Just about 15 minutes from South Dublin, the landscape starts to change as you enter the Wicklow area and the gigantic Nature reserve- some 20,000 hectares of it. The first time we drove up to it–I was amazed at the vastness and serenity of it all-
The winding ‘Military Road’ takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes I have ever seen– and introduces you to a geographical vocabulary that you may have only heard or read about. Your car crawls through vast swathes of moorland covered with gorse, heather and bracken ( I remember these from Enid Blyton stories and was terribly excited when they were pointed out to me !), boglands from where the famous ‘peat’ comes from, and low mountains dotted with small lakes that appear a dark, glistening grey-almost black- under the Irish sky that can change within minutes with great drama from an ominous dark grey to a flecked blue,grey and white.
The swathes of grass and heather bushes move between the colors of gold, brown and green-varying from a muted olive to brilliant emerald- the ratio changing according to the season. In the months of August and September blossoms of the heather paint the landscape in purple.
You pass through valleys with beautiful names-Glenmacnass,Glenmalure, Glendalough , and little hills called Luggala, Lugnaquilla and Camaderry.
There are areas like the Glenmacnass valley that are desolate and you have a feeling of almost complete, dramatic isolation. Wild boglands seem to stretch for miles and the winding, narrow road is visible from places with perhaps a lone car crawling its way up in the distance. I suppose the area is so vast and the population density so low that only a very few cars seem to traverse this route.
I go to this area often and just sit there, experiencing the feeling that I am, perhaps, the only person in this world.
Photos by my husband, Debashish.
See this post (as well as some other similar ones) at another very nice blog- The Tablescaper.