426 – Sunday 24th July 2016: Benbulbin – a Must See
We drove on around Lough Gill to Glencar Waterfall, which is on Glencar Lough (funnily enough) … water everywhere around here! To be honest the waterfall, which is part of the Yeats drive was disappointing … set up as a massive tourist venue with block paving, a horse drawn carriage to hire and ice cream van. We did not stay long, but we did manage a Mr Whippy. The ice cream vans only seem to do these, no choice of ices on sticks 😦
James had been going on about Benbulbin mountain, the most notable in Sligo. I did not know what to expect … we’d googled about walking up it, but received wisdom was that if was not safe, but J had found a walk just north of it. So we headed there and the heavens opened … water water everywhere! We lunched, rested and in a reprieve of rain set off … only for the heavens to open again! It did dry up a bit and we could see the clouds and mists beetling across the top of Benbulbin revealing the most amazing wide vertical riven rock face. A seriously memorable mountain.
Benbulbin: poor weather meant we really did not have the best view of it.
We fancied a coastal overnight, so headed to Streedagh Beach … an amazing spot and the sun actually made a fleeting appearance. K spoke to a chap who’d swam … he does so every day of the year. Cripes! The water’s lovely, he said, so in I went. But with wet suit … and it really was silky. J had to stay on shore to photograph the evidence … again!
Taken when the sun finally came out from Streedagh Beach.
We’d planned to stay the night here. We knew the beach parking sometimes flooded at high tide, so I checked with the life guards … we should be OK. J was just washing up from dinner and a guardian angel knocked on the door …. the tide was creeping up close and she’d seen lots of motorhomes and cars destroyed … even though I’d checked, the tide still had an hour to go till high tide, but it was close enough. We very promptly packed up. Fortunately today was a new all time record in the Clune household … ever! it was our third dry night in a week since we met over 10 years ago! Our really lovely guardian angel suggested we drive south to Raghly Point – the the small fishing harbour. She said … views of Benbulbin and across to Downpatrick mountains – fabulous. And water! Although now nearly 9.30, we filled up all our bottles and on board tank … with the view to showering in the morning. A real gem of an overnight.
J here: Now then… Our gallant readers will know a little about our PeePeePot. Yesterday, as I was going about my ‘business’ – I thought about how we might classify our ‘emissions’ ? How about a wine classification? Demi-sec? The container is a sort of demijohn. Well, see have been dry for a few days – hang about – we are very ‘sec’ indeed – too much information? Ok – you can ‘sec off’!
427 – Monday 25th July 2016:
A run around the peninsula and then a massive spring clean in the van … and then we showered. Clean sheets, clean van and clean us. Joy. Then we filled up again with water … and had chats with the local fishermen … lobster no good at the mo, as the weather too poor, so they are catching crab, but the price is low.
We’d now a big Ikea bag of laundry, including the bedding, so I’d googled laundrettes nearby … but by the time we got to Bundoran it was gone 3.00 and the laundrette lass said it would not be ready till tomorrow. We contemplated staying in the aire next door … EUR15, including showers and electric … but ever budget conscious me (unless it is something I want!) said no, EUR15 is EUR15 and we don’t need to spend it! But we’d also googled that it was going to cost EUR1 to dispose of card and plastics and EUR4 for a bag of household waste (no free bins and all waste except glass and tin cans are chargeable …. BUT very few recycling / disposal centres and they have very restrictive opening hours … do not get me started on this!!!). HOWEVER, there was a Lidl next door and J checked … the aire had bins … soooo we could claim the aire was only actually going to cost us EUR10, by the time we’d paid for waste disposal elsewhere, when we’d found one that was open! And we’d about 4 days of waste starting to smell and be tripped over … in our now pristine Chardonnay. J rang the contact number and PJ came and opened the barrier and gave us a tour of the newish facilities.
We shopped and then took a wee dander around Bundoran. I was not expecting a lot, as it is a well known (in Ireland) seaside resort. But once you get past the amusement arcades and mini fun fare, it had really pretty beaches, good for surfing … too far for me to walk in my wet suit!
We made the most of our EUR15 … all waste disposed, free electric so the slow cooker made an Italian veggie soffritto and slow cooked a whole chicken, charged devices, toilet emptied and all water replenished. And I showered … quite necessarily, but because I could!
Bundoran: one of the small beaches.
Beaches and rock pools.
428 – Tuesday 26th July 2016: Belleek Pottery
We both ran through the town and along the beach front … nice. And I then Pilates’d on the grass. J cooked a one pot bacon bits, onion and mushroom scrambled egg thing on the bench outside, just before the drizzle started. We collected the washing – even the knickers were neatly folded!
We drove onto Belleek. Now this is one of my favourite potteries … I don’t like the stuff with the painted Shamrock, but Mutt inherited some basket weave Belleek from Great Aunty Mary, which I really do like. Mum, I’m sending you a postcard of how to date it … and whilst you’re at it, please put a sticker on the bottom that I will inherit these pieces … sorry Clare, hope that is OK with you!? Did I mention that I resist spending unnecessary money … well, my new ear rings were really necessary and so was lunch!
The moulds are only good for 400 pieces and then they loose definition.
The porcelain mixture is poured in and and then out of the moulds, leaving a residue to harden up. When it is removed, the staff remove imperfections and rough edges.
They also cut off unwanted bits, such as the castellations on this one.
To make the distinctive weave, the base is made and allowed to harden, then the spaghetti strips are moistened and laid over a form.
Unfired. All the flowers etc are made by hand. This one would retail at about £150, which is not dear for the hours of hand labour.
After firing, glazing and firing again, any paintwork is done by hand. Then the third and final firing.
Neither of us fancied doing much more sightseeing, so we researched and headed inland to Lower Lough Erne to a wild parking. Can anyone explain why Lower Lough Erne is above the Upper one? We are currently parked up a the chain ferry car park that takes vehicles to Lusty Beg Island … yep … that’s the real name. And guess what … it is tipping it down … please I’d like to see some blue skies! The Aged P’s have been in Cx2 (Clare and Chris’) place near Bordeaux .. too hot to sit out.