Ireland With Dumbo – 7 May to 19 May 2015 – Post Script

You are welcome to read about this trip to Ireland in reverse order, blog-stylee, but you might prefer to start with this preamble and work forwards.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.

 

 

Ireland With Dumbo Day Twelve – 18 May 2015 and home the next day

Rose early and enjoyed the wonderful benefits of suite and view for the last time.  We both breakfasted on hake before preparing to leave.  While settling the bill, met an American couple whose TomTom experience re directions to “daft Aghadoe” had been similar to ours.

I drove the first leg, just over 100 miles, then we swapped over.  Checked in at Clontarf, then learnt that we need to catch an earlier ferry.

My type of casino, this.
My type of casino, this.

Still, back out to check out the Casino at Moreno – almost impossible to find but inexpensive by casinos standards.  Stopped off at Clontarf CC on the way home for a look around and even saw a little cricket, worthy of a King Cricket match report. 

Then fiddled with heating – possible room change – decided against.  Scrubbed up and had a lovely pub style supper of beef and guineas pie with Daisy–approved mash, washed down with an Oz Shiraz-cabernet.  Daisy also had an Irish coffee.

An early night.

19 May 2015 – Rose early to catch cruise ferry, as our catamaran had been cancelled due to inclement weather yesterday afternoon.  Still, benefited from the club class – indeed perhaps more so on the bigger boat and longer trip.  Event free drive back to London – Daisy did the longer leg.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.

Ireland With Dumbo Day Eleven – 17 May 2015

Daisy tries fish of the day, hake, for breakfast, while I tried kippers today.  Efforts to get up and out a bit earlier came to nought, so we again set off around 11:30, not that it matters.

We plug for a longer walk today, the circular around Tomies Wood along the south west side of Loch Leane, a very beautiful walk, mostly straightforward track.  Again very few other people.  One of the few remaining ancient Irish forests in all Ireland.

Walking In Tomies Wood
Walking In Tomies Wood

We considered a second short walk after returning to the car but decided against that idea in favour of the wonderful spa. There we enjoyed the several thermal whatnots – eucalyptus steam, sauna, laconium (very light steam – warm not hot) and the wonderful hammam. 

Then dinner again in the informal bar/lounge area.  The pianist really irritated Daisy this evening, although I think it was the same plonker as the first night.  Daisy had a club sandwich with chips while I had hake in a very tasty sauce with bland mash and nice veg.  We shared an apple and pear crumble desert.  Nice bottle of Californian chardonnay.  Very nice evening.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.

Ireland With Dumbo Day Ten – 16 May 2015

Fish of the day is Cod again today, so I try a “Full Irish” while Daisy tries smoked salmon and scrambled egg.

Weather much better today, so we plan a couple of walks.  First up – Muckross Abbey and Monks Wood –at lovely circular walk.  We stopped at a small car park near the Abbey where a sweet jaunting car fella tries to convince us that his services might help us, as we’ll be walking all over 3 miles if we do the round trip I describe.  We explained that it is our purpose and he wishes as well on our way.

Super circular walk taking in the Abbey, a small wood and then the Muckross House gardens.  We resisted the temptation of the cafe and press on to Derrycunnihy  church, where we do the first three stations have a wonderful mountain track route and then returned to the car having done a further 3 miles or so.  Took some superb pictures are up there too.

This isn't one of the superb pictures
This isn’t one of the superb pictures – this is Daisy trying her hand at map reading

Then return for a quick spa – it is very busy this evening and then informal meal in the bar, where we share tempura prawns, share a giant burger and share the cheese plate.  Quite substantial all in.  Lovely evening.  We don’t hear a squeak from the penthouse party above.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.

Ireland With Dumbo Day Nine – 15 May 2015

This place also has a fish of the day breakfast – hurrah!  Cod today and we both try it – served with tomato shallots and herb dressing.

Gloomy looking day with a poor weather forecast, so we decided to drive out to Dingle today.  Indeed it starts raining or more or less as soon as we set off and is a very wet on the road to Dingle –still we see nice scenery on that peninsula.

We take some pictures in the Harbour and then drive back to the town proper, parking in Dykesgate just below a quirky music/toy/cake shop, where we hear the dulcet tones of a Tipperary man who has migrated to Dingle via an English prep school, following a conspiracy between his parents and grandmother.  We buy a toy for Penny but failed to procure ukulele strings.

Dingle Town
Dingle Town

We walked the town looking at art and craft shops and try with difficulty to find good walking socks to help relieve Ged’s blisters.  We stop at a rather sad pub with an old arthritic and unfortunate looking landlady.  We also failed to buy Daisy a hat.

People all incredibly helpful and full of kindly advice – all avenues points to the Mountain Man’s shop for those socks.  When we get there he’s closed until 15:00 so we take refuge in the tourist office where we pick up some useful information for Angela.  Then back to Mountain Man just as he is opening up, but with a multitude of “fecks” he tells us that he is the supplier/delivery people have let him down re his impending order of men’s socks.

So now all avenues point towards Tralee.  We travel home via Tralee stopping at the recommended Landers’ (nice lady in McKenna’s referred us) where we both bought Bridgedale socks at okay prices.

Then back to Aghadoe Heights, and satnav coming into its own by helping us avoid some nasty traffic and a blocked road resulting from an accident.  Although we again ended up going via “Aghadoe Heights” side street in town.  Ged soon learnt how to scrub a daft reference from a my places on the satnav.

On return, we went for a swim, a Jacuzzi and then to the spa trying a variety of hammam, laconium and eucalyptus steam thingies.  Met an English/German combo from London who are due to party in the penthouse tomorrow night – seems we were not invited.

Dinner in the formal restaurant.  Shared a tiny crab starter, then Daisy had coquilet dish, I had a duck dish –all a bit “hotel standard fare”, but worth a try – Daisy found the mash bland.  Then a cheesecake to share afterwards, very nice.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.

Ireland With Dumbo Day Eight – 14 May 2015

Fish of the day at breakfast today was hake, which came a close third to seabass (winner) and monk fish (silver medal in my book).

We reluctantly said goodbye to Inchydoney and headed off  in the direction of Killarney via Siobhan’s family home near Glenfisk.  A roadwork detour combined with some confusion over the directions we had been given got us a bit lost for a while.

But by around 14:00 we arrived at the O’Donoghue/Ross home.  What a strange place- sculptures throughout the enormous garden, pictures and other art works everywhere.  Mum (Elisabeth) and sister (Deana) made us very welcome.  Tighue, as expected, nowhere to be seen.  We liked sculptures and artefacts best, some of which (glasswork, Deana and chess pieces Eoin) seem to be more down to the kids, but hey, it’s a family business.

I recognise the King Crimson 21st-century Schizoid Man in one picture and Deana coolly showed a different variant of him in another.  Nice coffee and cake and chat with the ladies before heading off to Aghadoe Heights.

The View From Aghadoe Heights
The View From Aghadoe Heights

Satnav fancied a side street in Kilarney itself but that was soon corrected.  Beautiful suite and lovely staff awaited us.  Lovely Helen gave Daisy lots of extra bits and pieces (goodies) for the room but refused a tip.  We took supper in the lounge – informal dining –wonderful seafood with chips and salad.  Too full for pud!  Very enjoyable.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.

Ireland With Dumbo Day Seven – 13 May 2015

The sun shone on us again.  Breakfast this morning was seabass, which was delightful.  After making the most of that and pottering about, we didn’t set off on our circuit of the island walk to well after 12:00, which landed us on the tricky east side around 13:30.  Tricky only at high tide, which the chart said was 13:42.

The guidebook suggested that it was a stroll at low tide and bit of a scramble on the rocks at high tide.  But we really aren’t cut out for scrambling on slippery moss-covered rocks.  Only thing for it was to wait for the tide to pull back enough for us to walk it on wet pebble/sand.  I estimated a wait until 15:00/15:30, which was pretty much spot on.  So for about 90 minutes it would have been possible to observe a pair of lesser spotted eejits on the east side of Inchydoney Island.

Round Inchydoney Island
Round Inchydoney Island

Once we got moving again it was all quite straightforward.  Daisy loved looking at the herons once we got to the bay and lagoon.  Rewarded ourselves with some R&R and a fine meal in the main restaurant.  We shared a pulled pork salad starter, then Daisy had lamb and I had beef, both done very nicely.  Daisy rounded off with an Irish coffee while I polished off the lovely Malbec wine.  Super evening again.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.

Ireland With Dumbo Day Six – 12 May 2015

Another sunny day.  Breakfast of Pollack – lovely.

Shannonvale
Shannonvale

Decided to go to Shannonvale for walk this morning, as it is very breezy on the coast.  A lovely walk – then out to Roaringwater river for a long walk and sight of Jeremy Iron’s Castle, Kilcoe.  Another super walk, then back just in time for Rasul Therapy, two types of Dead Sea mud, very nice. I sunbathe in the solarium after and Daisy swam.

Took dinner in the pub again.   Daisy had Caesar salad and chips, I had a wonderful baked salmon and mussel sauce with smoke salmon potatoes – very pleasant evening.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.

Ireland With Dumbo Day Five – 11 May 2015

Woke up to better looking weather.  Wonderful breakfast of monkfish.  Following yesterday’s rain – proper wet stuff – I choose a higher head walk for the morning.  Moloney’s Strands and Dunwerley.  We need a mixture of satnav and Ged nav to find the place.

Which way is the sea?
Which way is the sea?

That combo works- it’s a lovely walk – then back to Inchydoney Island for tea and then a beach walk on the strands and dunes.  It’s very windy and Daisy nearly gives up but perseveres.

Then back ready for dinner quite early – we eat in the main restaurant tonight.  I have prawn bisque, Daisy has a starter of pork belly with quinoa, followed by three fishes main.  I had a chicken main. Daisy had almond and Seville orange desert, I had a hazelnut desert which had walnut in the ice cream rather than the advertised hazelnut.  A quick swap with many apologies.  Very good meal despite Helga’s warnings.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.

Ireland With Dumbo Day Three – 9 May 2015

Hearty breakfast at Fitzwilliam, then off to do our own walking tour of Dublin.

First stop, the camera shop, where we got Daisy a pair of binoculars and soft case for her camera.  Then on to the recommended gent shop, Louis Copeland, where Ged got himself properly togged out with trews and belts.  While they were being altered, we did the rest of Grafton Street, O’Connell Street and looked at The Abbey and The Gate theatres, the cathedral and then back taking a short detour to McDaid’s for a quick drink.

Trying to look a bit James Joyce?
Trying to look a bit James Joyce?

We grabbed the swag and dumped it at the hotel and then out again to look at the pictures around St Stephen’s Green – Janie took to Liz Leavey’s work and indeed Liz herself.  Walked to Merrion Square and then back round the other side of Trinity supping coffee outdoors in a nice place and then buying a cardy for Daisy and a scarf for Ged.  We visited at the Sheridan’s cheesemongers before returning to get dressed up for the evening.

Then off to walk to Bernard & Siobhan’s house, which is in the shadow of Lansdowne Road Aviva Stadium, Vavasour Square, southeast of town out towards Sandybanks.   It took about 30 minutes to walk and they seem surprised we’d walked it despite the lovely weather.

We met the little ones and then headed off in a cab for a quick pub stop almost by the Merrion, O’Donoghue’s, and then on to L’Ecrivain restaurant for a fine meal.  Lobster starter (apart from Daisy who had foie gras) then main course of turbot for Ged, pork for Daisy, some other fish for Bernard, chicken for Siobhan – who also had a chocolate desert but the rest of us felt full and just finished our wine.  Cabs from Baggot Street home a full but very enjoyable day.

Photographs from the whole of our trip to Ireland are gathered in an album on Flickr, click here.