02-Sep-2017 -- This is the first out of 9 reports reaching confluence points during a one-week cycling trip around Ireland.
The evening before confluence day I landed at Dublin Airport and spent the night in the nearby town Swords. The next morning, I first cycled to the well-known Stone Age tomb Newgrange and then continued to this confluence point.
I parked my bicycle just 190 m from the confluence and thought that this visit would be finished in two minutes. At this time, I would never have believed that I would spend more like two hours on this.
I made the same experience as Gordon Spence during his visit in 2008: I climbed two fences only to find out that there was no need to climb over those fences. Across a wet meadow I walked directly towards the confluence point and everything looked like I would be done soon. But the meadow was long and extended around a corner where I had not noticed a heard of young cows and bulls. As they saw me, they immediately galloped towards me. I was extremely scared, and was able to take this picture before I ran back towards the gate. Escaping in direction confluence point was not possible due to a thorny hedge and a huge 6 foot climb.
Going back to this dangerous meadow was out of question. But since the confluence point wasn’t on this meadow, I made a new plan to approach the confluence point from the east. My second approach started from a distance of 300 m east of the confluence point at another minor road. This time, I tried to find my way through the forest. But as I got deeper into it, the denser got the vegetation. I had to crawl below the branches and thereby be cautious of thorns of blackberries and other thorny undergrowth. Progress got slower and slower, and finally so slow that I had to abandon this approach as well. On a third approach from the south west, I was able to first walk over an empty(!) meadow, and then through the forest. In a complicated spiral-like route, I slowly approached the confluence point. And finally I had won over the stubborn point.
Interestingly, the confluence has totally changed: while being on a meadow in the year 2000 and on a field with tiny trees in 2008, it is now in a dense pine forest with hardly any light reaching the ground. The trees stand in exact rows and columns. They are most likely part of the reforestation programme that was launched in Ireland around the millennium.
With a lot of scratches I finally reached my bicycle again. Indeed, almost two hours had gone past since I had arrived at the confluence area.
CP Visit Details:
- Distance of bicycle parking: 300 m
- Time to reach the CP from the road: 60 minutes
- Time at the CP: 3:36 PM
- Measured height: 119 m
- Minimal distance according to GPS: 0 m
- Position accuracy: 5 m
- Topography: slightly hilly
- Vegetation: dense pine forest
- Weather: overcast, 18° C (felt temperature)
- Given Name: The Galloping Bulls Confluence
The story continues at 54°N 8°W.