Ireland day 0019. Sunday 17 October 2021- Fáilte

Ireland day 0019. Sunday 17 October 2021- Fáilte
Today’s summary First walk with Dublin Walking Club.   An introductory ramble round Malahide Castle Park.   Very friendly and good fun
Today’s weather Drizzle in the morning but dry by lunchtime.   No wind and no sun but very mild.   About 17C
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Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
Close-up location
(click the button below to download a GPX of the second part of our walk today (forgot to turn GPS on for the first part))
DWC Malahide

I think I have already mentioned that moving to a foreign country to live is different to moving there on holiday.   For one thing, when you are living in a place you have longer to notice more subtle differences from home.   Here in Ireland for example, I have noticed that you can’t buy skimmed milk, oatcakes or fish fingers.  On the other had though, it’s easy to pick up farm machinery, horses, and a thousand different sorts of porridge.

But one of the biggest differences is that in a foreign country, you don’t have any friends.  You miss that network of people back home who you can chat to or just bump into in the shops.   So Val and I have spent time researching clubs and societies to join and today was a bit of a landmark in that department.   We had managed to make contact with the Dublin Walking Club who invited us to come along to one of their walks this afternoon.   As unknown quantities, we were asked to join an “easy” walk – basically I think as part of a vetting process to see if we would fit in.

Anyway I’m pleased to say that I think we passed the initial screening.   Although by turning up in heavy boots and all the gear we could possibly need for a mountain bivouac for what was, essentially, a ramble around Malahide Park, we possibly slightly overdid our efforts to impress.   The walk itself was easy and enjoyable, and the leader, a jolly lady who seemed to know everyone in Malahide, made us feel welcome as well as sharing lots of useful hints and tips about living in Ireland.   And we have been invited to join an “intermediate” walk round the Howth [pronounced “Hoath“] peninsula next weekend and, possibly even a “hard” walk in the Wicklow mountains the weekend after.   Hurrah!

Afterwards, Val and I took a further walk down the coastal promenade to Portmarnock.  There’s a fabulous beach down there and also a sports centre that we were keen to check out.   The centre seemed good, but unlike most places we’ve been in Ireland, not super-friendly.   Also at €7.50 for a 30 minute swimming session, it was very expensive.

We have decided, on the basis of this, that we will just have to take up sea swimming instead.  There were lots of swimmers out today, despite it being late in the year, and one of the Club walkers, who was also a keen swimmer, told us all the best beaches to go to.  She also advised swimming 2 hours either side of high tide (as the water is deeper and easier to get in) and also only staying in as many minutes as the sea temperature is in °C.  Today the water was about 12C which would mean 12 minutes.   Which sounded about 11 minutes too long for me.   Just watch this space to see if we do eventually summon up enough courage to give it a go.

Well, that’s it for today.   And, in case you were wondering, my polyglot wife has advised me that “Fáilte” would be a good title for this blog, as it means “welcome” in Irish Gaelic.   See you tomorrow!

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

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In the castle ground as Val introduces herself to some of the Club members The castle ground themselves are surprisingly wooded and extremely well maintained
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At the Avoca cafe by the castle.  Very nice but very expensive.   Anticipating this problem after the €25 experience at Oldbridge, we took sandwiches Fabulously authentic transport in downtown Malahide.   Every trainspotter’s delight
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Looking over towards Lambay Island from Portmarnock beach.    popular swimming spot, even in mid-October Here we are again, with yet another Martello Tower in view.  The Howth peninsula is visible above my head
The Irish national cricket club play at the pitch in the castle gardens.   Internationals are regularly held here and in the past, in his retirement  the indefatigable Geoffrey Boycott used to come here and dole out advice to anyone who would listen
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