Ireland day 0184. Thursday 31 March 2022- Paddling

Ireland day 0184. Thursday 31 March 2022- Paddling
Today’s summary Walked round the Broadmeadow estuary to Donabate via Newbridge while Val was out at work.   Road was flooded again so had to paddle for a few hundred metres to avoid a long walk along the Hearse Road.   Got the train back
Today’s weather Cool, bright, dry and sunny.  Moderate north easterly wind.   About 7C
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The green line shows where we walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Broadmeadow paddle

Yesterday I promised I would offer readers a blow by blow account of my efforts firstly to exchange our driving licences and secondly to get us enrolled in the Irish tax system. In retrospect that may have been a rash offer as, despite the fact that I made progress on both of these matters today, it really isn’t that interesting. So I’ll be brief.

  • On the tax, I’ve managed to reschedule the appointment with our accountant which got cancelled a couple of weeks ago. Doubtless that will be a bundle of fun but at least it will be good to get an idea of how the Irish taxation system works, and of what we will be up against. Watch this space for further announcements
  • And on the driving licences – well this is in itself a two stage process. Firstly we have to get our eyes tested again. (I say “again” because we have already done this once before. But we had to cancel our licence exchange last time we tried last November, because we needed to hang to our UK licences for a bit longer. And the eye tests need to be within a month of the licence exchange, so the old tests are no longer valid). Anyway the eye tests are booked for next week. Then the second stage is to have a meeting to go through the paperwork with the National Driver Licensing Service (NDLS) and to hand over your old licence for exchange. I’ve booked these meetings with the NDLS for a couple of weeks after the eye tests.

I also used the morning to write to some old friends and to make some social arrangements here in Ireland. So, all in all it was a productive start to the day and by the time I’d finished the sun had come out and the outside world was looking enticing. As Val was enthusiastically back at the museum checking in visitors, I was left to my own devices and was more or less free to do whatever I fancied. Provided of course I was back in time to make dinner when Val got home from work.

After a bit of deliberation I decided that a walk round the Broadmeadow estuary to Newbridge and Donabate would make a nice afternoon excursion, especially as by this stage the sun was really sparkling. I particularly wanted to see if the elusive submerged road would put in an appearance. And as the tide was falling this afternoon – low tide being about 6pm – I thought I might be in with a chance.

So I picked up my lunch, donned a warm jacket as it was much colder outside than it looked, and set off. The easterly winds which swept Ireland earlier in the month seem to have reasserted themselves recently. Usually easterlies bring dry bright weather – hot in the summer and cold in the winter. And today was no exception – brilliant sunshine and a penetrating cold wind. But definitely dry – the countryside will soon begin to look scorched, I think.

The walk round the south side of the estuary was easy and straightforward and I even managed to find a bit of a short cut across some grass which avoided a stretch of road walking. Once under the motorway and on the north side, I walked past the swannery, somewhat anxious to see whether or not the tide had left the road high and dry.

Sadly it had not. There are two points where the road – at anything but the very lowest tides – dips underwater. The first stretch, between Prospect Point and Ballymadrough Road, is easy to avoid because there’s a path above the road running along the top of the embankment. But the second, between Seapoint and Kilcrea Road is impossible to dodge because the embankment wall drops straight down into the sea and there’s barbed wire along the top.

So I got to this second flood and wondered what to do. I could go up Ballymadrough Road and cut into the back of the Newbridge demesne but it would mean a longish walk along the busy R126 Hearse Road. I really didn’t fancy that. So, given that I knew the flooded section “should” be less than a km long, in the interests of avoiding the dangerous road walk, I pulled off my shoes and socks, rolled up my trousers, and started to paddle.

I must have looked a bit of an odd sight, splashing along under the estuary wall, but actually it went quite well and the going underfoot wasn’t too bad (it was a submerged road after all). For the most part the water was only 20-30cm deep so I didn’t even get wet knees.    You can see the wet feet in action in the banner image at the top.   I took it slowly and emerged unscathed on the beach at the other side with only a couple of wet feet – which quickly blotted dry on the grass – to show for it. I’ve concluded that the road is probably only un-submerged at the very lowest of tides, and from checking the tide times when I got home tonight, I think I was two or three hours too early today.

Aquatic adventures successfully completed, I headed up the Kilcrea Road and into the Newbridge demesne. I had a quick break there to enjoy my sandwich lunch then ambled through the estate to the railway station at Donabate. The whole place was looking stunning, I have to say. Vivid spring greens against a limpid blue sky – perfect albeit cold.

A brief wait for the train allowed me a few minutes to catch up on emails, and now I’m back in the flat getting ready to prepare dinner. It’s tuna salad again, but as a treat we are having strawberry jelly for dessert. That’s definitely really special and most certainly something to look forward to.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

The south shore of the Broadmeadow lagoon, just down the road from our flat Last years cygnets have almost shed their grey juvenile feathers now, and their beaks are going orange.   I expect that it won’t be long before the next brood of ugly ducklings come along, and the whole cycle starts again.   It’s fascinating watching them metamorphose, right in front of our very eyes.
Even the M1 managed to look interesting in the spring sunshine this afternoon At the swannery.   I was pleased to see that the water level was dropping with the tide – the road was above the water line for this stretch, at least.
But not here.   The road is under about 50cm of water below the wall.   But there’s a decent path along the top, so not too difficult to avoid – unlike the next section which necessitated a paddle – as the banner image at the top shows Newbridge House was looking sparkling in the sunshine.   Could hardly be better – except maybe 20º warmer
This is the road between the first and second flooded sections.   The house looks lovely – but I don’t know how you get to it when the tide is in – unless you have a boat
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 14769 m
Max elevation: 19 m
Min elevation: -3 m
Total climbing: 220 m
Total descent: -219 m
Total time: 03:24:47
Download file: Estuary Paddle corrected.gpx

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