like sand in a bikini, get everywhere). Delighted to have made it into the light I sat on a rock, enjoyed a long slug of water and was about to demolish a badly needed energy bar when this thought occurred to me: ‘Why is everything so fuzzy?’
My glasses had been knocked off by a swishing branch. I considered retracing my steps to find them but stopped at the edge of the clearing when I realised I could not identify what clump of trees I had fought my way out of, never mind following my exact upward route back down through the forest. The glasses are possibly still hanging from a branch somewhere, though I suspect they were swept to the ground and therefore virtually impossible to spot because a lot of grass grows under the trees hereabouts. Perhaps an old deer will discover them some day, and make use of them. I shrugged. An expensive hillwalk. That'll learn me, as they say.
The moral of the story is: be a real specsaver by wearing yours with one of those stringy things around your neck. Or better still remove them altogether – the irony is mine were distance specs therefore totally unrequired given that my eyes were so up close and personal with a million damned branches on the way up. Linkback: mountainviews.ie/summit/1434/comment/23270/