Sunday 21st September 2014
And so my journey began…Day one of my ‘Digital Dame Goes Wild’ Eco Tour of Ireland. I had picked up my Opel Mocca S vehicle kindly sponsored by local car dealers Ferrybank Motors based in Wexford the day before so Sunday was just about packing then off I set! (I think I packed for every possible weather scenario!!)
I had to do a quick pitstop at my twin sisters’ place in Dublin to borrow a super groovy sleeping bag (those scenarios again) and was on my way.
Everybody has heard of Slane – Slane concerts, Slane castle, ‘I Love Slane’ Tee-shirts in the 80’s… This however, was my very first time to visit Slane and as I began my descent into the picturesque village of Slane I knew I had arrived somewhere special.
Steeped in history and awash with folklore entering Slane takes you back in time – it seems to hit a deep rooted nerve within your very being. Following my (relatively) trusty Google Map Lady – we shall call her Grace – I turned off to the left just before the bridge to head up to the Rock Farm Slane Campsite.
Carina met me at the campsite carpark and, as I marvelled at the many pheasants, she put my bags into a wheelbarrow and off we set.
Carina has a wonderful gift of making you feel at home and relaxed almost immediately so we decided that coffee was probably the next most important consideration at that point. We chatted amicably whilst brewing a cup then sat on the rustic styled yet warmly inviting outdoor veranda as she ran through a short bio of Rock Farm Slane and what it means to her, hubby Alex and their 3 gorgeous children.
Rock Farm Slane is a Gold Certified Eco Tourism Business that offers a unique eco friendly accommodation experience with a choice of Glamping yurts and shepherd huts that can accommodate couples,families and small groups as well as Weddings when extra bell tents can be erected.
I was again reminded of the historic Crannogs of Ireland past, these days however there is a lot more luxury thrown in! Comfortable beds, easy to light stoves and an outdoor hot tub to sip champagne in under a blanket of stars .. should that be your want 🙂
My accommodation for the night was a shepherds hut located close to the main communal area to ease any fears I may have had about sleeping there alone.
We set out on electric bikes for a whirlwind tour of Slane. Rock Farm Slane have a number of electric bikes that they hire out to residents or groups looking to experience something different without breaking into too much of a sweat. I am now a major electric bike fan!! (as you know I have begun this tour to get back out from behind my desk and boy did these bikes help me get back into the rhythm and up that hill!)
Carinas’ local knowledge is indepth and she shares her knowledge enthusiastically with lots of facts and folklore about the past.
After the tour I explored the Glamping site and made myself a hot chocolate then sat on the swing under the huge oak tree as I imagined the battles of the past that had taken place so close by this peaceful serene hideaway.
As I prepared for bed it was time to try the on-site compost loo – I found using the compost loo totally fine and it really makes you wonder about the amount of waste we process in such an inefficient & expensive manner when a compost loo is so simple.
Living in the country as I do, the silence of the Shepherds Hut was no bother although I imagine with other people staying in the site you would feel more relaxed. I had lit my stove earlier and my hut was roasting! I had to open the door for a while, guess my fire lighting skills are improving!
In the morning I was greeted by a large hare loping through the grounds and lots of bemused looks from the pheasants. The showers are not only beautifully decorated but also very nice and HOT! – something I had worried a little about- after all there’s nothing like a good shower to set you up for the day.
It was a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend checking them out especially for a family getaway, romantic break or hen party. Carina’s husband Alex is currently setting up a whiskey distillery so if you’re really nice he just might give you a tasting!
Listen to our ‘Cuppa Tae’ Chat here: https://soundcloud.com/ecoactive/rock-farm-slane
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