Thursday 12 March 2015

Dalkey to Howth

I got a bit obsessed last week with hitting a 200km walking target for the week so I spent a lot of time pounding the streets after work in the cold, wet and dark evenings in order to hit somewhere in the 20-25km per day range. I got there for most of the days, I fell short by a few hundred meters on Thursday because I met up with my old mates Julian, Eran, Derek and JK for some drinks in the Salmon Leap. In any case I was heading into Saturday with 153km down over six days so I really wanted to find a nice interesting route to see if I could hit somewhere north of 47km on the day to take me over 200km for the week. 200km in a week is hard, it’s a solid 40+ hours of walking but it’s good to know that I can do it without really killing myself in the process.

Saturday was perfect – dead calm and sunny in Dublin when I got up but there were ominous high wind warnings for most of the country. Anyway I headed out by train towards Dalkey with the intention of walking to Howth, possibly hitting a few of the long piers and sea walls along the way. In the end I think I finished up at just shy of 47km for the main walk and 54km for the day, very tired but also very happy. Hit my first ever 70k step day too, and my fourth marathon distance in a single walk if I recall correctly.

This was the route. Glasthule to Dalkey, then Sandycove and the Forty Foot, along to Dun Laoghaire to walk out the main pier. On to Blackrock, past Booterstown, then along the wonderful Sandymount waterfront, Irishtown nature reserve, the South Bull wall ( clipped short due to high wind and breaking waves), back through Ringsend and over the East Link, past the point out Alfie Byrne Rd., along the Clontarf waterfront, out the full length of the North Bull wall, back along the road out to Sutton and then to Howth and a quick loop out to the end of the pier. Just over 10 hours, which was a bit slow but I was also taking a lot of pictures early on.

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Almost all of it is worth the effort. There were three sections ( between Seapoint and Blackrock, then again from Booterstown to Sandymount and finally the short run from Sutton to Howth) where I had to resort to normal footpaths but about 40km of the route is on dedicated pedestrian walkways or combined cycle path / footpaths which is pretty amazing.

Anyway it was a great day out, and I even got a bit sun burned again which was a bit nuts considering the fact that I had to trudge through the snow into work on Tuesday morning.

I took a lot of pictures but ran out of steam around the North Bull wall. Still some of them are worth a look, three harbours from the south to the north of Dublin. The three harbours are Bullock Harbour on the north side of Dalkey, Dun Laoghaire Harbour and then Howth.

 

One of the last pictures in there is a bit of a peach – I discovered that my camera actually has a genuine “night vision” mode. It’s crude and low resolution but you can turn it, take a snap in near darkness and actually get a picture out. Well cool.

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