This month (November), the scout section is focusing on their Hillwalking Adventure Skill. They plan to do a number of hikes. Due to the number of new scouts in teh section this year, they decided to start off easy. They had planned to do the Greystones to Bray Cliff Walk, but due to upgrades on the train line, the journey from Balbriggan to Greystones would have taken 3 hours on teh train so it was decided to try an alternative route. We wanted to keep it a family freindly route as mums and dads and siblings were invited to attend of they wanted. The Donabate to Portrane Cliff Walk was selected with a loop from Donabate train station. About 12Km in total.
At Donabate the scouts and parents were split into 3 teams - ALPHA, BRAVO, & CHARLIE. They were told to download an app called Goose Chase and use it to complete missions during the day. Everybody buddied up and we hit the road looking for ways to fulfill the first few missions - A photo of Blue sky, a car reg over 10 years old, something beautiful etc.
It is a straight route from Donabate to the beach. When we got there, we were met the pretty cool site of a bunch of surfers out on the water. The waves looked perfect and there were cries of "AWWW Man. I just want to go surfing now". It did look pretty awsome alright. We have been surfing on a few Summer Camps now and we know how much fun it is.
While we were wathcing the surfers, some more tasks were completed and a few snacks were had. Bugsy was somewhere in the area and was looking for us. Apparently he missed us at the train station in Donabate and hurried to catch up to us., not realising he was actually ahead of us. He ran along the cliff walk and then came back to meet us so he ended up doing it 3 times. Sue he could do with the exaecise anyway. We never miss a learning opportunity and before we left th esurfers, Brendan explained about the rule so 7s for waves and the rule of 12ths for tides. This knowlede could be very important next summer when we hope to get out on the water more.
Along the route we kept an eye out for wildlife. We saw a seal bobbing in the surf and a kestrel hovering and diving in a field. It was a windy walk along the cliffs, but the rain held off.
At the far end of the Cliff Walk, we dropped down on to Tower Bay Beach. It is a lovey secluded small beach that had plenty of exciting features especially for Bugsy.
As this was a family friendly walk, the plan was to have a sand castle competition and scouts and parents were asked to bring buckets and spades. a few were produced and each team Alpha, Bravo, and Charliegot to it with a time imit of 30 mins. It's all about team work and cooperation. Bugsy was the judge and following =careful consideration awarded to prize to Bravo team.
Lunch was had while we were at the beach. Before we left, we did a quick sweep to leave no trace and picked up some additional rubbish thta was not ours and deposited it in the bin at the top of the cliff in teh car park there.
We headed through Portrane and made our way to Donabate. The 12km route was virtually flat and on easy pathways so the hike was not that long, time wise. To help extend it out, additional missions were added to the Goose Chase that would involve going into Newbridge Demesne.
Some parents and siblings left us at the train station and headed for home. When we got to th epark, each team was given an hour to complete the rest of their misisons. It was handy that there was a coffee shop in the grounds as Sue was starting to get......... we're not sure of the word, but you know what we mean. Coffee was needed.