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Ireland Trip - Day 5 - Ireland

Blogging at 22:15 on Saturday 12th August from intended overnighting spot N 52.05495°, W 07.68491° / http://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:52.05495%2C-07.68491

First up today was the Tramore parkrun. It was, like most are, a splendidly welcoming affair and took place on a decent if very exposed and windy seafront course. We both did OK; in spite of the encroaching fatigue brought on by the nature of our travels, and nutritional reliance on stuff like cheese, crisps and Pot Noodle. And giant Toblerones.

We both tried hard in the run but only one of us had a camera at the finish to exploit the doubled-over recuperation of the other. Emma didn't have the camera.

Post parkrun we found a quite place to park in order to make the impromptu repair required following the pranged sacrificial impact-absorber mentioned yesterday. This took a bit longer than I'd have liked but at least (fingers crossed) it does seem to have done its job in protecting the actual box structure.

Lunch on a ridiculously windy clifftop followed, where I enjoyed watching fulmars and shearwaters making effortless headway through huge rolling surf and winds that were genuinely a challenge for us mere mortals to even stand up in.

Another awesome flying display followed as we headed off in the form of a merlin that jinked over a raised roadside hedge into the carriageway we were driving down and then bow-surfed the lorry for a good hundred metres at a height of no more than a metre from the ground. It's not often you see a merlin in flight from above, especially one that's only 10 metres away. At a moment it deemed appropriate, the show was over and it once again jinked over the roadside verge and - with fully folded wings - through a gap in a stand of vegetation only a few millimetres bigger than the bird itself. Awesome stuff.

We always intended to have quite a short travel day, today, but spotting a decent possibility for a quiet overnight spot even sooner than we'd planned saw us calling it a day in the dead-end forest track at the coordinates show.

As a massive bonus, we'd only been here five minutes when of all things a pine marten bounded across the forest track we'd just driven over and it was only about 150 metres from where we're parked. I know pine martens are doing well in Ireland but it was beyond our realistic hopes to spot one.

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