All around Lecale

The little corner of County Down known as Lecale is recognised as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and during the last six days I’ve been able to see why. And I’ve been taking the maximum advantage of this spell of good weather while I’m at it.

On Thursday, as I reported in a previous entry, I walked from Downpatrick to Tyrella Beach and back.

On Friday I took the bus to Ardglass and walked to Ballyhornan and back. I took the path known as the Lecale Way, a path along the coast that is totally free of cars. I also took a lengthy walk along the beach in the surf,

On Saturday I walked to Inch Abbey and I had a nice lunch al fresco at Bon Appetit, a café and restaurant on the Belfast Road.

On Sunday I walked up to Raholp and climbed up Slieve Patrick.

On Monday I took a long walk down the Old Course Road, down Ballyclander Road, back round onto Milltown Road, Bright Road, Carrowbane Road, then back up the Ballynoe Road to Downpatrick.

And today I took a bus to Ballykinler and revisited Tyrella Beach and took another long walk in the surf. I really wanted to visit it again before this present hot spell of weather ends.

Oh, and I don’t know if it’s the salt water or the effect of walking on sand in salt water, but the rough skin I had on my feet is mostly gone.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: sunshine, I love you!

To the beach and back

Downpatrick, Thursday, 24 May 2012, 3:15pm

I’m not here to offer any explanation or apology about why I haven’t posted for so long. I’m here to tell you what a magnificent day I’ve had so far.

Perhaps the most unusual thing about today is that I got up just before 6:00 this morning. Unless it’s Sunday I’m seldom up before 10:00am. And then, don’t you know, since I had nothing planned for the day and the weather showed no sign of clouding over, I decided to take a walk. And what a walk it turned out to be, all the way from Downpatrick to Tyrella Beach. The countryside is beautiful enough at any time of the day, come rain or shine, but early in a sunny morning in late spring, early summer is when it’s at its best!

After about twelve kilometres of walking I reached the A2, Minerstown Road, I came at last to Tyrella beach. And it was here that I did something I haven’t done since a visit to Portsmouth in September 1995. I took my shoes off and walked about barefoot in the surf.

I’ve been up for more than nine hours and walked twenty-four kilometres (my estimate – Google Maps is being updated, apparently) and I should be worn out by now, but I’m not. We still have six hours of daylight left and I’m not going to waste any of it sitting in a library in front of a computer. I’m going to slap on some more sun block and get back out into the sun.

Sunshine, I love you!