Ireland day 0020. Monday 18 October 2021- Slane
|Today’s summary||Tried to walk from Broadboyne Bridge to Slane on the Boyne path but too overgrown to be enjoyable. Did about 2km then returned and did part of the other end from the Slane ramparts|
|Today’s weather||Re- run of yesterday. Rain overnight then dry, mild and cloudy all day. No wind. About 17C|
|Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
Boyne path is on the left of the map, Slane Ramparts on right
(Click first button for gpx of the first walk on Boyne path and second button for the later walk on the Slane Ramparts)
Every morning, I’m always surprised by how long it takes to complete the basic chores of just existing before you can even begin to think about doing anything more interesting with the day. Today was no exception and by the time breakfast had been cooked served and eaten, friends back in the UK FaceTimed, packed lunches made and the washing up done, it was already nearly 12 o’clock. That limited our options for the afternoon and left me wishing for a dishwasher. We also realised with a shock that we do need to get a bit better organised because in a couple of weeks’ time the clocks go back and we will lose a valuable hour of afternoon daylight.
So a closer examination of my map showed that the Boyne Ramparts walk – which we explored last Thursday – appeared to extend a further 7km downstream from our last start / finish point at Broadboyne all the way to Slane. It would make an ideal there-and-back walk for the afternoon, with perhaps even a picturesque coffee shop in Slane at the mid-point to offer refreshment.
But things didn’t turn out quite like that. As soon as we set off, we realised, after fording a stream and scrambling up a steep mud bank into a dense forest, that this wasn’t going to be like the Boyne Ramparts walk. We eventually picked up a thin path heading roughly down-river and lavishly decorated with threatening “No Entry” and “Private Property” signs. We pressed on for 45 minutes or so but after swimming through a sea of nettles and interminable mud, and realising that if we ever did make it to Slane we would have to face all this again on the way back, so we decided that discretion was the better part of valour and turned back to the start. Another reminder that proper paths are quite literally thin on the ground in this part of the world.
We drove round to Slane to attack the eastern end of the walk – which had at least been granted a proper name (the “Slane Ramparts Walk”) – making it sound a bit more hopeful. It turned out that this end of the walk was much better maintained so we pressed upstream as far as we could before running out of time and turning back. It’s a bit frustrating not knowing how for the “good” path from the east ran before deteriorating into the “bad” path from the west – for all we know, we could have been only a hundred meters from that point when we turned back on our first excursion. It will just have to be a subject for further investigation on another day – ideally with an earlier start and thicker clothes to protect against the nettles.
So now we’re back in the cottage attending to the evening chores. I’ve been chopping wood, doing more washing up and changing the bed linen, and Val has been busy with her third on-line Irish Gaelic Zoom lesson. We haven’t decided yet what tomorrow’s agenda will hold but I have a strong suspicion that it’s going to involved no doubt frustrating bureaucracy chasing up our PPS applications – submitted over a week ago now, still with no feedback. But that’s for later – now it’s time to break open that delectable bottle of Nuits St. Tesco that has been tempting me, siren-like, from the top of the microwave for the last three days.
Today’s photos (click to enlarge)