Ireland day 0277. Saturday 02 July 2022- Flavours

Ireland day 0277. Saturday 02 July 2022- Flavours
Today’s summary Walked round the Broadmeadow estuary to Newbridge to the “Flavours of Fingal” county show.   Lots to see and I enjoyed it.   Caught the train back.
Today’s weather Mostly dry with some sun.   Brief shower in the afternoon.   Light westerly breeze.   About 18C
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):
Flavours of Fingal

When I’d cycled round to Newbridge last Wednesday, I’d noticed that preparations were underway to host a big county show.   A bit of research revealed that it was the “Flavour of Fingal” event and it is in fact the largest two-day county show in Ireland.   It was running on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.   Given that it’s such a major event, and only just over the estuary from us in Malahide, I thought I better go and pay a visit.

The first challenge was deciding how to get there.   I didn’t want to drive, as car-parking is expensive (and it would probably cost about €800 in petrol anyway).   I thought about cycling but I didn’t really want to have to push my bike around with me all afternoon once I got there.   And walking didn’t look too promising either, as it would be high tide in the early afternoon when I wanted to go and I thought the coast path would be flooded.

In the end I decided the least unattractive option was to walk.   I thought that if the water level was extremely high, I could duck out at Ballymadrough Lane and take my chances with the Hearse Road.   But as it turned out I was saved by the lunar alignment – it was a neap tide today so the high tide was actually very low, so I safely got round (just about) with dry feet.

It usually takes a couple of hours to walk to Newbridge and today was no exception – I crossed the gates into the demesne at 2hrs and 45seconds.   The place was heaving.   Two years of Covid cancellations had ensured strong pent-up demand so it seemed like practically everyone in Fingal was there.   There was plenty to see – sheepdog trials, cows to look at, showjumping and plenty more.   Even the Fingal Old IRA Commemorative Society had a big display, right next door to a stand from a company selling aluminium gates.  There were also of flower arrangements, turnips and cabbages to admire, as well as the obligatory rhubarb competition.

I found it all very interesting but perhaps the best bit (apart from the burger vans that is) was the display of gigantic tractors – some of which seemed to be as big as a house.     They must be absolutely fantastic to drive – I would love to have a go one day.   Maybe I missed my vocation and should have been a farmer.   Mind you I’m not really an animal fan so that might be difficult.   I also quite liked looking at the pigs.   I think they get a bit of a bad press, actually.   In my view they are far more interesting than cows for example.

After a couple of hours wandering around, I decided I had learned as much as needed to about animal husbandry so I decided to walk over to Donabate station to get the train back over the estuary.   Unfortunately I had just missed a departure but the 40 minute wait gave me just long enough to drop into the local SuperValu to pick up some ingredients for tea tonight (I thought I better get a salad after having eaten a rather lovely but unhealthy-in-every-way-imaginable burger for lunch).

I’m back at the flat now and actually quite looking forward to putting my feet up and watching a bit of TV.   Then tomorrow it’s back over to Donabate for an outing with the Walking Club.   It’s all go in this part of Fingal at the moment.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Heavy machinery at work in the coast road.   The council has been resurfacing the road for about a week now and the bits they have done look good – bowling green smooth.   Will be good for cycling. Even though it was high tide, I was able to get round the estuary (just about) without having to paddle.  But it was a neap tide, so was very low (only just 3.2m).   I think the very lowest the lagoon ever can get is 2.8m (which is the approximate height of the sluice under the railway embankment).   So given that I assume at 2.8m the tidal road should be just about un-submerged, the water would only be 40cm deep today at high tide – and there’s a narrow parapet (which I am on in this picture) which is at least 60cm above the submerged road – so it was easy to get round.
In the show.   Lots to see, including displays of equestrianism.   I’m not sure exactly what they were doing, but there was lots of riding around and enthusiastic clapping The event was well attended despite the iffy weather.   But since it was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic, there was substantial pent-up demand
Ah the rhubarb competition.   My favourite (next to the cabbage competition which was on the adjoining table) Obedient sheep and geese being very efficiently rounded up by a couple of well-trained collies.   An impressive performance especially as the commands from the shepherd were (to me) completely incomprehensible
I know I shouldn’t but I was absolutely starving.   I think this burger contains every single thing that is bad for people and bad for the planet.  Sadly though it tasted delicious.
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 16438 m
Max elevation: 18 m
Min elevation: -3 m
Total climbing: 193 m
Total descent: -193 m
Total time: 04:59:03
Download file: Flavours Of Fingal compressed corrected.gpx

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