Ireland day 0201. Sunday 17 April 2022- Easter

Ireland day 0201. Sunday 17 April 2022- Easter
Today’s summary Returned from the UK last night.   Val at work so I walked down to Portmarnock in thickening mist which eventually turned to rain.   Relaxing but chilly lunch and walk back along the beach
Today’s weather Grey and heavily overcast.   No sun.   Mist which turned to drizzle then rain in the afternoon.   Moderate south easterly wind.   About 11C
Today’s overview location
(The blue mark shows the location of my route)
Close-up location
(The green line shows where I walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Drizzly Easter Portmarnock walk
Commentary

Several features of today reminded me that it was spring.   The trees just beginning to burst into leaf, the smell of recently cut grass, and – most spectacularly – the first and only bluebells I’ve seen so far in Ireland.   (They are pictured in the banner image at the top of this blog and were growing down on the embankment above lithostrotion beach.   They looked a bit scorched by the salty sea air, but the flowers were abundant and lush.   I couldn’t decide how they must have got there, since they seemed a bit out of keeping with their surroundings, and I have never seen them anywhere else.   I almost wondered if they were a garden escape)

But there were also a number of features of today which made me wonder if I had actually stepped back into November.   The first was the complete absence of any sunshine, or even of any hint that it might put in appearance later.   The second was the general gloom which thickened into mist and then developed into a steady downpour by the middle of the afternoon.   But the most striking thing about the day was the low temperature.   The mercury (well my smartphone app) struggled to make it into double digits, which came as a stark contrast to the low 20’s we’d been enjoying in London over the past couple of days.  But I consoled myself with the reflection that the cool atmosphere slowed down the process of botanical growth and decline, meaning that the spring flowers would probably last that bit longer.

So this set the background for my activities today.   Val was out at work bright and early, and I decided to defy the elements and see what Easter Sunday in Malahide had to offer.   I followed one of my favourite routes – a walk round the castle demesne, then up into Robswall park, down Paddy’s Hill, through Portmanock to the golf club, then back up the Velvet Strand and coast path to Malahide.

I was actually a bit surprised by how relatively few people there were out and about.   I suppose the cool weather and rain had put quite a few off , and on the beach the tide was fully in so there was less space to walk the dog and for the children to dig their sandcastles.   Also, I’ve noticed that quite a few of the locals who can afford it decamp to sunnier climes in the school holidays, so I imagine the beaches in Portugal were probably a bit busier than those in Portmarnock today..

Unlike in England, shops are not obliged to close on Easter Sunday (although many do), which was fortunate as I hadn’t got anything to eat for dinner.   So I dropped into Supervalu on the way back to pick up a few key ingredients to cobble together into our evening meal.  It’s jacket potatoes with tuna and sweetcorn, lettuce and tomatoes, all followed by apple and pear fruit salad.   That sounds a bit worryingly healthy but luckily I have stocked up on Tesco chocolate digestive biscuits (which are amazingly good value) so I might be able to surreptitiously load up on a few empty calories before Val gets back and admonishes me for my total lack of resolve.

 

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

The day started today as many good walks in Malahide do – in the castle demesne.  Cricket pitch looking in tip-top condition.   Not sure when the first big match is but it must be soon now
Old and new.   It feels like you are looking at an entire life cycle in just one picture  At the top of the Baldoyle Estuary, looking across to Howth.   Normally you can see the Sugarloaf hills and Dublin mountains clearly from here, but today I struggled to see even as far as the Ben of Howth
Lunch spot on Portmarnock Beach, just up from the shoreline and out of the nagging cold wind.   You can just about make out Ireland’s Eye on the horizon, towards the right Looking north up the beach toward Portmarnock from the lunch spot.   Not much Velvet Strand in evidence today, as the tide was so far in.
It was all sunshine, t-shirts and shorts in London yesterday, but now it’s back to rain, down jackets and woollen hats.   Ah well, it keeps things green and lovely (the countryside, that is – not me).
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 17286 m
Max elevation: 49 m
Min elevation: -1 m
Total climbing: 232 m
Total descent: -231 m
Total time: 04:02:20
Download file: Drizzly Easter Walk corrected.gpx

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