Further to my last post – discussing the joy of doing nothing – I have been quite busy filling up my time with fun-filled activities and reigniting my social life (*cough* may have also taken a day to go and get my old job back. Turns out I can’t completely relax with nothing on the horizon, no matter how hard I try).
Last week, for example, Erin and Eve and Lucy and I went on a self-led hike (unplanned) from Greystones to Bray (two different towns with an almighty hill in between).
There’s a little restaurant in Greystones called The Happy Pear – a superfood-y kind of place with all sorts of delicious things owned by a pair of very happy twin brothers, hence the name. It so happens that Eve is an avid fan of The Happy Pear – both the restaurant and its cheery owners – and had seen on their Instagram recently that they lead treks around the area every Wednesday evening, beginning outside their restaurant after it’s closed for the day. So off we went. We gathered ourselves at Dun Laoghaire Dart station (the coastal train, for anyone unfamiliar with Dublin transport) and headed off to Greystones, full of pep for an organised hike.
Only sadly, but typically, we arrived on a very empty-looking street outside the decidedly closed Happy Pear. It turned out that that particular week the hike had been cancelled. Anyway, we were neither surprised nor irked – we are used to our lack of organisational skills and we used the opportunity to head to the nearest supermarket and gather snacks. We would do the Bray Head Hike by ourselves.
For a bit of fun, let me introduce the team.
Me (Kiera). Hair braided in Serious Cross-Country Hiking Do: ready for anything. Excited at prospect of climbing in to a field full of sheep to play with them, which it turned out we weren’t allowed to do. Oh well.
Lucy (Lulu). Brought spare bejewelled headband for Emergency Fringe Pinning when the going got tough (about three hours in to the trek). Also cleverly brought bag of crisps to dissuade mid-hike tummy-rumbling. Sadly she and I ate the packet before we even decided on our route. This is also typical.
Erin. Looked the most stylish of all of us, dressed in the chicest of workout-wear plus Kenneth Cole handbag. Carried out the necessary task of asking passing locals for directions, after out third time taking the wrong turn out of Greystones.
Eve. Led the way, for the most part. Even though none of us had a clue which direction to take, Eve confidently decided the best paths to get us from the roadside to the edge of the mountain – perhaps she could hear the Happy Pear Pair speaking to her and guiding her in the wind. She and I bought hideous superfood juices which resembled mashed seaweed and unfortunately spent the first hour of the walk cleaning goji berry off our teeth.
So off we went. Up the main road from Greystones, past flower-covered cottages and sheep-filled fields, until we could eventually turn off to the mountain side where we had to stumble, Bear Grylls style, through nettles and thorn bushes and who knows what else. Luckily no cowpats. It did possibly take us longer than expected (two hours extra, in fact. Google Maps can be a bit difficult when it wants and it kept telling us we were at our destination when clearly we were just standing outside somebody’s house being barked at by their overly concerned dog) but we eventually made it to Bray Head, where you can look miles and miles out to sea and feel tiny and insignificant in the big wide world at the top.
After marvelling at the vastness of even this very little chunk of the planet for twenty minutes, we decided to descend – we were all starving and complaining of stiff bum/shin splints/chilliness and trying to ensure we could get the last bus to our various abodes.
And so I arrived home, already feeling the brunt of the uphill climb in my legs, at about 11pm. Definitely a lot of fun, and something I would urge everybody to do if they have a sunny evening with no plans. Go on a hike, get lost, find your way again, and feel wonderful. It also helps if you have a motley crew in tow (plus I certainly wouldn’t have liked to trek along that mountainside alone. One false move and I’d have slipped effortlessly down the 400 feet of gorse and into the sea. Not as much fun, methinks).
Now I’m off again. It’s only 8 days until I jet off to Italia with Jacko, which I am molto eccitata about. I’m sure I’ll be chatting to you in the meantime – I still have some Nothing-To-Do-Time to fill with exciting things.
Ciao for now!