Ireland day 0311. Friday 05 August 2022- Swords2

Ireland day 0311. Friday 05 August 2022- Swords2
Today’s summary Yet more paperwork (tax) in the morning then walked round to Swords to drop in to the castle and pick up some inflation-busting food at Lidl
Today’s weather Dry and bright with some sunny intervals.   Moderate to strong westerly wind.   Appx 20C
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):
Swords via the coast to castle and Lidl

I imagine many readers are on the edges of their seats, with just one question on their lips “So- what did he do about the gym, then, after having one on about it at such great length yesterday?“.   Well I can reveal that I have taken the strategic decision to join – but Val has decided against it.   I will actually do the deed some time next week or the week after.   I need a while to get my head around the idea first, and also to get my lycra in order.  That is what you wear at gyms, isn’t it?

That momentous decision out of the way, I turned to the duties of the day.   Most urgently we had run out of toilet paper so before anything else could happen, I had to dash, legs crossed, to Malahide to make an emergency purchase.    Once paper was delivered and relief assured, I started on the next chapter in the never ending saga of managing the transfer of our tax affairs from the UK to Ireland.  It’s unimaginably boring so I won’t say any more, other than it nicely filled most of the morning.

Eventually, I’d got as far as I could so I packed up the computer, made some lunch and headed off into the wide blue yonder.   Actually my destination today was far more prosaic – it was our nearest Lidl, which is in Swords, about 9km / 5mi to the west of here.   It’s a nice walk most of the way, alongside the shore of the Broadmeadow lagoon (which I find eternally fascinating on account of its unpredictable tides and burgeoning wildlife) and then through the Swords town park.

The walk has plenty more interest along the way, beside the lagoon and the park.   First on the list is the Fingallians GAA club on Spittal Hill, which reminds me as I walk past,  that we still haven’t been to a GAA match and that is probably the most glaring omission in our library of Irish experiences.   Nearby, too, is the Swords boxing club, with the lifelike pugilist mannequin on the balcony which always takes me by surprise.   I do think that a Swords fencing club would be more appropriate for this site, though, but maybe nominative determinism isn’t a big thing here.

I paused at the castle to eat the lunch I’d made some time ago and also to chat to one of the (many) informative and helpful guides who were on hand to tell visitors about the history of the castle.   We also had an interesting discussion about the history of the nearby shopping centre but that will only be of interest to shopping centre enthusiasts, so I won’t recount it here.

Eventually, I made it to my destination for the day – Lidl supermarket.   In these days of soaring inflation, we’re trying to reduce living costs by buying as much as we can from the discounters – Lidl and Aldi, mainly.   Usually the stuff they sell is quite good, though sometimes a bit weird.   Also, if you do find something you like (and I was quite fond of their condensed milk spread with coconut bits) you need to rush back in immediately and buy as much as you can – because they will probably never sell it again.

So I saved lots of money by buying tinned tuna lunches that looks suspiciously like cat food, and some larges boxes of fruit & fibre cereal which may well be made of wood chips.  But my glow of smug satisfaction was sadly short-lived.   I followed Google Maps to find the quickest bus home – and the 101 and 142 did indeed get me back to Malahide in double quick time.   Only to discover when I got back that this particular combination of bus routes is super-expensive for some reason so I ended up paying €6.20 instead of the correct price of €2.  You live and learn I suppose but I was irritated as I could have saved a lot of time and paid no more in total, by buying less weird stuff from the SuperValu down the road.

So on that note, and before my irritation develops any further, I will sign off for the day.  Tomorrow is a new day!


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Jasmine Nightshade, Solanum laxum.   It looks very much like “normal” jasmine and confusingly this plant is growing right in the middle of a fine specimen of the “real” thing.   You can tell them apart because the solanum type doesn’t smell as strong.   Also, it’s poisonous though I wouldn’t recommend that as a diagnostic test. Lagoon-side bullrushes growing by the path to the Yellow Walls Road.   Soon, they will be disintegrating and casting their wispy, fluffy seeds to the wind
You can’t really see from this photo but this is the Broadmeadow estuary with exposed mud-flats as I walked past this lunchtime.   Probably just about as low as the water gets.   Interestingly, the water level according to my tide table was about 2.4m and the tide was rising to a high tide in the downstream estuary in a couple of hours.   This is just about exactly when my theory predicts that the water level inside the lagoon should be at its lowest, which was quite reassuring.
I was, actually, tempted to change my plans and walk round to Newbridge to see if the flood road on the north side was actually exposed.   But the shopping needs were greater than my curiosity so I stuck with Plan A
Val and I do like walking in the Canary Islands and have visited many times.   There’s a long distance path, the GR131, which runs 560 km in a circuitous route which crosses most of the main islands.   I’ve bought this book as an aid to daydreaming though the forthcoming dark winter months.   I hope one day Val and I may be able to have a go at walking the whole thing.   Thanks Paddy (Dillon)!
Swords castle, renovated 30 years ago after having lain derelict for many years.   There are still some ruined bits though, but on a sunny day like today, it’s quite picturesque.   And there are good picnic tables where you can eat your lunch.   All it lacks is a café and loos.   Maybe in another 30 years perhaps. This stuff looks, smells and is presented like cat food.   But I have persuaded myself that it is quite nutritious and at €2.29 it’s over a euro cheaper than the John West equivalent you get at Tesco
Only in Lidl would you find firelighters, pot noodles, spot cream, fried herring fillets and heavy duty hand cleaner sharing the same slot on the centre aisle.   I was quite tempted by the fried herring but I wasn’t sure how well fried goods would survive in a tin.
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 9893 m
Max elevation: 47 m
Min elevation: -3 m
Total climbing: 140 m
Total descent: -106 m
Total time: 03:38:51
Download file: Swords compressed corrected.gpx

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