Sunday - last day in Dublin:
Yesterday my mum came and took away clothes, furniture, pots and pans, plates, forks, spoons, shampoo, books ... you get the idea. The apartment has reverted to how it looked when we first moved in: not great.
We had our first test pack three days ago, and it went surprisingly well. Looking at everything that's still here, I'm now venturing a guess that it went too well, and tonight's pack will contain a lot more cramming, and a lot less smiling.
The plan for our first week is to walk out of Dublin along the Royal Canal. At 144km long, it'll take us about six days to get to Cloondara, just outside of Longford.
Tuesday - Day two:
Well, we've started! Monday morning saw us hand back our apartment keys and (slowly) walk out of Dublin. We started walking from the quays in the city centre at Spencer dock. I didn't underestimate the lack of smiling at the weight of our packs. I think it's a combination of a little overpacking and readjusting to carrying weight. Our pace was easily matched by any passing snails. We walked to just before Leixlip. The Royal Canal itself was prettier and better maintained than the grand canal. It is however, a canal, so our walking is consisting of a lot of straight lines with gradual bends and flat ground.
Today we've stopped a bit shy of Enfield. Our pace improved gradually today (the coffee at lunch possibly helped). This was definitely a good walk to start with - I'm remembering simple things from previous walking experiences that I'd forgotten. A good example is my camera. While walking I always wear it around my neck, but the weight and the strap get uncomfortable after a few hours. To take the weight off my neck, I pull the strap back to the top of my bag and clip it there. I definitely look weird, if not absurd, but I still have my camera without the weight directly on my neck.
I wouldn't be Irish if I didn't quickly mention the weather, which has been mercifully dry, so if you could all continue to do your "keep-the-rain-away" dances I would be hugely grateful.