Maddex has been into looking at paper maps of the area and checking maps on his phone lately. A week or two ago he found a place he wanted to explore on the map and told Michelle and I all about it. Then he mapped out the route we’d need to take to get there. Today we took his router – The LUAS to the end at Stephens green, walk a handful of blocks to the DART station, then take the DART to the end of the line at Howth a large island peninsula to the north of us.
We’ve had Howth on the trip list ever since Maddex “discovered” it. Maddex keeps showing us what we will see in Howth on his map telling us how excited he is. He’s most excited to ride on the DART. Maddex has always had a thing for trains. Mila and Khaleesi are excited to finally make it to an Irish beach.
First stop after getting off the LUAS was instigated by smells and sights of donuts. We picked up three donuts for 3€ each and a drink to have on the dart. Salted caramel for dad and roxi, strawberry for mom and maddex and sprinkles for mila and khaleesi. The donut box fit snug in moms kid pack. From donut shop we had a walk down Grafton street made a few turns and walked some more to end up at the Tara dart station. A Quick wait at platform one then we were on the dart. Maddex was so excited !!
Near the end of the our journey on the dart we saw a beach off to the left. Khaleesi and Mila, both, in their loud kid fashion, expressed their interest in walking on the beach. After minding the gap and detraining momma wanted a toilet. The station has no toilet and we didn’t find a public toilet near by. We figured we’d find one eventually and walked out the first pier we came too. We walked by fish food shops on one side and fishing boats on the other. Took a break to check out a few seals hanging out In the harbor. The sheer numbers of seagulls flying around was a bit unnerving. Felt like we were In the birds movie and could be attacked at any moment.
From that pier we walked across the bay to the other side of the harbor towards the cliff walk where we found public toilets; yippie! After the toilets we walked down the boulders of another pier towards the water. The kids sure love the bouldering.
The cliff walk starts at the public washroom for the most part. The first k or so is along a narrow road with stone fences on both sides. The fences were tall enough the kids can’t see much at all over them. We ended up lifting them up to look over at a few houses and people fishing on the rocks far below. Maddex brought a fishing pole and wants to fish. I’m hoping for a better spot that does not involve using a rope to climb up and a down a cliff. Sadly we never found a good spot to cast.
Eventually we made it to a parking lot, and the pavement ended. Being repacked by a dirt gravel trail that truly is along a cliff with some massive drops to the left. The wind is blowing pretty hard pushing the kids around. Now we have some adventure! Maddex and I walk ahead, Khaleesi on my back, Michelle and mila behind with roxi on Michele’s back. Michelle has about 30# on her back I’ve got about 45# on my back with khaleesis pack hanging off the back blowing in the wind.
It’s surprising to me how similar the vegetation is along the walk. The same ferns and black berry bushes we have in the states on our property are the dominate bushes for the walk, mixed in with lavender and spiky short pine thing. Nothing at all tall growing on the cliffs other then the few odd palm trees we saw around the summit. All in we walked about 10k around the island before making it back into town. Great job Mila and Maddex keeping up.
Back in Town
Slightly before making it back into town / the harbour we came across a stone church. I love walking into churches, and the Christian churches seem to always have open doors inviting people in. We walked in and looked around a bit. The kids have learned to be quite it’s nice to hear them respect the building and whisper. I showed the kids the alter with the relic in it. Tried to explain that to them when we got home but I am not sure they got it.
We were going to have lunch at some fish place Todd suggested but it had a queue, then we headed towards a restaurant with crab in the name. It had a 30 minute wait to be seated. Across from the Dart station was an outdoor food market of sorts. We bought food there. Brat for Khaleesi and I, Prawns and chips for Maddex, crepes for the girls, and a bowl of noodles and chicken for Roxi. We sat in the grass and ate lunch in the wind.
After lunch we simply had to find the beach and walk on some sand. We walked past the dart station out of town thinking that was the way to go, and nope, not the right direction. Back where we came from, back past where we had lunch, and down a small creepy ally with a trash dump looking place to the right followed by a homeless tent camp and we’ve found the beach. Sadly the sand is more like mud then sad, but oh well we are on a beach!
The tide was low, giving us a massive expanse of sand to run around on. Reminded me of Coronado with it’s massive beach. The kids had a blast finding shells and covering them selves in sand and playing in the water. My favorite of their antics was Maddex doing push ups in the water to wash his hands. After the beach we hoped on the DART, for home. We walked about 16k by the end of the day and everyone had a great time.