Ireland day 0217. Tuesday 03 May 2022- Circuit

Ireland day 0217. Tuesday 03 May 2022- Circuit
Today’s summary Dealt with yet more tax matters in the morning then took the train into Dublin after a quick lunch and walked briskly round the whole outer perimeter of Phoenix Park.   Lovely and mild for once, a very enjoyable day out
Today’s weather Overcast but dry all day.   No wind.   Feeling much warmer than recently.   Appx 16C
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):
Phoenix Park complete circuit

When I looked at the weather forecast today, I could hardly believe my eyes.   It said that the temperature would reach the giddy heights of 16C – which I think would make it the warmest it’s been in Ireland since we arrived here seven months ago.   Also no wind and no rain was forecast, so it seemed like altogether far too nice a day to spend indoors.

But first, we spent the morning doing precisely that – focusing on some more tax matters.   I realise that doing your own tax is tedious enough without having to listen to someone else droning on about theirs as well, so I won’t say any more except that I was glad we had managed to get one small chunk of it out of the way.

Thankfully, the weather was still holding up well when we had finished with all that, so we had a quick snack for lunch then made a spur of the minute decision to go back into Dublin and try and finish off the Phoenix Park loop.   We had tried it a couple of times before but had had to abandon earlier attempts midway when we ran out of time.   Today, though, felt different.   We had a clear purpose in mind, the weather was nice, and we resolved not to be distracted by cafés and other pleasures of the flesh along the way.

As before, we took the train into Connolly then the Luas to Heuston, and entered Phoenix park by the main gate on Conyngham Rd.   We went clockwise, as before, first past the Wellington Testimonial and then the Magazine fort, spotting a large herd of deer in the distance as we walked.   As you might have expected, after the wet weekend and the warm weather today, everything was springing into leaf and the whole park was a shimmering sea of green.   Very soon, all traces of winter will have vanished and we can look forward to an all-too-brief few months of summer again.

I can’t speak highly enough of Phoenix Park.   Even though we’ve been there a few times before, it’s always lovely and we seem to find something new each time we visit.   This time, we went further west than we have ever done before, to reach the outer boundary near the Mount Sackville school and Farmleigh House.   It’s very bucolic out there, and, looks like something from a Gainsborough painting.   We peered in at Farmleigh House and decided that we needed to add it to our list of places to visit.   It was built by one of the members of the Guinness family and as it’s managed by the OPW, it will probably be excellent.   You can see part of it as you cross the toll bridge on the M50 motorway.

We only stopped once – to have a second lunch on one of the many park benches along the way.   So we completed the 13 km walk relatively quickly, but without breaking into a sweat about it.   It was a thoroughly enjoyable outing, made all the more so by the good weather (it’s amazing how much more relaxed you feel when you don’t have to wear a down jacket all the time) and the burgeoning spring foliage.   In fact, if I had to choose one word to sum up today, I think it would be “green”.   Ireland in a nutshell, really.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Wellington, again It was warm enough to abandon the down jackets and woolly hats!   Hurrah!
I’ve only ever been to Phoenix Park midweek recently, and I’ve always been amazed at how quiet it is.   This is just about the busiest it got today – just outside the sports grounds Wild garlic or Ramsons.   Apparently you can make an extremely tasty version of pesto by replacing the basil leaves with ramson leaves and mixing with pine nuts.   Probably not great for biodiversity if everyone tries it, though.
The park keeper’s house.   What a fabulous place to live.   If this comes as part of the package with the job, then count me in! You do see bluebells in Ireland but so far I’ve really only come across them in manicured parks like this, rather than the great drifts growing in the wild under beech trees that you see in some parts of the UK.  I probably haven’t been looking in the right places
Lords-and-Ladies, or Cuckoo Pint, Arum maculatum, in magnificent full bloom.  The particularly interesting thing about these plants is that the spadix (the black thing sticking up in the middle, which supports the tiny flowers at its base), heats up during flowering in a process called thermogenesis.   It does this by switching an on alternative metabolic pathway in its mitochondria.   Its thought that it does this to vaporise a perfume which attracts pollinating insects.   The temperature can be 4C or more above ambient and you can actually feel the heat if you touch the spadix with the thin skin on the back of your hand.   But if you do this, be sure to wash your hands afterwards, as all parts of the plant are toxic.
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 12790 m
Max elevation: 67 m
Min elevation: 2 m
Total climbing: 279 m
Total descent: -278 m
Total time: 03:24:19
Download file: Phoenix Complete corrected.gpx

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