IRELAND IN WINTER 3. From Wicklow back to Rosslare


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January 30th 2013
Published: January 30th 2013
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3. From Wicklow back to Rosslare

When I figured I didn't have the charger for my iPad, I first thought that I had left it in my car but I soon got an e-mail from the B&B in Rosslare that I had left it there. Great, I thought, now I'll have to go back to Rosslare and the idea appealed to me very much! Wicklow was fine but I had no vibes for it. I learnt that it had been a Viking settlement and then a Norman one, that it was famous for all the films that had been made there, 'Brave Heart' among them, the latest one being 'Asterix' featuring GĂ©rard Depardieu... oh really?!

So after two nights in the friendly B&B in Wicklow I headed back south to Rosslare, to Arklow by the coast road and then Gorey where I stopped for a long walk taking photos of this Irish town in winter. I'm impressed by the vitality of places I've come through so far. Lots of people in the streets, old and young, not worrying much about the drizzle on their heads, smiling and saying hello to you, 'hi there' if it's the second time they meet you, walking, strolling, chatting. On the hills you often see someone walking the dog, plenty of dogs.

From Gorey I headed for the beach, to a big village called Courtown. The sea was wild there. I took a photo of the sea front with a tall ship moored in the distance. I drove southward by the nearest coast road, a small country road with no side bank to pull up on, like in England. Houses, old and new, some posh ones belonging to wealthy Dublin residents by the look of it, some farms in between, some hatched cottages duly renovated. The coastal road is lined with houses all the way to Wexford. I took a photo of wind mills generating electricity planted on the beach somewhere along the line.

Staying as close to the coast as possible, I arrived at Curracloe and turned in to the beach again. Dunes! Yes, dunes here were protected and I took a photo of a sign asking visitors not to damage the dunes which had been planted with special grass to retain the sand. I left my car on the empty car park and walked on a wooden path to the sea. So there are bits of the coast in a straight line in Ireland after all! As I got back to my car, a group of horse riders were heading for the beach. I took a photo of them through my car side window and they waved to me. People are friendly here, they don't ignore you or pretend they haven't seen you.

From Curracloe to Wexford is only 5km and it was only lunch time. The B&B in Rosslare opens at 4pm. I was way too early. So I stopped by the side in front of the VW car selling garage with a view onto the bridge over the Slaney River to Wexford. It was pouring rain and everyting was painted in grey, the sky and the water alike. But I was happy to be back in Wexford.

Here goes my theory about 'vibes'! On the way up, when I had driven through Wexford, I had said out loud in my car by myself: wow, I like this place. But not finding a spot to park I had driven through it and on reluctantly. Now I was back as if the place was familiar to me. Perhaps it looked a bit like a beach town my parents used to take us near La Rochelle in France (I'm French) when I was a kid. I don't know but I was feeling good in Wexford!

I was due at 4pm in Rosslare and even driving slowly I was still way too early. I veered to Rosslare Strand for a diversion, just up by a kilometer or so to the ferry harbour. There too, it looked familiar. I parked on the nearly empty carpark at the beach and waited in my car, not daring to walk outside under the rain. After a while, I was cold but there was no other option than to wait for 4 o'clock.

I waited further on the carpark at the shopping centre in Rosslare Harbour and when it was 4pm I turned up at the B&B as planned.

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