Ireland day 0233. Thursday 19 May 2022- Wetfeet3

Ireland day 0233. Thursday 19 May 2022- Wetfeet3
Today’s summary A few chores including a trip to the library first thing while Val was at work, then walked round the Broadmeadow estuary to Newbridge and caught the train back.   Once again, I got wet feet as the tidal road was under water
Today’s weather Dry and bright with long sunny intervals.   Moderate southerly wind.  About 17C
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):
Donabate via Broadmeadow lagoon and Newbridge demesne

I must admit I am really enjoying the Spring here in Ireland.   Winter was fine – nowhere near as cold and wet as I had expected – but nevertheless I’m finding the higher temperatures, brighter sun and longer daylight hours that April and May bring very uplifting.

Although yesterday evening finished up on a distinctly Autumnal note, this morning it was as if the slate had been wiped clean and Spring had started again.   The sky was blue, the sun was shining and the trees still enrobed in their cloaks of emerald green, having not yet developed the leathery appearance of high summer.   So it was a day that demanded attention – outdoors in the fresh air and not inside dealing with paperwork and bureaucracy.

Val unfortunately had to go to work (although it has to be said she loves it) so I kicked off the morning with some shopping, a trip to the library, and then cooking some rhubarb.   I do feel fortunate by the way that rhubarb seems to be popular here  – there aren’t all that many places outside the UK where you can get it, and I’m glad that we are living in one of them.   But once all that was dealt with, I started making plans for getting out into the sunshine properly.

As I was contemplating the options, I realised that I have developed quite a liking for the walk round the Broadmeadow lagoon to Donabate via Newbridge.   It is possible to negotiate a route that is more-or-less off road most of the way, and it ends up with a short train ride across the causeway, which I always enjoy.   En route you pass along the coast, which brings with it the added excitement of paddling (unless you are very lucky with the tides) and then all the attractions of the beautiful Newbridge demesne (complete with coffee shop) towards the end.   I checked the tide times and thought there was a reasonable chance that I might be able to get round – if not with dry feet then at least with only a short section of paddling.   So that made mind up for me – I pulled together a quick packed lunch, and set off to find out what was going on down at the lagoon.

As soon as I got down to the shore here in Malahide, I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to get round with dry feet.   Despite all my careful measurements and calculations, the water level was obviously far too high – even though it was nearly low tide – for the coast road to be dry.   And indeed that was the case.

The walk round the western shore of the lagoon was easy and straightforward, as ever, but looking particularly beautiful now that winter drabness has been swept away.   The always-changing sea bird populations are fascinating to see.   The geese and herons of the winter months seem to have disappeared, but the swans are out in force now, and looking spectacular as most of them have abandoned their grey ugly duckling plumage and turned into brilliant white objects of floating elegance.

But once past the swannery, the coast road took its familiar dive under water and so I was forced initially up onto the wall that runs round along the coast, then into the water a bit further on when there’s no parapet on the wall that’s wide enough to walk on.   Fortunately the tide was still quite low so I only had to paddle for a couple of stretches of about 20 metres.  And now that spring is here, the water was noticeably warmer than on previous occasions, and actually not too unpleasant.

It took me a couple of hours to walk round the lagoon and through the flooded section, to get into the Newbridge demesne where I stopped and had my packed lunch.   Today I resisted the temptations of the café and walked round the demesne along the perimeter path and then out to the railway station.   Everywhere was looking its very best and my worries a few weeks ago about the lack of water seem to have been dispelled by the recent rains –  for a while at least.

The potential tedium of the 20 minute wait at Donabate station for a train south was relieved considerably when the return train to the Navan mine thundered through.   A magnificent type 71 hauling a rake of 12 empties, on its way to pick up its next consignment of zinc ore.   Truly a fabulous sight to behold.

As I arrived back in Malahide quite early, I thought I would pop down to SuperValu and see if they still had any of the half price Oxford Lunch cake left – it’s so good (in my view) that I thought it would do no harm to fill up the freezer with a bit more while it was still on offer.  Sadly it had all been sold, but I did buy a packet of half price doughnuts instead, which went some way towards relieving my disappointment.

Anyway – now I must stop and do some packing.   Over the next four days, Val and I are hoping to walk the first half of the Wicklow Way – the route that we had to abandon a few weeks ago because of Covid.   We set off ridiculously early tomorrow morning (7am!!) so I need to grab a few things now and get ready to go.   Check back here tomorrow and see how we’ve got on in the first section of the walk, from Marlay park to Enniskerry!


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum multiflorum) in full bloom just outside the model railway museum where Val was busy working today! There are very few swans still with the brown cygnet feathering now.   Almost all are pure white.   I don’t know if they start having eggs of their own as soon as they are fully fledged, or if they get a year off before they start the whole breeding malarkey
The moat that goes round most of the Newbridge demesne (though mostly it is dry) The croquet lawn up at Newbridge.   Absolutely immaculate and absolutely not what I expected to find in Ireland!
Fuchsias just coming into flower down by the Broadmeadow Lagoon Ceanothus (California lilac) – it seems to thrive in Ireland, but the only time I tried to grow one, it died
The church and hand-pump in a village green at Donabate.   The rest of the town is dominated by large housing estates, so this isn’t entirely representative
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 13549 m
Max elevation: 19 m
Min elevation: -4 m
Total climbing: 207 m
Total descent: -207 m
Total time: 03:10:41
Download file: To Newbridge corrected.gpx

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