2006: Oscar Disgraces Himself
Friday 27th August 2021
“Talking (at a distance) to the farmer’s wife she had also visited Fatima and goes there with fiends once a week to pray.” Typo from the last post spotted by Mick P … couldn’t have been more unfortunate / inappropriate / ironic! She was a lovely lady.
With another Covid test giving us the all clear and still having all senses of taste and smell, we left our sanctuary and drove to Clonmacnoise … another free for now Irish Office of Public Works site. Not only are the ruins of the ancient monastery numerous and varied, they are also in a stunning spot over the Shannon. It’s on the main tourist trail, but again Covid quiet for our visit. So important that the Pope visited and held a mass here in 1979. Being the wet and windy Emerald Isle, a cover was erected over the specially made alter. Oscar used it as a peeing post!
We overnighted at Shannonbridge Marina. We bought a waterways card giving us access to the toilets and chemical emptying. Water was free all along the harbour, so I even did a washing load … stealth version where I keep the twin tub in the garage and the waste water (eco as I use soap nuts!) spilled directly into a drain, we had conveniently parked over.
We had a long chat with a chap called Joe (his email is JoefromIreland, wonder if he’s the only Joe in Ireland), who had been diagnosed with high blood pressure. To avoid being prescribed drugs, he’d researched and come to the conclusion that a plant based diet could halt and even rectify most conditions, including heart. Quite a draconian approach as one dr / guru / exponent even eschewed oils and nuts … not leaving a lot to add protein to your food. We did consider it (briefly), but decided against … we like food too much. However, we have added a lot of veggie and plant based meals to our diet. We really notice a few lbs coming off when we have 4 veggies meals a week. Those weeks where we eat out / eat a lot of meat … we put it back on!!! Mindful of Joe’s advice, we ate out … if we’d wanted to go plant based our choices would have been limited to tomato soup … we chose chicken and salad!
The old bridge across the Shannon from Shannonbridge Marina.
Stunning by night! But a pub next door and a few groups / parties on boats that continued until about 3.00 a.m. meant I had a bad night. I also cleared up a load of glass bottles from the party goers … GRRR!
2007: Ringdoon (Ringdoom), but no Gloom
Sunday 28th August 2021
We set off to walk a peninsula into Lough Ree containing a medieval castle and village. We arrived and the land owner had closed the site! The farmer had erected loads of No Dogs and then Keep Out signs. We weren’t the only ones to arrive not knowing it was shut. We parked in a nearby car park having a lot of landscaping work done for lunch. And then as it was so peaceful and beautiful we stayed the night. We walked to the nearby St John’s Wood, ancient woodland, being preserved. And such a lovely evening, we moved the van a smidge and had a BBQ.
Another camper arrived and they joined us for a quick drink. He is a teacher in Ireland and said he does no school work at all during weekends or holidays … either the Irish schooling is pants or he is a truly pants teacher … I’ve never come across one that could get away with confining the workload to weekdays during term time!
Lovely and warm so time for a paddle.
Judy’s Car Park.
Peaceful spot to do some knitting … my knitting and unpicking notebook!
Double trouble snuggles.
2008: A Distillery but no Purchase!!!
Sunday 29th August 2021
We headed to Dublin and stopped a Killbeggan distillery en route. They claim to be the oldest distillery in Ireland …. but upon being questioned by James … Yes, Bushmills were awarded their licence first, but Killbeggan started production earlier. Killbeggan also stopped production and the the distillery was resurrected … of sorts. It’s owned by another distillery, which is where the Killbeggan whiskey is made. Using different water etc, it would NOT taste the same as the original. And we didn’t think much of it anyway … we decided for the price, Dad would prefer a supermarket brand!!! Very unusual for us to come away without a purchase.
One of the old pot stills … have a feeling this came from elsewhere…
We spent two nights at Camac Valley Campsite near Dublin. We have used this site a lot, and like the big neighbouring park for running and dog walking.
2009: Greyfriars and Family Meeting in Bray
Monday 30th August 2021
A short walk along the coast at Greystones … there is a coastal path all the way to Bray, which we will do one day.
Light lunch in Greystones.
Then a Covid distanced meeting with two of the brothers in the Lidl carpark at Bray. Tom and Mary we had see at Sinead’s wedding, but John had only just flown in from Chicago.
2010: Irish Tintern Abbey
Tuesday 31st August 2021
With the Rosslare ferry at stupid o’clock on the following morning, we drove south to Tintern Abbey. First we stopped off to see Amelia, another sister … fab that we saw all but one of J’s siblings this trip. Tintern Abbey was founded by the founder of the Welsh one. He was crossing to Ireland in rough seas and prayed that if he was delivered safely, he old build an abbey where he landed.
It was a lovely walk to the Abbey.
I walked the labyrinth with Corrie, an evening habit I did on our Turkish lockdown campsite.
Tintern Abbey … a lot of restoration going on, but due to covid the library was shut.
Colclough Walled garden … lack of staff meant the numerous laden apple trees were not being harvested … visitors were encouraged to help themselves.
A different route back.
Oscar seems to have mastered the sideways head movement to get his sticks through.
The Tintern car park would have been ideal for an over night, but too far for our early ferry, so we moved onto St Helen’s. What a fab spot. We were joined y an Irishman in a Spanish registered van, his ferry was direct to Spain.
A ferry on the horizon … ours not until morning.
Jez overlooking the harbour.
I walked the coastal path in both directions … Oscar is camouflage hound.
2010: Homeward, but not quite.
Wednesday 1st September 2021
7.30 Ferry and managed to cat nap with our blankets on some benches. As CO2 had to stay in the van, we stopped at the same car park in Fishguard on the way out and I took them for a walk.
That’s the ferry we arrived on.
We overnighted at Stonehenge and the next day Jez was due into Abacus for work.
Only 2 weeks in ireland, but a great mix of family and travelling. A great trip.