Monday 1st – Thursday 4th June 2009

9 Jun

Monday saw further exploration of the facilities available around and about.

The marina provides clean showers and loos but no laundry facilities. There are a couple of launderettes in town, charging €18-20 for a wash & dry.

We had expected to find wi-fi at the marina, however there is none. There are various options available though – free wi-fi (for the price of a cappuccino) at Costa Coffee at the Bridgewater Centre 2 minutes away; several internet cafés, charging €1 for 10mins or free internet for an hour session (max 3 sessions weekly) at the local library (10 minutes walk). There is also, of course, the option of piggybacking on someone’s unsecured network… but I’d never do that!

There is also a swimming pool & leisure centre only 5 minutes walk from the marina, haven’t checked this out yet though.

On Tuesday, I decided to explore further afield. The weather was perfect, blue skies and balmy sunshine. I hopped on the bike and set off into the countryside on a back road to Avoca (pronounced avOca). It was a gradual climb for about 3 miles before descending quite steeply into the sleepy village of Avoca (my heart was sinking as fast as the bike was hurtling downhill, anticipating a painful climb on the return journey).

Avoca

Avoca

Avoca is where Ballykissangel was filmed. I know next to nothing about the TV series and didn’t avail myself of the Ballykissangel tour, but maybe next time I head that way, I’ll stop for refreshment by the river, ‘tis very scenic. This time I just looped back to Arklow along the R747, a busier but pleasingly flat road that runs through the Vale of Avoca. The 13-mile journey was uneventful overall, apart from a couple of close shaves with my fellow road users. Despite wearing a hi-viz vest, my presence seemed to be off little consequence to some drivers going like bats out of hell!

By Wednesday, I was settling into a gentle rhythm living aboard. Doing odd jobs (mainly cleaning teak), reading a bit, wandering a bit, eating a bit and generally chilling out.

Days have usually been rounded off with a run in the evening. Running doesn’t seem to be a particularly popular pastime in this neck of the woods. I haven’t met or seen any other runners and I’m struggling to come up with varied running routes that don’t involve the very narrow country lanes that are a bit of a death trap. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to gradually increase my weekly mileage to 18 miles (having stopped running for a couple of months due to injury) and hope to build up gradually to 30 miles a week.

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