Summer Days Out: Powerscourt Waterfall
Thursday, July 14, 2016
So, we're half way through the long summer holidays here in Ireland and I'm conscious of the fact that I'm running out of time to attend to this year's 'Summer Bucket List of things to do'; much less blog about them. Oh, I have been a naughty blogger. And a bit of a lazy mum. But, in my defense, the weather gods have completely confused the seasons, or are utterly ignoring us, and are not bestowing upon us the required sunshine and summery inspiration.
Time to ignore the weather gods then; just make our plans, pack accordingly and off we go. One trip a week, to get an outdoor-loving teenager out of his indoor haven and into wild outdoors. Among other smaller weekly activities and household chores, of course.
Last week we headed to our traditional summer, and any time of year, fun spot to spend time in:
Powerscourt Waterfall. It is such a stunning place of natural beauty, set deep in the forests of Co. Wicklow and surrounded by a serene air of utter peace. There are always lots of families with children of all ages here and it's definitely on the tourist trail. As it should be. It is a place my parents brought us to, many times, when we were children. I have such lovely memories of eating picnics from the boot of the car, splashing around in the river, playing with any cousins who had joined us that day and doing handstands and back-bends on the river banks. Or trying to!
These days there's an entrance fee, per person as opposed to per car, which I think is a bit pricey. It now costs €11.50 for one adult and a teenager. However there are now more amenities such as: a snack shop, toilets, a great playground, lovely picnic areas where you can barbecue your own food and a proper waste recycling area.
I hope our visits are making memories and creating a love of this place for my son too. I believe they are. I don't think we'll ever tire of this place. And I'll certainly never tire of taking the traditional annual photo of it's free-flowing water......
It wasn't a sun-splitting the rocks kind of day when we visited, unlike our visit in 2013, but it was still warm enough to chill out in the river. Well, it was for the teenager. I, on the other hand, sat muffled up nearby reading my book, and trying not to shiver too loudly!
Having eaten our picnic and packed away our belongings, and disposed of all our rubbish, we then decided to go exploring. Into the dense and slightly eerie forest we went. Climbing up river banks, over spiky wire fences and in and out of steep and slippery ditches, as required. Cue much rolling of teenage eyes at the spectacle of his mother attempting such obstacle courses! But hey I made it, okay?! My way!
The eerie forest got a little eerier the deeper we went, and the more other walkers departed in other directions.
There was the detritus of fallen trees and the inventiveness of others - scouters perhaps - to use some twiggy remains to form a clever and quite functional shelter. My resident scouter assured me that it was a shelter and not a bivouac. And he should know!
The gnarled trees thickened as we wandered further in.....
As they innocently lay amid beds of clover. And not a four-leaved one among them. Yes, we searched!
We had no wish to get lost in the woods again and with no designed walker trails to follow, that we could see, we decided to circle back and descend from whence we came. Or, in other words, my scouter son lead the way and I just followed! I knew we were on the right track when we espied the waterfall trickling down behind the curtain of tree branches. Not that my son ever doubted we were on the wrong track.
Before long another lovely day spent in these fabulous environs had come to an end and it was time to go home.
All good days out to places like this always end with ice-cream. A yummylicious 99 whipped cone, to be precise.
Sadly not this day though as the shop was closed. Well, it was 6.00 pm after all.
Never mind. Instead while driving home, just yards from the exit, we were treated to the magnificent sight of a young deer gracefully leaping right across the road in front of us, from ditch to ditch. A safe distance in front of us, thankfully. An incredible moment that fleeted past far too quickly for a camera to be activated!
I have no doubt that we will be spending more time here in the months and years to come.
If you are visiting Ireland I do hope you get to visit this glorious place.
Beware of gracefully leaping deer en route if you do!