Ireland day 0315. Tuesday 09 August 2022- Decathlon

Ireland day 0315. Tuesday 09 August 2022- Decathlon
Today’s summary Spent the morning on yet more admin then in the afternoon walked to Portmarnock beach via the demesne and Paddys Hill.   Then when Val was home from work, went to Decathlon in the evening
Today’s weather Dry and bright.   Long spells of sun in the afternoon.   Light easterly wind.   About 22C
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):
Castle demesne Paddys hill and Portmarnock beach

I am about to enter a new athletic phase.   Obviously not quite yet, but very soon.   One key element of this will be joining the gym, and another key element will be stopping eating chocolate biscuits.    Neither will be easy, but I did come very close to signing up at the hall of torture this morning, until luckily I remembered that I haven’t really got the right gear.  Until this was remedied, I decided I simply couldn’t sign up.   That excuse didn’t work well with Val this evening though, as she advised me that the sports shop Decathlon – and there is a giant one only 20 minutes’ drive from here – would be bound to have everything I needed to look good in the gym.

So that was this evening’s activities sorted out.    But first there was a day of thematic repetition to be worked through.   Naturally enough, while Val was back at work, that involved sorting out some paperwork first thing this morning (today was the turn of insurance) and then pausing to make some lunch.   All the while as I was ploughing through the routine stuff, I kept looking up and out of the window at the beautiful sunny day that was developing outside.   It gave me a good incentive to get on and finish it off, so I could escape and enjoy the good weather while it lasted.

Eventually I was free, so I allowed myself to enjoy one of my favourite walks from Malahide.   The first part of the walk is a lap round the castle grounds – which are still looking remarkably green despite this being, according to the headline I saw on one of today’s papers, the driest summer since 1976.   Then a slingshot path up through the Jameson orchard estate to the always bright and breezy summit of Paddy’s Hill.   I lingered up there a few moments to take in the view – a bit hazy today, so no distant Mournes to look alluring.   But slightly closer to hand, Ireland’s Eye, with its aura of mystery, was looking resplendent.

Dropping down from the heights of Paddy’s Hill, I was soon on Portmarnock Beach, at the northern end of the Velvet Strand.    Rather than turning left and heading straight back to Malahide, I headed the other way, south down the beach to escape the midweek crowds which were thronging near the beach shelter at the northern end.   Luckily the tide was out so the crowds soon thinned and I found a good spot for lunch.

By this stage I knew it was getting later and I needed to be back at the flat in time to face the music.  I.e. to go with Val to Decathlon as soon as she got home from work.   So I made my way back along the beach all the way to Malahide and arrived just as Val was locking up the museum and returning to the flat.   We set off straight away – me with some trepidation at the prospect of having to try on figure-hugging spandex outfits and Val with a grim determination to get me looking decent before I exposed myself to general scrutiny in the gym.

The Dublin Decathlon is a massive warehousey type affair – as you can see from the banner image at the top of the blog.   I have to admit I’ve never been to one before but they are quite interesting to visit.   The shop seems to stock equipment for every sport imaginable – and of course each one has to have its own unique specially tailored clothing which seems mainly to be designed to relieve you of as much money as possible.

Luckily for me, Val didn’t insist on the spandex.   Rather, I settled for a more modest pair of training shoes (reasonable at €35 I thought), a pair of shorts and a couple of T-shirts.   I tried them on when we got back to the flat and I certainly look the part even if I don’t exactly feel it.   Anyway, tomorrow will be the day of reckoning when I sign up.   Dial back in tomorrow evening to see how I get on!


Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

The good thing about the castle demesne is that there are lots of shady bits if you want to get out of the sun for a bit. But mostly I don’t so there are lots of sunny parts too
Looking through the Jameson Orchard estate on the top of Paddy’s Hill, towards the two Sugarloaves.   In its heyday, the manor house must have been fabulous Newly re-lined pitches up at the football club.   A sign of the impending returns to school perhaps
On Lithostrotion beach, just below the converted Martello tower.   The tide was out today so it was possible to scramble all the way round from Portmarnock to Malahide without having to go up on to the promenade path  But a lot of the beach, especially nearer Malahide, is gravelly.   Hard going, like walking through snow, but excellent exercise
The arrival of a giant grass-cutting tractor in the meadows prompted great excitement among the staff of the nearby model railway museum this afternoon.   You might even spot Val (in the dark uniform) checking on the proceedings.
Interactive map

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

Total distance: 15649 m
Max elevation: 49 m
Min elevation: 0 m
Total climbing: 157 m
Total descent: -156 m
Total time: 04:25:33
Download file: Castle Hill And Beach compressed corrected.gpx

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