Just for the craic of it

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After two nights at the Mount Falcon which didn’t have very accessable web services (but they did let us use the computer in reception) we are now at the Wineport Lodge near Athlone in County Westmead. Our final hotel for this tour, the Wineport is situated on Lough Ree – one of Ireland’s inland lakes off the River Shannon. Not far from here, St Cieran used to unload vats of wine from France in the 500s, so this hotel is themed after great wine regions of the world. There are rooms called things like Tuscany (our room) and Barossa Valley.

In each room’s entry way is a little alcove with a bottle of wine from the region the room is named after. And a complimentary serve of Jamieson’s Irish Whiskey.

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Our room – like all the others looks out over the lake and has a little balcony on which to sit and observe the sunset. We didn’t see the sunset because the sun sets at about 4.30pm and we were still out touring the countryside. We came across The Millennium Forest project which was very impressive. It made us think about the projects Australia did for the millennium… we couldn’t actually think of any.

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I know I know we had the Olympics to worry about, can you think of any??

One of the things we’ve noticed about Ireland is that they don’t do gardening here. Okay maybe they don’t need to because the whole landscape is so lush and verdant (at least it will be in the spring). I couldn’t work it out at first. The houses looked so stark, so unrelated to the landscape… and then it dawned on me. There was a fence… then grass to the walls – or sometimes a path around the house. Occasionally you’d see a pot with something dead looking by the front door or a tree in the corner of the yard but that’s about it.

There are garden centres though, we passed them in nearly every town. So maybe they are getting in on the start of a curve or something…

And we now have a new favourite Radio host. His name is Gerry Ryan from RTE 2 and we are addicted. All that driving around listening to the radio. He is hilarious! You can download a podcast to check him out. We can’t believe what he gets away with – to be sure it’s that charming Irish accent…

From his website check out this Prayer for Irish Women:

Dear Lord……So far today I am doing all right. I have not gossiped, lost my temper, been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or self indulgent.I have not bitched, wined, cursed or eaten any chocolate. I haven’t even charged on my credit card.
However, I am going to get out of bed in a few minutes and I will need a lot more help after that.

The other day Dublin had a 7 hour traffic jam on their M50. Can you imagine that? Apparently it was a burst water main or something. I can remember being caught on Stirling Highway for 3 hours when that water main burst on Kwinana Freeway but 7??? Apparently there were women squatting all over the place – one lady – a diabetic happened to notice an aquaintence further ahead in the standstill traffic – which was lucky because he happened to have a tuna sandwich so she didn’t go into glycemic shock. Another lady had to call her husband in order for him to come and pick up her baby – only a few weeks old… needless to say we’ll be leaving some time to get to the airport on Tuesday…