Thursday, July 21, 2022

Day two- reddest raspberries

If you haven’t ever tasted a wild Irish raspberry… you need to asap!

Today started with a dip in the Annamoe river, and a bowl of bilberry oatmeal. Then I was on my way, heading up into some of the wildest parts of the Wicklow mountains.

Like yesterday, the sheep seemed to be my most faithful companions. Then there were the Irish rabbits. They’re gigantic, like the size of a border collie. Makes our rabbits seem like squirrels!

My route, the Wicklow Way, took me past Lough Dan and Lough Tay, two stunning mountain lakes. I think my favorite part was a long ridge running south from Djouce mountain. There were no trees, only endless mountains to the west and fields and then the sun shining on the Irish Sea to the east. 

Don’t get me wrong, Ireland has its troubles too. There was a wildfire raging to the northwest, sending smoke out across my trail at one point. That said, in my opinion… it’s paradise here.

I took three more dips in some delightfully cold streams. And I tried my hand at the fishing again, to no avail.

But  the raspberries! After my last attempt at fishing ended in failure, I took a spin on a tree swing on a hill beside the creek. In the middle of my spins, there they were—a patch of unpicked red red raspberries.

Though my legs gathered their fair share of scratches, it was all worth it for those juicy red berries. They are different from store-bought berries—more intense, super sweet but also tangy… Eating them there, warmed by the sun, fresh from the vine… please, get yourself to Ireland, go on a hike in June or July, and try some!!!

I’m convinced that Saint Kevin jumped in the streams and found the raspberries too. Perhaps there weren’t any rope swings for him to ride, but for sure he found adventure in other ways.

I feel that he is my walking companion, him and the many other souls I meet along the way. Yesterday was 6 miles, today was 12, and tomorrow should be another 12. Wish me luck, blessings on you!

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