Sunday, May 15, 2011

Killarney National Park

After breki I checked out the woman let me leave my luggage and said I could keep my key to get back in later when I headed to the bus to go back to Limerick. I walked around town checked the Internet and then headed for Killarney National Park I had walked in the beginning the day before when it was blue skies and sunshine but today was anything but. I decided to walk to Ross Castle which was quite a hike I just missed the boat trip which was disappointing as I was told the boats did not start till 2 pm and there was one at noon it was too cold and gloomy to hang around there till the next one at 2.30

Lovely place for a cuppa
Walked some more of the park headed to a spot that said  8km to the Lake Shore walk but after awhile realized they meant the walk to the Lake Shore walk started there I did not have time for that so continued some more around the park and saw some deer, quite a few.I then stopped at the cutest little cottage for tea. Then I headed out for dinner and I was very bad and decided to have fish and chips again from the first place nothing much open on Sunday and no meals that appealed to me as much. After got my suitcase and headed for the bus and Limerick, I vaguely remembered my hotel from 3 years ago but forgot the directions some man was walking to get McDonalds for take out for himself and his wife I asked if I was on the correct route to Denmark street and he walked along showing me a shorter route and then waited till I crossed to my hotel  was too tired to do anything but go on line and pack. I had an early bus to catch.

I didn't sleep to well yelling in the street at 4 am and an alarm going off woke me I had to leave for the bus before breki started but saw they had coffee and scones set up so had some and checked email one last time and found my flight was delayed So ordered eggs and mushrooms for breki but it took forever and my tummy started flipping so only ate some and headed for the bus

All in all a good visit to Ireland with my Kerry trip the highlight of it

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dingle Dangle and my own Pub Crawl

After a good brekie of scrambled eggs and rashers and brown bread I headed into town I was trying to make up my mind on the tour to Dingle and Slea head it was dark and gloomy and rain was predicted but then I decided what the heck take my chances. I booked my ticket and was first at the door as I wanted a prime seat front row and after checking with the man inside he assured me Passenger side this trip would be the best for this tour

Got my front seat and this was more a smaller bus and not a lot of people recognized the people from the day before Ring of Kerry tour and the woman was all excited it was someone she knew not that we really had talked the day before but made up for it this day there were from Aussie. Not a lot on this tour and some people were dropped off for the Gap of Dunloe I would have done it if I had another day.

It was starting to clearing up and I looked over the other direction of Ring of Kerry and it was very dark and gloomy and looked like it was raining. We made stops along the way and then a quick potty stop in Dingle and we would come back later. We passed some Bee Hive Huts, from the middle ages.  We made a quick photo stop one man paid the 2 euro to go in one on someone's property. I wish I had but dint think we had the time.  We stopped at the Blasket Island Centre I took some photos outside as close as I could get to the water then it started to rain so I went in and had some tea and a scone  they only gave me a cup of tea which was nothing.It stopped raining when we came out.

We continued along making stops here and there and then back to Dingle for a longer break I saw some man performing and he had a nice voice so I spent 5 euro for his cd which turns out to be very good. I walked around town and then bought a  Irish linen scarf for a friend at work birthday. I really liked Dingle and would love a chance to return there and spend a night or two and explore more.

The South Pole Inn, Annascaul, Dingle Peninsula, was opened by Kerryman Tom Crean in 1920. Tom Crean was an Antarctic explorer

After having fish and chips yes again but a different place and not as good went back to my room to rest up a bit and then changed to go on my own Pub Crawl. I decided to check out a bunch of pubs with music. I would walk in find a spot and stand and watch a bit and if I did not like it move on. I found one really good band playing but only heard the last 2 songs they stopped right after I got me a small glass of Guinness   I left after drinking a little more than half as it was way to strong for me and I did not want to land on my head. Finally found a place McSorley's that I had been in earlier they had 2 musicians one guitar and one accordion so I found a place to sit and enjoy. There were a bunch of young girls celebrating a birthday and they would go up and make requests. There was another girl who was dressed with a veil and a big  L on the back and a sash she was quite the dancer I wound up filming some of the music when he started with Galway Girl

Friday, May 13, 2011

Ring of Fire * I mean Kerry

Waterville Co Kerry
I decided to book the Ring of Kerry tour the woman at my B and B called it in and they picked me up at the B and B along with 3 other girls.  I was happy as it was a small bus but that didn't last long as they drove us to the Tour place and we got on a big bus I was sitting on the passenger side of the bus big mistake as all the scenery was on the other side the bus was almost totally full but I lucked out staying alone.

It rained just a bit as we headed off but the driver said not to worry, only a shower; we drove along into pretty little towns and then we made a stop at The Kerry Bog village it was 5 euro to go in but well worth it. There were 6 little houses to explore. There was also a mama cat with her kittens, I got some great shots some girls who were staying at my B and B were holding them. There were also some ponies

The next stop was for Kells Sheep Centre despite watching Chris at Gerry's train his dogs decided to visit and actual place as can never get enough of sheep. The man had 17 different kinds of sheep saw some I had never seen, he then gave demonstrations and commands to have the 2 dogs round up the sheep. He also demonstrated how keen dogs hearing is by having the dogs go up to the top of the hill with the sheep and then gave the command to bring them down he said it very low we could just hear it ourselves and sure enough the dogs brought the sheep down.

Here' looking at ewe

They made a lunch stop in Waterville but Id rather be outside looking at the scenery it had gotten quite cold and looked like rain I went off in search of ice cream I finally found my fave whippy cone  I told the woman it is cold but I want ice cream and she said it is never too cold for ice cream. I walked along the water for awhile and finally back to the bus.

We continued along the scenery was breathtaking I kept wishing I was on the other side of the bus to see it better esp because some people on that side were sleeping or reading. Before our next stop the driver told us there was usually a man who had dogs or sheep and you could get your picture taken but be sure to put something in his  box. Well got off took some photos and the scenery was incredible but that was suddenly blocked by the man who had 2 little sheep and the driver asked when the one was born and he said 3 days ago. People were getting photos and as usual the 3 girls were monopolize but I did manage to get the driver to take a quick snap of me with the baby it was so soft and cuddly did not seem real. 
Me and the baby lamb

Off to the next stop where we were busy taking photos of the beautiful colored water when suddenly I saw everyone excited over something and it was a shark out in the water I was trying to get a decent shot but nothing to write home about the driver finally said we have to move on. We got on the bus when suddenly the shark came closer to shore and the driver said ok get off cant miss this he grabbed his camera. I snapped one through the window. 

Lady's View
Next stop was Sneen where we just had few minutes potty break and quick snaps of the village and river and then off to Molls Gap and then on to the famous Ladies View. Queen Victoria made a visit to Kerry in 1861 when her ladies in waiting were setting up a picnic but got distracted by the beautiful view. It was really cold now and dark and cloudy.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mucky Mucky Muck and Maureen O'Hara

See the sheep Gortbaun

Last day in Gortbaun after a light breki Gerry and I headed out to the field, I was wearing my sister's Wellingtons that she keeps there. He took me back to the end of his land I wanted to see the little river flowing back there and I do not think I was that far back since 1978 when I was back there with my Uncle Mike Joe the river was barely visible as everything had grown in. We walked further and Gerry was telling me to be careful crossing this one spot which was very muddy well I put my down and landed in a sink hole and my foot sank to the top of the boot. I thought it was going to keep sinking scary. I tried to move it but since the boot was too big for me by 2 sizes my foot came out so I was standing on one foot balancing my cameras in hand. I was trying to hold my foot from going totally in the ground. Gerry grabbed hold and we were trying to rescue my boot, I was hoping around in circles and I finally put my foot down in the muck. It was already muddy so why not we must have been a comical site. I took off my sock and Gerry washed it in a stream.

We headed back to the house,  Gerry ran off to get me a phone card and came back with a yummy chicken and salad for lunch after that it was time to say goodbye. Peadar drove his car and led me to the main road to Knock so I could drop my car off and catch the bus to Killarney. Long bus ride to Killarney 5 1/2 hours I dozed off some and read and looked at the scenery arriving in Killarney I walked to my b and b. On the way I saw a sign welcoming Maureen O'Hara to a show and saw it was that night. After checking in and because it was blue skies and still light I walked around Killarney took some photos. I then walked back to my B and B.

Maureen O'Hara
By now it was after 10 pm and I stood near the hotel where Maureen was. I decided to walk up to it as people were coming out and I thought well maybe she would be coming out.  I walked in as others were coming back from a smoke break and I saw her sitting by the stage. People were snapping photos so I decided to take some too. I then walked to the side at that point they were shutting the doors and the show that had been on was about to begin again. I stood to the side and said well since  I am here might as well stay. It was a good show Liam O'Connor was quite the musician and there were also some Irish Step dancers.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

3 week old Connemara Pony

Wednesday I drove over to Ballintober Abbey and walked around I always enjoy a visit there brings back memories of earlier trips to Ireland, with my mother and sister and we would climb the ruins. I drove around and went back to Gortbaun Peadar had called and said he would be arriving around 4.

We decided to go next door and see the 3 week old Connemara  Pony I was excited at this prospect so we walked over. She was a real beauty and so was her mother Rosie. I took a few million photos and even posed with her. We also watched as Rosie and the baby trotted around the field. Nothing beats Ireland in the spring time with baby animals.

Gerry said he would take me to Castlebar to visit the Peace Park so we did that and also stopped at the library to check my mail we still had some time before my cousin Peadar would be arriving so we went to see Turlough House it was interesting museum and house.

Peadar arrived and Gerry made some steak and we had wine and I was totally exhausted so I took a 45 min nap when I awoke I walked into the kitchen but on the way looking out the window I was shocked to see that the sheep were walking around the front yard I thought I was dreaming did a double take and then called Gerry he and Peadar went out front to round them up it took a awhile and Gerry finally saw how they escaped so he got them all safely back to the yard.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Oh My Freaking Baby donkey

Gerry's friend's donkey had a foal on Sunday so Tuesday morning we went off to see it. The foal  was across the field with its parents. Gerry hopped the fence and walked over carefully to the foal.  He then snatched it up and carried it towards the fence where I was standing he turned back at one point to see the mother following him. The foal was a beauty, and it was so dark and I started filming as Gerry went to pick it up. I switched to my NIKON to take some photos I took quite a lot was snapping away Gerry posed with the donkey. He said at one point something like too bad you can not come over the fence but I did not want to press my luck.  He did have it close enough for me to pet so I touched its head and it felt very soft the mother came for the baby so Gerry let it go off and I shot some video as they walked across the field.                                         

After that we decided to take a drive I wanted to go to Mulranny as we were driving we saw the drive to Furnace and Gerry said it was a very beautiful drive so we decided to do that its part of the Nephin Mountain drive saw lots of sheep along the way and it was fun just to watch them walk along or occasionally run as we got to close. At the end of the drive we headed to Mulranny and stopped at the newly remodeled Mulranny Hotel. John and Yoko stayed there in 1969 so they had photographs of them. We had a drink and just enjoyed the view. We then headed back home as I had plans to visit a friend.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Out and about

I was determined to find the old church and cemetery ruins I ran across in 1998 I had directions this time.  I tried last trip to no avail this time I was successful as it was marked. There was not much to it but I just wanted to find it. I had left my directions to other places at home. I then decided to go to one of the Beaches at Old Head been there before and liked it I parked and walked for about an hour.
Gloshpatrick  Cemetery

The weather looked threatening but I carried on I stopped at Murrisk Abbey and looked around and then started back towards Louisburgh. I walked around town to see if any place to eat but nothing appealed so headed back towards Ronagh Pier as wanted to be by the ocean it was very windy and cold but sunny I walked along taking photos but had to be very careful and stay away from the edges as the wind might blow me in it was that bad.

As I headed back to my car the rain that had been threatening arrived and I just managed to get in without getting drenched I wanted to explore more but the rain was too heavy so I started back to Westport.  I parked and then went to have something to eat as it was now well after 4 and found a Kehab place so I had that and then checked my email,  I stopped at a shop in Westport to introduce myself to someone there who had contacted me with research questions from my web page. He was happy to meet me an thank him for all my help, he wanted to meet me for tea but I did not have time then.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Off to Tullycross to see the Thatched Cottages

I told Gerry I wanted to go to Tully Cross and being Sunday he said he would go along. I took my car but let him do the driving.  We first drove back through Westport and took the route, towards Leenane.  A lovely drive and Gerry would stop for me to take my photos. We stopped in Leeanne I love that Village parts of the film "the Field" was filmed there. We looked in a shop and I took photos and we moved on to Tullycross. The views were gorgeous and the rain actually stayed away and we had clear sunny with big fluffy clouds kind of a day.  My fave kind of day.  We went to a pub at TC and then had a drink after that I looked at the thatched cottages and took some snaps and walked around some.

lovely lamb roast

Then we headed for Clifton and walked around for awhile and then looked for a place for early dinner we were trying to find lamb but were told that too early in the season we finally settled for a nice dinner with beef and a glass of wine and Gerry had dessert coffee and apple pie
Then I suggested RoundStone it was getting a tad darker then and we came across some beautiful Connermara ponies and we stopped Gerry got them to come over to us and I snapped away. I am now calling him the Animal Whisperer. Started getting darker and we got to Roundstone and we were only there a few minutes when the rain hit there were really nothing  to see so have no idea why it was listed as a place to visit.
We made some more stops on the way back and saw the Connemara Giant.


Driving on the wrong side

Gerry took me to Knock airport to pick up the car after another big fry I told him last one of the visit or I would be dead on the floor.  We got the car and then he drove back to Gortbaun ahead of me me struggling to keep up he stopped and waited. Its hard doing the other side as so different. Gerry later looked at the car and the "gear" setting was off that is why I could not drive fast enough

I headed off to Aughagower "Field of the Springs" which is a tiny little village that I love the views there are awesome however it started to rain so I had to leave,


Along St Patrick's Way


The Village my mother was born

Afterwards I drove around to Westport I love the town and walked around and also checked my mail at an internet spot and  did some exploring and ended up at Killawalla Cemetery to say hello to my grand mother and my Uncle Mike Joe.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ireland Calling

Following my urge to be in the mother land again I booked a last minute trip to Ireland.

I flow to Shannon on May 5th, I arrived at 9.30am the next morning. I got off the plane taking my time as knew I would never make the 10 am bus to Castlebar well I came out of customs by 8 to 10 and saw the luggage had not even arrived. It started coming off as I walked up and low and beho my case was #1 off I grabbed it asked where buses went from and made the 10 am bus Thanks mom I knew she was up there working for me.
Cricket my companion


at Campbell's pub Murrisk
I called My cousin Gerry from Galway that I made the early bus and could he pick me up at 1.30 instead of 3.40 so it all worked grand. After a big fry (that's Irish Rashers, sausages, eggs, blood pudding)  and a 40 min nap he took me back to Campbells Pub at the foot of the Reek.  I grew up hearing we were related to the Campbells who had a pub at the foot of the Reek, my great grandmother was Biddy Campbell. My cousin Michael and I had a running joke for years how we were going to claim our inheritance. We really got carried away once saying we would open a Big Pat's. Had a drink and looked around he then drove me to Westport House it was closed but we looked around the grounds. They have really huge swans there never saw any that big.

Gerry and the Goa

view from Gerry window

Westport House

Really large Swans Westport House