So, suitably refreshed after a nice lunch of Tuna roll, crisps and a can of Coke, I pushed onwards. The heat really was starting to get to me at this stage and as usual it was beginning to stop being fun. But I still had 14 km to go and was on a reasonably tight deadline for a train at Enfield. So I had to just put the head down and get on with it. The railway was pretty much a constant companion at this stage with the odd milepost being visible. The railway is the only transport mode in Ireland still using miles.
There is lots of canal activity visible in this shot with both cyclists and canoeists enjoying the fantastic weather. I must admit, that at this point I was praying for less fantastic weather and was trying to find shade wherever possible.
The next major feature on the canal was the Boyne aqueduct. This is another landmark I have seen hundreds of times from the train but had never set foot on. There was quite a nice view of the river from here but it was a bit of a major diversion to try to get a picture of the aqueduct itself.
The county boundary took a bit of a diversion a this point and I had to wait another 5 kilometres or so until crossing the Blackwater to pass into county Meath. My pace had dropped below 5 km per hour by now and I was having to stop to take a rest every hour given I was now knocking on the door of 35 km and was in a bit of pain. I stopped for a quick chat with a couple of boaters at Moyvalley and then came out onto the old main road at Furey’s.
Much as I would have loved to stop for a pint, I was looking nervously at my watch as I was going to be cutting it really fine for a train or face waiting at Enfield for two hours. So I pushed on as fast as I could. After Moyvalley, the path got quite overgrown and it was really pleasant. There was quite a bit of shade about and it was a very welcome relief for the sun.
At about 40 km, I decided to chance another quick rest. I had a bit of a sit down, ate a chocolate bar and drank the remains of one of my (long-thawed) frozen bottles of mineral water that I use for stopping my chocolate from melting. This gave me another burst to finish out the walk.
The next feature was the Blackwater aquaduct which finally marked my transition into County Meath and left me with about 3 km to go.
From there on in I was on the home stretch and the sore legs and feet didn’t really matter any longer. There were a lot of teenagers hanging about Enfield harbour enjoying the fine weather.
All of a sudden, I spotted the bridge at Enfield station and knew that I had only a couple of hundred metres to go. I got into the station about 10 minutes before the train was due but I needn’t have been that rushed as Irish Rail weren’t too rushed either and the train was about 15 minutes late.