Hiking, trail walking, rambling, hill. walking...whatever you prefer to call it, it's something I've been doing a lot of this past year. I'm very lucky to live in Dublin, which has many great walks within easy reach of the city providing a wide variety of scenery. I've trundled up hills, across cliffs and around lakes in the past few months, getting creative inspiration from nature as I try to get fit.
|The smaller reservoir at Bohernabreena|
I find the fresh air, exercise and closeness to nature very refreshing. The beautiful Irish landscapes fire my creativity. Water, whether it be from sea, lake, river or canal, particularly inspires many of my designs.
A couple of weeks ago I explored the Bohernabreena Reservoirs with a friend. I haven't been there since I was about twelve. I hadn't realised just how close the lakes are to the city so will go back again and again.
To get there from the city centre, I took the 49 bus to the Old Mill Pub, Tallaght. There I met up with a friend who led me on a 10 minute walk up the Kiltipper Road to, most unexpectedly, the Kiltipper Woods Care Centre (nursing home)! It turns out though, the centre's coffee shop, Cafe Woods, is open to walkers and passers-by so it's a handy little pitt stop.
The trail starts from here with a path that takes you straight through Kiltipper Park and out on to the Bohernabreena Road, almost opposite the car park for the Bohernabreena Waterworks at Glenasmole Valley. Turn right when you come out of the park and walk just a hundred yards or so and you will see the entrance. (If you're not used to country roads, take care to walk against the traffic as far in off the road as you can as there is no path. The road is not as quiet as it seems.)
We took the tree-lined path to the left of the larger reservoir to follow the loop all the way around. Once you get to the upper end of the lake, you pass through a gate, turn right and walk a few yards to another gate. Here, you pick up the return path leading past both reservoirs and all the way back to the car park.
The river Dodder runs alongside this path. The peaty water is a striking chestnut brown colour and looks like a river of Guinness! It also reminds me of the colour of bronzite, an artificially weathered stone that looks like metal.
Some jaspers can also be a rich, chestnut brown, like the stone in this brown jasper necklace found in my Etsy shop. After this walk, I made a friend a pair of earrings using similar stones. I have a small disc of bronzite that I want to fashion into a pendant, or perhaps a keyring, next.