Ireland day 0153. Monday 28 February 2022- Indulgence?

Ireland day 0153. Monday 28 February 2022- Indulgence?
Today’s summary Had a bit of a reflective moment first thing, then took the hire car for a quick spin up to Donabate for lunch in the rain and returned it to the airport in the afternoon.   Walk round Robswall estate in the evening
Today’s weather Overcast in the morning then heavy rain at lunchtime.   Dry by evening with spring sunshine until nearly 6pm.   Wind died down completely during the day.   About 6C
Today’s overview location
(the red cross in a circle shows where Val and I are at the moment)
Close-up location
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Evening light in Malahide

I made the mistake of looking at the news in bed this morning, before I got up.

On reading it, I just felt like we’ve been tumbling neatly from one crisis to another over the last few years, with Brexit segueing into Covid and then straight on into Ukraine.   The most recent news, though, did make me pause and consider whether I should actually stop updating this blog for a bit.  After all, it could easily come across as being self-indulgent to be writing about trivia like buying a car, going on a walk and renting a flat at a time when one major European country is in the process of completely annihilating another.

But I thought – unless things go dramatically wrong, Val and I aren’t going to stop doing what we are doing.   Simply not writing about it won’t make the reality of what we are doing go away, and it won’t stop the catastrophes elsewhere from happening.   And actually the purpose of this blog is really to give me and Val a record of a very important chapter in our lives, to remind us in years to come of what we did and how we were feeling at the time.   After all, if anyone doesn’t like it, there’s a very simple remedy – just don’t read it.

So with the health warnings despatched, I will continue, on the assumption that anyone who takes offence will have logged off by now.

Actually, I had another – albeit pretty insignificant – reason for feeing a bit reflective this morning.   And this may sound silly, but I was a quite sad that today an app that I have been using on my iPhone – called ViewRanger – is being turned off today.   I’ve been using this excellent (British) app as my main and trusted tool for navigation since 2012, and it has guided me safely all around the world – from Ascension Island in 2012, to the Lands End to John O’Groats trek in 2014 to Kungsleden in 2019 and all around Ireland in recent months.   ViewRanger has been taken over by a German company – OutdoorActive – and closed down.   There is a replacement app, so my challenge for the next few weeks is to overcome my prejudices and get used to the new one.   But for the time being, it’s RIP ViewRanger, and thanks for everything.

Phew!   Let’s move on.   As we had half a day’s car hire left before the trusty (and horrible) Picanto had to be returned to the airport this afternoon, we thought we would use the temporary freedom it afforded us to head over to Donabate.   Readers with good memories may recall that there’s a lovely bakery over there called An Bacus Beag.   We had visions of picking up a coffee and a couple of pastries then taking them over to the beach to have an early lunch whilst watching the waves gently lapping on the shore.

But it all went wrong.   Most significantly because when we got there, it turned out that the bakery is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.   Then after we had opted for the next best option of shrink-wrapped croissants from the Spar shop next door, it started to pour down.  So we disconsolately drove off to the beach – only to take the wrong road so ended up in a car park at Portrane.    And there we had our lunch – pre-packed pastries sitting in the car with the wipers on intermittent so we could see out occasionally.   So many memories of rainy family holidays many many years ago!

By the time we had dispensed with our light lunch, it was time to find a petrol station (I was shocked, by the way, to see just how much petrol had gone up by in the five months since we arrived) then on to the airport to return the car.   Just as a reminder, you can see an example of Dublin Airport architecture in the banner image at the top of this blog.   Then, for the umpteenth time, we jumped on the 102 and headed back to Malahide.

Now, another thing that has been troubling us a bit lately, is the cost of renting our flat here by the station in Malahide.   It’s very nice, but rather expensive.   So we are beginning to wonder, if we are going to stay in this area for a bit longer, whether we ought to start looking for somewhere a bit cheaper.   As it happened, a flat came up this morning in the Robswall estate – a couple of km from here – at a full €450 per month less than we are paying for our flat right now.   So once the rain had stopped, we decided to walk down the coast to Robswall and do a bit of external reconnaissance.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, it looked OK from the outside but a bit close to the car park (which would no doubt be filled with pensioners eating their sandwiches on rainy days) so we decided to give it a miss for now.   It’s not a high priority at the moment, as we still seem to have quite a lot going on and don’t really want to make our lives any more complicated than they need to be.   So we decided it to park it for now.   But it’s good to know that there are cheaper alternatives – albeit with compromises – to look at when the time is right.

By now, the sky had cleared dramatically and it had turned into a wonderful clear evening, full of the promise of spring.   So we walked from Robswall down to the coast and, given that the tide was out, walked along the shore right back to Malahide with the dying embers of the sunset still glowing luminously in the sky above.

I hope that wasn’t too much of an emotional roller coaster.   So now, with a positive frame of mind and fingers firmly crossed for the future, I’m going to sign off.   See you tomorrow, all being well!


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Our transport for the last two days – Kia Picanto.   Not a loveable car but it does the job.   Cheap to rent and very economical Acres and acres of seaweed in the littoral zone on the shore at Donabate.   I have to admit that bladder-wrack isn’t my favourite as it’s dull to look at and slimy to walk over.   Also it smells a bit.   But good to see the biosphere thriving – this bit of it anyway.
Up in the Robswall estate – I love the view from up here, looking south towards the Dublin Hills and the Sugarloaf I know it sounds odd – but I actually quite enjoy exploring the immediate environs of where I live – even if it means subjecting the ever-stoic Val to a tour of the local housing estate
Back on the beach, a spring was bubbling up through the sand at low tide.   Made a most peculiar almost volcanic sight. Here’s that rogue yacht, still beached on the shore right in the middle of Malahide.   I wonder if anyone will ever salvage it, or if it will just be left to decay away as the ebbing and flowing tide slowly dismembers it
Thank goodness the Kia isn’t thirsty.   Petrol was about 130¢ a litre when we arrived in Ireland back in September and it’s already gone up by about 50% since then.   I hope the new Yaris will prove to be equally economical.
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 7611 m
Max elevation: 50 m
Min elevation: 0 m
Total climbing: 111 m
Total descent: -110 m
Total time: 01:50:33
Download file: Evening Light corrected.gpx

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