Monday, August 31, 2015

Sunday drive through Dublin - First Disc Golf at Kippure Estate Course in the Wicklows

Here I am at the highest tee of the course, #5 with ruins of a building behind. 

Here is the entry to the Kippure Estate, where I drove after passing through Dublin from the north of Ireland Sunday the 30th of Aug.

The Facebook page, lists an address and number in Dublin, and luckily I found signs on the back roads going to Sally gap in the Wicklows, that led me to this location.  For others to find this on a pilgrimage, the learning for me, is to find a personal guide!  No one was about that I could find in the Kippure estate, and they seemed to be involved in wedding prep that day I arrived -

Fortunately I notice this sign and a car parked there.  I was thinking of beeping my horn as I did not know the course was down the road and across the road. 
 I noticed an inviting path from the car park, and followed it to cross this bridge through a field of ferns....and then I walked on and found a fence that said "Paint Ball Course" and realized this was another venue....walking back to the parking lot, I noticed a man in his car then, and voila I was introduced to Kavaja Erno from Finland, who then led me to the course. 

Enro Kavaja had come to Dublin for a craft beer gathering and had already done 18 holes and was kind enough to be my guide. Thanks Erno !  

Signage of the course, Red Arrow :-)
Here is Tee # 1, with the view of the hills.   
View from Tee #3

The basket here is up through the trees. Happy to have made par with a 4, as the par has change from 3 on the sign to 4 on the score card! 
Erno Kavaja at the basket for #4 
 Sign for the walk up to the highest tee on the course....walk across the field with the sheep and watch for the sheep dung.
 Nice walked through the beech forest with ferns for hole # 6, basket between the trees.
And the final basket down to #9 to finish the course.  The most beautiful course I have ever played, in Ireland for sure.  Well Done, (Personally I was 4 over par, 35 on a Par 31 and a great place to walk and have exercise.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Saturday Hike in the Mourne Mountains to Newcastle on the Irish Sea

My last full day in the north of Ireland - I drove from the farm to Castleblaney to get online at the golf course with a view, and then met Patrick over in Co Armagh supporting him to take his car in for a check up. Here he stops for some small cattle, heifers per chance on the narrow road, typical for the area.  We picked up his high school friend and teacher Fintan, and then I drove with his direction to a parking lot for our day hike -

Fintan and Patrick, taking off up the trail with water in the midst -- 
Here is the trail, full of water, that we took to head up from the Parking Lot, which was around 500 ft. above sea level

Panorama's taken about 45 min out, Patrick in green, Fintan in red,  heading up to the notch, when we had a sandwich, water and fruit.  Fintan is well prepared as an experienced  hiker! 

 Once over the notch Fintan points along the brandy trail which is mostly level after the climb up toward the "wall"

View of the mountains from the brandy trail to show the tall mountains.

At the wall of granite stone at about 2000' elevation.  All down hill to Newcastle on the sea from here.
 Following "St Patrick", dressed in green,  on the brandy trail toward the "wall".  I was slower on my walk,  looking for shamrocks and the little people- and being a few years older, I am rather methodical in my walking - one step at a time
Patrick and Fintan the young 50 somethings on the way down from the wall. 

A rainbow in the mist, on the trail down to Newcastle.

Flowering gorse (yellow) and two types of heather (purple) on the way down. 

And, here in the moss, I thought this might be the iconic plant, the Irish symbol the shamrock!
And according to Wiki "
A shamrock is a young sprig of clover, used as a symbol of Ireland. Saint Patrick, Ireland's patron saint, is said to have used it as a metaphor for the Christian Holy Trinity.[1] The name shamrock comes from Irish seamróg [ˈʃamˠɾˠoːɡ], which is the diminutive of the Irish word for clover (seamair) and means simply "little clover" or "young clover".[2]
Shamrock usually refers to either the species Trifolium dubium (lesser clover, Irish: seamair bhuí)[3] or Trifolium repens (white clover, Irish: seamair bhán). However, other three-leaved plants—such as Medicago lupulina, Trifolium pratense, and Oxalis acetosella—are sometimes called shamrocks or clovers. The shamrock was traditionally used for its med 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Friday Drive to Country Antrim and the Glens finding the Causeway

Here is Patrick at the door of his rural castle in the north of Ireland.  He took his car into the shop near Armagh and then we headed for the Antrim Coast in my rental car.

His 6 horse friends seemed content for the morning as we drove out...

On the road from Ballymena to Glenarm noticed the purple tinge to the hills, and voila' purple heather brought a song to my heart!

Here is the purple heather that reminded me of a trip to Scotland with the mother of my sons.

Here in Antrim we are now in the UK and Derry is Londonderry. Had lunch here in Carnlough on our way up the coast on the Causeway Highway.

I emerged from lunch and saw this phone booth, and then though of Dr Who adventures.....:-)A TARDIS

Palm tree on the scenic narrow road to Torr Head - Cushendall.

 View to the south, spectacular is all that came up for me on the scenic road to Torr Head.

 Coastal view in County Antrim from the car.

View of the rock islands where the rope bridge is. Great to get out and walk!!  
View down into the sea from the Rope Bridge Patrick and I walked across on our way to the Causeway. This is a National Trust site, and I walked trusting the process.  Peace with every step

This giant's feet with the polygonal shaped basalt crystals, that have many stores in Irish Folklore, including Finn McCool a Giant...
Some of the stories carved into wood at the Causeway site

Diagram of the site, little middle and grand causeway, with the Wishing Chair in the middle, where my friend Patrick decided to stand for his photo.

Patrick standing on the wishing chair

Panorama view with I phone of the Causeway site.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Wednesday -Thursday Drive Counties , Monaghan, Fermanagah, Leitrim, Roscommon, Sligo, Mayo, Galway, WestMeith, Longford, Cavan

 Here is Smythe's Pub in Ballinamore, Leitrim County with Patrick leading the way as I parked on the other side of the street in this small, lake surrounded town in rural Ireland.  Kinda like N Minnesota with the lakes.

My lunch. Chips (fries) veggies, slaw and Lasagna,  somehow lasagna is popular throughout Ireland !

Patrick's lunch of mashed potatoes.  The man of spuds. 
 View of harbor in Galway with boots and no Salmon farms!

 Spanish gate in Galway Harbor.
 Full Irish Breakfast at B and B in Galway.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sunday Aug 23- Through Tuesday Morning - Dublin Drumcondra, Croke Park, to Counties Monaghan -Armagh

Awoke to rain here in All Hallows on Sunday morning, and I decided to walk into town to see what I could find.....Good exercise, about a 30- 45 min walk to the Liffey. 

Traditional 4 story buildings from Georgian times (1600-1700 's) South of the Liffey.

Statue of Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square where I walked in the neighborhood

A stop on my pilgrimage to visit Oscar Wilde's image on the rock here, where I lot of writers hung out. Courageous man when there was huge religious intolerance in Europe for the spectrum of GBTQIA men.

 Half Penny - hey penny Bridge across the Liffey in the rain on my walk back to Croke Park.

At Croke Park, in Drumcondra, Dublin, I met up with Patrick McGinnity who was able to get some nice tickets for the game.  We met up at a Garda Checkpoint and went in. The Price was right...Free!!  Opening processional of the teams and flags,Tyrone in the north is near Armagh, and who Patrick was rooting for.  I am very interested in how short the men's shorts are here! In America, at least in basketball, not as revealing so the poster below caught my attention!

The kind of adds for Guinness and sports here.  Irish Football, mostly an amateur sport and Hurling the game with the stick very traditional.  And I do rather find the short shorts much more attractive than the bulky stuff American footballers wear. 

Here is how Croke Park occurred as the match started between Kerry and Tyrone, the semi-final for the Gaelic Football Championship.

Here is Patrick, pouring tea after a satisfying meal Monday overlooking Muckno Lake on a partly cloudy day.  He is having mashed potatoes for dessert. and me Apple pie with chocolate ice cream in County Monahan. 

The view from a Country Club where we had lunch at Mukno Lake, 15 minutes from the farm. I returned here for Wifi and coffee most late mornings I stayed at the farm.

Here is the country lane we drove up to the house of Patrick's Uncle Mickey who died a few years ago.   I was concerned about how narrow it is and the slipperiness of the road. Easy Does it Driving.  Patrick was patient with me, just breathe and remember I am driving a stick shift on the left side of the lane.  No worries!  :-)

A couple of animals Patrick takes care of on his uncles farm land.  Two males, left, was castrated...a steer?  And a bull with a full set of testicles.

Patrick McGinnity and his neighbor Pat Farrell, who milks many cows in this parlor. Met Monday  evening when after I drove to the farm led by Patrick.

 Nissan QashQai, never heard of such a car AND the folks at Enterprise, looked at the size of my body,,,and oh, well, it is what it is. .....and here is how narrow the iron gate is near the farm house.

This is one of the images from Uncle Mickey's farm living room.  I recognized JFK, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, from the 1960's and Patrick clarified that the archbishop of Ireland and the Pope are on either side.  Patrick was raised in nearby Derrynoose and attended a Catholic Christian Brothers School not far from the Cathedral in Armagh City, taking a bus in from his home in the country by Derrynoose.

Ripening blackberries around the farm house, that I added to my morning porridge (Oat Meal) to have my own hearty breakfast,with  2 boiled eggs, toast with jam, and instant coffee.  I have been driving to a cafe overlooking Lake Mukno east of Castleblaney to get onto the internet and email and blog!  Happy that my old MacBook still works.....:-0

Picked up a pair of Wellie's Wellington Boots, to wear on the on the farm with the wetness and the mud and even some manure.   
 View of the farm house from the south east.

Super Valu store in Castleblaney where I picked up the groceries here in the trolley (cart).

And my new Wellie's, rubber Dunlop boots for farm life, a bit small and only 15 Castleblaney at RB Coogan, like the local Fleet Farm of Ireland. 
 Country Breakfast cooked in the farm house.  Whole wheat toast fried in Kerrygold Butter, boiled eggs coffee and juice I also cooked oat meal (porridge) with fresh blackberries added from around the farm house.

 On Tuesday I drove over to the north of Ireland to Derrynoose where Patrick still manages a farm home, and keeps a few animals.  He led me down a country lane to this pasture where he keeps six horses. They are so new they are not named yet.  His sister and his 2 nieces stopped by while I was there.

Another view of Patrick's new friends, the horse, sunka wakan oyate in D/Lakota.  Seem like a very gentle lot.