Ireland day 0294. Tuesday 19 July 2022- Heatwave!

Ireland day 0294. Tuesday 19 July 2022- Heatwave!
Today’s summary Spent the morning doing the washing and cleaning the flat while Val was at work.  Then in the afternoon walked round the Broadmeadow estuary – Val’s first circuit and her first attempt at paddling – and had picnic lunch in Newbridge demesne.   Got caught in a downpour soon after we started.  Caught the train back
Today’s weather Mostly overcast but some sun later.   Thunderstorm in the early afternoon.   Hardly any wind.   About 24C
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 and Newbridge with Val

I must admit that I enjoy a slight frisson of excitement every time I take the rubbish down  into the basement for disposal.   You just don’t know what you might find down there in the bins which you could retrieve and reuse.   Probably the best find in the bins so far has been a complete set of crockery – which of course I rescued – and all the components to build a makeshift desk in the spare bedroom.

So I had a good look through the dustbins this morning when I was doing my weekly rubbish and recycling routine – but sadly the only items that looked as if they might be useful were a pair of slightly soiled looking crutches.   I thought that they could come in handy if either of us had to have any joints replaced, but the impracticability of keeping them in store potentially for several decades outweighed any possibly utility.   So, slightly reluctantly, I left them where they were.

By the time I’d finished the rubbish disposal, and the washing and hoovering, and made our packed lunches, Val was back from her morning’s work up at the castle.   We had a quick cup of coffee and then I had a look at the tide tables and thought that today might be a good day for Val to try out the coastal walk round the Broadmeadow Lagoon to Newbridge.   I’ve done it half a dozen times, but Val hadn’t been round until today, and wanted to give it a go.

So we got our things together and stepped out into what we thought, from all the hysteria in the media, would be a baking hot day.   Well actually it wasn’t.   Almost as soon as we were sufficiently far from the flat that we couldn’t get back again in a hurry, the heavens opened and it started to rain.   There were even a few crashes and bangs of thunder, which is relatively rare in Ireland.   Anyway, we are well accustomed to the vagaries of the weather in these parts, so had waterproofs with us which we swiftly donned and ploughed on with our walk.   So much for the heatwave.

I’ve calculated that the best chance of getting round the lagoon with dry feet is when the tide in the outer estuary is rising and has reached about 2.8m – the level at which the sluice under the railway causeway equilibrates the outer estuary with the inner lagoon.  I estimated that this would occur at about 2:30pm today, so we set off at 1pm which I thought would be long enough to get to the low point on the flood road, on the north side of the lagoon.

Apart from getting wet at the start of our walk, and apart from being dive bombed by seagulls on the hunt for crabs (see photo below), the walk round to the north side was straightforward and enjoyable – particularly once the sun came out again.   But I think got my timing calculations slightly wrong because when we arrived at the low point in the road, the tide had already covered it which a shallow influx of water.   Fortunately it was no more than about 10cm / 4in deep, so we stripped off our shoes and socks and successfully paddled round.

Safely back on dry land once more, we parted company with the shore and headed inland up the Kilcrea Road and then into the back entrance to Newbridge demesne.   We hadn’t stopped up to this point, as I was anxious to get round the lagoon before the tide came too far in  – and as we hadn’t had lunch, we were starving.   So we found a nice quiet spot in the demesne (that wasn’t hard actually, as there was hardly anybody about) and sat under a tree to enjoy our sandwiches.   A quick lunch turned into a very long lunch as by then the sun was out again and it had turned into a lovely warm afternoon – far too nice to be rushing off anywhere.

Anyway, we eventually decided to make a move, so headed directly from our tree over to the station and caught the next train back over the embankment to Malahide.   We were soon back in the flat, and dinner preparations were initiated. My job was to make the rhubarb and custard dessert – you can see my masterful creation below – which I am now going to go and enjoy.   Then of course I need to catch up on the next instalment of my Ireland’s Eye book.   I’m very much looking forward to trying to disentangle the next convolutions in the mystery and I might even report back what I find in a later blog (spoiler alert).  Watch this space.


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

The path alongside the Broadmeadow lagoon is littered with these crab carcasses.   As far as I can tell – though I’m not a carcinologist – they are Green Shore Crabs (Carcinus maenas) and they are extremely abundant in the lagoon.   Seagulls were diving in continuously as we walked along the shore, hoiking the crabs out and devouring them on the path.   The crabs are extremely invasive and tend to disrupt ecosystems where they are accidentally introduced.   So the seagull harvest is probably as good a way as any of keeping them under control.
The other interesting feature of these crabs is that they have been known to devour the corpses of people drowned in the sea around Ireland.   Which is highly relevant if you were reading yesterday’s blog.   When Maria Kirwen’s body was found on Ireland’s Eye way back in 1852, it was covered in cuts and scrapes which the inquest ascribed to these voracious crabs.   But, as I am learning as I turn the pages of the book, they may actually have been the result of something altogether more sinister..
On the Flood Road along the north shore of the lagoon.   It’s superficially attractive out there, but there’s something about this area that makes it feels slightly down-at-heel
A large (30cm / 1ft) fish was lazily basking in the warm shallow water over the submerged flood road.   I’ve no idea what it was but I don’t think it was a goldfish At this point on the flood road it disappears under water and you can’t see what is round the corner.   So takes a bit of a leap of faith to take off your shoes and paddle off into the unknown.   (Actually, there’s a beach only about 100metres further on, so you aren’t adrift for long)
There are a variety of rare breed animals roaming around paddocks in the demesne.   This is evidently a rare breed cow which did not, it turned out, like having its ear tweaked. We’re having chicken fajitas for dinner tonight.   Val did that bit because it’s difficult.   My job was the rhubarb and custard – which I have to say was delicious.   I am so glad rhubarb is a thing in Ireland – I was worried that it was a peculiarly British delicacy, as I have never seen it for sale anywhere else in the world.   In fact Irish rhubarb is widely available and very good.   It’s also not too expensive so makes a tasty and nutritious dessert, to coin a phrase.
Successfully round the coast!   We made it to the Newbridge demesne by which time the thunderstorm from earlier had dissipated and the sun had come out.   So we paused in the shade of a tree and had our lunch.   Before we knew it, we had been there two hours.   It’s just possible that we might possibly have fallen asleep, though I can’t confirm that.
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 12654 m
Max elevation: 17 m
Min elevation: -3 m
Total climbing: 185 m
Total descent: -186 m
Total time: 04:42:36
Download file: Newbridge Paddle With Val compressed corrected.gpx

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