Sunday Camino prep walk with CaminoWays.com, on the morning of the 25th just before setting off from Sandyford, it was a nice morning warm and over cast, but nice all the same. As I drove through Enniskerry and started to climb along the Glencree Valley towards Loch Bre the weather started change for the worse, by the time I had made it to the meeting point (a car park on the military road) the conditions had deteriorated dramatically, visibility had been reduced to roughly 30-60 meters. I was not feeling comfortable about leading a group into the misty unknown. I talked with the walkers and CaminoWays.com team in the car park, the decision was made to change the location of the walk to the Spink walk in Glendalough even if the conditions were similar there, the location offered a selection of interesting low level walks.
When we arrived at Glendalough the weather conditions were far more favourable, we waited for 30 minutes to allow everyone time to arrive before setting off on the Spink walk, a looped walk of Glendalough’s upper lake from the car park onto the southern ridge along board walk to an abandoned miners village at the head of the valley then returning to the car park via a low level picturesque lake shore trail.
As we left the car park the going was quite hard, you gain altitude very quickly, it was important to take this section very slowly and pace yourself. With the best intention in the world of pacing the group appropriately most of us suffered, some more than others. With a decent rest at the top of the first hill as a reward allowing the group time to catch its breath and enjoy the awe inspiring views from this vantage point, our break location offered a panoramic vista from the Miners village all the way to the round tower at the other end of the valley.
We followed the board walk along the ridge of the Spink walk which was surprisingly busy with both walkers, runners and dogs coming from both directions, there were plenty of moments where groups had to dismount the board walk to allow fellow travellers past (right of way was normally offered to the weariest looking walker).
We stopped for lunch beside the fast flowing Glenealo River just above the miner’s village, it was a beautiful location for a sandwich and tea. Feeling refreshed after our short stop we descended the last section of rough trail to the miner’s village, a scatted collection of stone shells that were once the lodgings, work rooms and canteen for an industry long forgotten in the area but the landscape still bears its scar.
The level trail along the banks of the upper lake signified the home stretch for this outing, even tired and sore, through a gap between some trees this area still managed to bring a smile to my face by unveiling a magnificent yet peaceful view of the lake that I am sure anyone in a rush could have easily missed, reminding me once again that the destination is not the goal.
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