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Monday, April 21, 2008

Dublin to Westport

Out of garage go right, take the second right, then the next right. Go straight through light to River Liffey and turn left without going over bridge. Follow this to M4. It was easy enough. Drove M4 to Killeggan where we got off the fast and empty two lane highway onto narrower roads heading to Charleville Castle.

The driving is easy and not a problem. Left turns and right turns still require some thinking, remembering to stay left. We find Charleville Castle and drive a dirt road between ancient stone pillars. We are greeted by some gnarly trees at the entrance to the Charleville Castle. No indication of what to do at the fork, we see walkers and wait for them to get to us. We find out the Castle is closed, but maybe the caretaker will let us in. We are told to follow the right fork to the Castle. We follow an enchanting forest to Charleville castle. The Castle is owned by a private family. We met a young lady with her baby at the entrance. She was from Amityville, NY, visiting her mom who owned the Castle. They allowed us to see some of the rooms, though the Castle was not open and in disrepair. It was mind boggling to think a family owned this castle and it showed just how hard it was for someone to own a Castle and how many people it took to maintain it. We left amazed and dazed driving back incredibly scenic narrow roads and finding more ancient castle remains and lots sheep.

At one spot with a building that looked like Tintern Abbey, I stopped to take some pictures of it and the sheep. Very rustic. While taking the pictures they began to bleat and charge towards us, thinking we had food or were going to open the gate. They greeted us as if they knew us or were expecting us.

On to Clonmacnoise. This is an incredible place and a fantastic story about the site. Spent some time touring the ruins and hearing the fantastic story of these monks.

Slipped into Mayo and found a great B&B, The Boulevard, in Westport. After settling in and going out for a walk, we ran into a young man, James, who had just caught a rainbow trout in the stream across from the B&B. He threw it back in.We walked around town, a lovely town, had a late dinner and turned in early.

Today's Pictures.

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