Ireland day 0027. Monday 25 October 2021- Gap

Ireland day 0027. Monday 25 October 2021- Gap
Today’s summary Admin in the morning, then a short walk on the beach at Meaghsland to close the gap between the Clogherhead and Termonfeckin walks
Today’s weather Rain showers overnight but dry all day today with plenty of sunshine and little wind.   About 14C
IMG_5514 meaghsland map
Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
Close-up location
The red line is today’s walk, the northerly black line is the Clogherhead walk, and the lower black lines are the Termonfeckin walk (N) and the Baltray walk (S).  Today’s walk closed the gap between the upper two.
(Click the button below to download a GPX of our walk)
Gap gpx

Last night we streamed a UK music station into the cottage over the wifi.   It was a strangely unsettling experience, actually.   Not the music so much, but listening to the commentary.  The DJ was speaking in what is already beginning to sound like a slightly unfamiliar English accent, and the adverts for London law firms and west coast train operators might just as well have been promoting cheese on the moon.   It made me realise that we’ve already been in Ireland for almost a month, and begun to establish a bit of a new way of life over here.   I almost didn’t want to be reminded of the world we have left behind – because it made me feel slightly as if I didn’t actually belong anywhere at all.

The evening’s introspections behind us, we decided to head back to the coast today.   We love it over there – the feeling of space, and the freedom to walk pretty much anywhere you want without the fear of barbed wire or angry farmers to block your way.   We studied the map and realised that we had almost walked the length of the coast from Port Oriel in the north to Beaulieu in the south, but that a critical gap remained  midway, between Termonfeckin (there – I’ve said it again) and Clogherhead.

So after another morning of admin and keeping in touch with friends and relatives, and given that the sun was still shining brightly, we boldly stepped out northwest to close the Termonfeckin Gap.   Drogheda successfully negotiated (the traffic is always terrible there – even on a Bank Holiday like today) we arrived at Meaghsland – in the middle of the gap – just in time for lunch.   We were particularly keen to close the gap today as we move down to Malahide on Wednesday and the next chapter in our explorations is likely to be a bit further to the south.

Today, the tide was in so the beach wasn’t quite as expansive as we had enjoyed on previous visits.   Still it was plenty wide enough to accommodate us and the groups of bank-holidaymakers who were out enjoying the autumn sunshine.

Once the gap was successfully closed (it wasn’t exactly the Darien Gap, it has to be said), we headed back to Ardcath for almost the last time, so that Val could join her fourth Irish Gaelic lesson.   She tells me she is making good progress – and even tries to get me to join in her conversations.   But it’s such a hard language, bearing absolutely no resemblance, as far as I can tell, to anything spoken anywhere else on earth – that she could be talking absolute gobbledegook, rather than asking me if I had flu and liked eating apples , as she claimed.   And by the way, why is it that all language courses are obsessed with apples and diseases?   We shall probably just have to wait until next week to find out.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

IMG_5492 IMG_5508
The lane between the main R166 and the beach at Meaghsland.   This part of Ireland is covered in a web of these narrow, single-track lanes.   They are a bit of a nightmare to drive, actually, as knowledgeable locals hare down them as if they were motorways.   Definitely not ideal for cyclists Setting out from Meaghsland.   The tide was in today, so we had to walk higher up the beach, often in the stony foreshore, as the wide expanses of firm sand that we normally use were still under water
IMG_5505 IMG_5512
Perfect pectens punctuate the shelly shoreline Rocky outcrop looking like something Perseverance might spot on Mars and take 50 days to reach
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Still on the rocky bit, looking south in the general direction of Termonfeckin Back on the sand
Setting out north from Meaghsland with Clogherhead on the horizon.   A bit further on we could see the Mournes poking out over the top.
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