Hitchhiking in Ireland: from Glendalough to Waterford – Part 1/3

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March, 2013. My time in Ireland was about to end. After quitting my two jobs and spending an amazing St. Patrick’s day in Dublin it was time to start a short trip around this country.
Hitchhiking was the main idea, but it could change depending on the weather, which is very likely when you’re talking about Ireland.
So, my trip would start in Glendalough, I’d take the first bus in the morning and spend my first day there. I had seen pictures and heard a lot of good stuff about the Wicklow National Park and was looking forward to seeing a bit of it through the trails in Glendalough.

One of the entrances to the national park

One of the entrances to the national park

Glendalough

I’ve spent only a day hiking around there and I felt like I should had stayed longer. Such a beautiful and quiet place. The weather was a bit shitty, but again, that’s Ireland, so you gotta suck it up and move on. Hiking with a bit of snow in a place like this is definitely one of the most memorable things I’ve ever done. Amazing views from the two lakes and being in touch with animals in their natural habitat is such an incredible experience. I saw like a dozen of deers at about 10 meters from me. They wouldn’t stop staring at me and I did the same. When I moved further they would move backwards. Amazing. I’d highly recommend you to spend at least a whole day in these mountains, and if you can get there when there aren’t many people, your experience will be truly incredible.

Be aware of bear. This path leads to a hiking trail along the ridge

Be aware of bear. This path leads to a hiking trail along the ridge

Path along the ridge in Glendalough

Path along the ridge in Glendalough

http://www.wicklowmountainsnationalpark.ie/UpperLakeSites.html

View from the Upper Lake

People

I was sleeping in a hostel right beside the visitor centre and my next day would be on the road. I had no idea of how it’d be, as it was a weekday and there was not too much traffic going through the road I had to take. Hostel was empty too, but there was someone in the same room that I was sharing. Unfortunately, I didn’t meet them until the next morning.

Old cemetery near the visitor centre and the hostel.

Old cemetery near the visitor centre and the hostel.

Daniel, an Irish man, who had lived in the US, the UAE and in several places around Ireland told me in a good mood that he almost didn’t sleep due to the fact that I moved too much while sleeping and my bed was very noisy. We’ve talked a lot over a terrible continental breakfast, that cost me more than 5 Euros, and I told him that I was planing to hitchhike to Waterford that day. He told me that he was going to Dublin, so it wouldn’t be to much of a help, but he could drive me to the road and save me a 20 minutes walk. Well, that’s great.
Once on the road, we both realized that it’d be a bit difficult to get out of there heading to Waterford. We looked at his map, and then he said he could take a different (much longer) route to get to Dublin, leaving me in a better spot. While talking about life and how people deal with the ups and downs, he quoted someone that he couldn’t remember: “Rather light a candle than complain about darkness.”
He dropped me in Kilcullen where we had coffee and he gave me his map. He said he could get another one easily and it’d be much more of a help if it stayed with me.

Upper Lake in Glendalough

Upper Lake in Glendalough

Amazing how nice people can be with strangers. This guy who I had just met, the very one that couldn’t sleep due to my noisy bed, had offered me a lift to the completely opposite direction that he was going, and also gave me his map. Wherever you are now, mate, I’m very thankful for what you’ve done for me.

Do you wanna read the second part? Click here.

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