Kerry to Mayo, Day Eleven

We start out right on time and in wet weather. Wet or not, it’s a pretty drive. Griffin takes a ten minute bat nap, then enjoys the ride. Into Cork and in and out of rain and brightening skies. 

Lovely green hills dotted with sheep and cows and horses, divided by lines of clumpy green shrubs. Windy roads. Ooh, a big hay lorry, but Kat’s doing just fine.

We stop for diesel, and find a friendly orange tabby sleeping on the roof of a car for let. She wakes to greet us—thrill the boy, and ribbon through my legs for a pet and stroke.

Is it #randomkatness if Kat takes the photo of a cat?

Fueled up, and off we go. Now Griffin sings himself into a solid 50 minute nap while we weave our way into Clare. We’re heading for Tulla—Jason with navigation on his phone, BW with a map. Rising, rising, rolling hills, lovely farms and wide stretches of pasture.

I adore Clare. It’s the first place I visited in Ireland so long ago, and it woke that sense memory instantly. Ah yes, of course, this is one of my places. I know the light, the air. 

BW and I have been in this area often, but not on this particular route. We recognize the names of towns, remember time spent in them. It’s brighter now, that sweet luminous light. 

The boy wakes as we come into Tulla, and with Jason Googling find a stop for lunch at a place called Flapper’s.

Lunch spot. Photo by BW

It’s just right.

Irish veg soup and chips for me with a glass of house white that’s very nice indeed. We eat very well, stretch our legs a bit, and grab a few provisions from the market next door.

We made this detour to go by the land we bought years back—and Jason’s nav takes us right down the skinny road between the high hedgerows and bright orange flowers to the gate.

Hedgerows and skinny road. Photo by Kat

We have about five acres of green here on a lovely lake we lease to a farmer for pasture. It’s great to see it again, to show Griffin, and remember closing the deal with a handshake on the side of the road.

Family portrait by the land in Tulla. Photo by BW

Then we’re back in the car—another nap for Griffin, and into Galway.

Softer here, I always think, pastoral and peaceful, with those fields divided by gorgeous stone walls. It’s definitely brighter with blue pushing into the sky here and there, and actual sunlight burning through.

And now Mayo, and signs for Cong at last. 

Griffin wakes in time for the stop at the gate at Ashford and the drive through the deep forest. The castle stretches and rises up ahead, facing the water with its little green humps of islands.

And we’re home.

If I have any stress in me, it always fades off at Ashford.

Iron Dog/Delighted Boy faceoff. Photo by Kat

It’s beautiful, the staff wonderful and warm.

We’re taken straight to our rooms, and though we don’t have that family cottage here, we have a pair of suites that basically adjoin, so our own little enclave. 

There’s champagne on ice—and thank you more than words for that!—gorgeous flowers from the Little Brown team.

Unpacking to do. I’ve bunged up my wrist—likely lifting a certain young man—so that’s mostly on BW. Better today with some pampering, and that’s a relief.

I find a gift from the Little Brown team, and am simply thrilled. I have a beautiful bespoke scarf made just for me. I adore scarves, and this one’s stunning and soft, and will be worn often, treasured always.

Scarf designed by Lou Brennan. Photo by BW

We settle in, orient ourselves and change for dinner in The Dungeon. 

I have to say I’m amazed with Griffin. I’ve never traveled like this with such a young one, and he’s so easy, so cheerful. I have to think he must wonder now and then: Where the hell are we now? But he rolls with it.

And finds, naturally, another pretty waitress to flirt with, other diners to charm. He still manages to eat hearty. As do we all.

There’s live music tonight, and BW’s up for it. I’m simply not, so I turn in as he goes off to listen.

He’s full of the band this morning, so it was time well spent for him. As the eight hours sleep was for me.

Ready to go, Nana! Photo by Kat

Workout done, though I had to dig into my vid library and my Beach Body app won’t let me in today. We’ll deal with that later.

It’s a blue sky, sunny day. The water’s blue in response, and I watched landscapers planting more flowers early.

Going to clean up, walk around, hopefully down to Cong.

It’s a gorgeous day in a gorgeous place. 

Don’t want to miss a minute of it.

Nora


In today’s #randomkatness — more Dog/Boy!

Such a cheery list of services!

14 thoughts on “Kerry to Mayo, Day Eleven”

  1. Awesome traveling with you all again to a very lovely place from your very detailed description!

    Enjoy your time and I anxiously await your next update along with more lovely pictures❤️❤️

  2. You make traveling sound so easy. Very impressive. Can’t wait for your adventures in Cong.

    Thanks for the ride!

  3. The scarf is beautiful! More like a shawl. Great for cool evenings!
    Some kids are made for travel. Others don’t do well. Obviously, Griffin is one who travels well. His smile can brighten a dreary day.
    All these pictures are making my “maybe” visit to Ireland a “must” visit to Ireland!
    My DNA tests show I have distant, distant ancestors from Ireland. Have no idea or names, due to circumstances. But, I feel the pull to visit.
    Cannot wait to read the books that these vistas and maybe shawl are written into.

  4. Loved the sign from the budding entrepreneur! Lovely colors in your scarf, and the design is so beautiful. Many thanks for sharing!

  5. Another wonderful travelogue, beautiful photos and happy baby. Love Griffins giraffe pj’s with the tail. Hope your wrist heals. Thank you, again, for sharing.

  6. So beautiful. Lucky that Griffin enjoys the sights. Mom and Dad must have instilled the travel gene in him.

  7. I loved Cong and would love to go back again someday. Watched The Quiet Man again. Maureen O’Hara is one of my favorites. Reread the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy to take me back there. Enjoy!

  8. I doubt he wonders/worries at about all the different places. He’s got the faces he needs around; probably doesn’t look at the rest of it, at least not to worry!

    Now I know why scarfs have suddenly popped up in the In Deaths; and such a variety! I was back in Dark ID the other day; Eve wearing a black one, Peabody another & her giving the details for both. She must be a very, very fast knitter/weaver to get all those and other things done with as an active a life as they have! I’ll never be that fast, I’m afraid. Doesn’t matter, I enjoy doing it. And that is a truly beautiful one you were gifted!

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