Blogging at 21:00 on Sunday 25th December from intended overnighting spot N 54.60317°, W 08.15488° / http://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:54.60317%2C-08.15488
The Sligo parkrun was a joy (pic). Well, in as much as bouncing your max heart rate off the rev-limiter for 20 minutes or so can ever be. It was friendly, welcoming and delightfully quirky.
The Cleavergh Demesne area of Sligo that hosts the run was also a delight. Still within the confines of the city, this is an area of urban greenspace that includes woodland, grassland and numerous brackish and freshwater habitats. As (EST) daylight moodily began to crack whilst we warmed up for the run, it was a joy to hear numerous song thrushes, blackbirds, robins and a few other renowned songsters in full territorial voice. Added to the mix was a drumming woodpecker. The marginally milder condition probably helped with the displays, but in our hearts this was as good-a-harbinger of spring as it's possible to have. Surrounded by birdsong in this small corner of Ireland a sense of living life prevailed and it's hard to imagine a better way to have started a Christmas day.
Post-parkrun, life fought back a bit and it started to rain in Biblical fashion: completely appropriately (given the day) this remained the way of things for our entire (short) drive to Co. Donegal.
Once there, and thanks to the impressive reserves of the imposing Donegal Golf Club, we found ourselves spending a good deal of the rainy afternoon making the most of the grey-day's remaining 'light' drinking tea whilst parked in their completely deserted car park, which handily overlooks the adjoining Donegal Bay. High-profile golf clubs do seem to blag some top locations. I wondered for a while whether I should take up the game as a result but think, on balance, it'd be altogether less troublesome to continue with respectful acts of minor trespass.
Anyway, It was a rewarding thing to do as the bay sported a wealth of birdlife and a healthy grey seal population. One seal in particular was exceptionally animated and indeed seemed to suffer from ADHD. It spent almost all of its time recreationally irritating its hauled-out snoozing peers. Emma recognised the signs.
Night time proper sees us a courteous distance from the golf club in what has - to this point - been a completely untroubled overnighting spot. We've neither seen nor heard anyone and even the weather has cleared to give us, once again, some incredibly dark and star-strewn skies. Just before retiring to bed, Emma also had a really clear and long-lasting shooting star sighting.
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