Ireland day 0021. Tuesday 19 October 2021- Termonfeckin

Ireland day 0021. Tuesday 19 October 2021- Termonfeckin
Today’s summary Chores in the morning then extremely enjoyable walk on vast emptiness of Baltray Beach from Termonfeckin in the afternoon.   Tesco on the way home
Today’s weather Yet another re-run of Sunday.  Heavy overnight rain, drizzly morning, warm sunny afternoon.   Light wind, 18C
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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 button to download GPX of today’s walk)
Termonfeckin beach

OK I’ll admit it.   The reason why we came to Termonfeckin today was because I liked the sound of the name.   Honestly, with a place like that just up the road from where you live, how could you not want to visit it?   But before we could go there, we had the daily tasks to attend to, and today’s focus was on the washing.   I won’t bore you with the details, as I’m sure everyone knows that this is an all-day task.   But suffice it to say that by the time we left just after noon, the clothes were still in the washing machine in the middle of a seemingly endless cycle of suds and spinning, and hadn’t even made it to the tumble dryer yet.   That can be tomorrow’s task (and the day after’s too, probably).

Once we finally got away, we headed about 25 km / 16 mi north east to the village of Termonfeckin.   It’s a pleasant enough place just beyond Drogheda and close to the  north side of the Boyne estuary.   It seemed prosperous with a nice church and attractive town centre.   But its main claim to fame is the beach which lies about a kilometre to the east.  It’s a stunning place – a vast expanse of sand and sky, heading south to the Boyne estuary near Drogheda, and north to Clogherhead.   It really is a huge beach, and although it probably gets busier on a warm sunny summer weekend, it is so big that it could probably accommodate half the population of Dublin without anybody noticing.

The tide was going out so as we slowly walked south towards the Boyne, the beach got wider and wider.   By the time we were halfway down, the sea had withdrawn so far that the wreck of the Irish Trader cargo ship was beached well above the water level.   We waded through the mud, wary of stepping into a bottomless pit of sinking-sand, but were on terra firma as we explored the wreckage.   The vessel, carrying fertiliser to Drogheda, was stranded there in a storm in 1974 and now there are only a few rusting beams left to see amongst the dilapidated wreckage.   Probably within the next few years it will have disappeared completely.

We continued on down the beach as far as the southern end, where a breakwater marks the boundary between the beach and the fast-flowing Boyne estuary.   We checked that the Maiden Tower and Lady’s Finger on the south bank (see blog  from a couple weeks ago) were properly aligned then settled down behind a bank of marram grass for a picnic lunch.   A quick dash back up the beach saw us back at the car in plenty of time to call into Tesco for vital stores before a family FaceTime catch up at 6 o’clock.

All in all, a wonderful day: airy, bright, and light on the heart.

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

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This is a cast iron slab with a map of the beach etched into it.   A more robust solution to Irish weather than paper maps perhaps, but loses slightly in terms of practicality for day to day navigation in terms of size (gigantic) and weight (elephantine) The start of the walk down the beach involved crossing a stream.   This meant either a long detour upstream to a bridge, or a quick paddle to the other side.   We chose the wet feet option
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The beach south from Termonfeckin towards Mornington (near Drogheda)  Blowing sands like spindrift creating eerie patterns on the beach
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Seemingly endless vistas looking north from the far end of the beach near the Boyne estuary All that remains of the Irish Trader– carrying fertilizer to Drogheda but wrecked in a storm in 1974.   Now decaying in the high tides, and slowly being reclaimed by the sea
Note the shorts.   Important to be aware that the long-trousers wearing season doesn’t officially begin until November.   I have to admit I have been a bit negligent in observing this regulation since arriving, largely on account of the rain and the nettles
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