Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Waterford to Sheepshead Peninsular

Tuesday 16th August 

Must admit, I loved watching from our window as the sun made its mark on the multi coloured buildings and water reflections.
We were the first into the dining room for breakfast.  A Trafalgar Tour bus had come in last night and we wanted to avoid the rush!!  We both decided to try the Black & White Pudding (gulp) – and they were Ok (truly), along with sausage, scrambled eggs, hash brown (I passed on the baked beans and tomatoes) but even then I couldn’t finish it. 
We packed up our gear and were able to leave it in our room before walking to the Waterford Crystal place.  We joined a tour which took us through many of the processes; we both thought very informative and worthwhile.  No purchases!!!
We were on the road by 11 am and with the help of Dora (she is back in our good books) we decided to take the seaside route.  First stop was the seaside town of Tramore, what took our attention was a fun park similar to our Caroline Bay Carnival but at least 10 times bigger.  Lots people about but the park wasn’t opened which seemed rather odd.  The beach area was seething with people (it is school holidays), families on the beach and some brave souls swimming.  The beach didn’t look too inviting, sand and stones, low tide didn’t help either.  The wind was cool and the clouds were gathering.  From there, a really pleasant drive south called the Copper Coast to Dungarven, only a few photographic stops.  We stopped at the remains of an old copper mine site which was interesting, it had a car park.   It’s not always easy to stop as the roads are narrow with no places to pull over.  We encountered many tractors which hold up the traffic, but we were told of this and had to show patience.
We had lunch at the seaside town of Dungarven, a bar/café called The Anchorage.  We sat outside with other hearty souls – it was getting quite chilly by now, and blue skies had long left us.
Dora helped us manoeuvre around Cork, although she seemed to be a little slow in giving us warnings, she redeemed herself and we got onto the road to Bandon finally. Amanda had given us good instructions as to the quickest route to Sheepshead Peninsular but even then we stuffed up at Bandon and ended up taking a longer route.   A good road most of the time….we just kept driving finally arriving at our B & B about 5.30 pm. We are here for three nights, in an old farm house converted to a B & B.  It overlooking the sea and tomorrow we will explore the grounds and beach.  We were given a great welcome by Jeannie, along with a cup of tea and warm muffins……lovely.
This area is remote, exposed, wild and beautiful.  By now the clouds were low, and rain was imminent.

Again, we skipped dinner as there isn’t a shop handy, but we did have some nuts and chocolate. 

Early morning light - from Waterford Marina Hotel

From our window as the sun rose - magic

Water reflection abstract

Colourful buildings reflection

Street walkers

We did the tour of the Waterford Crystal - well worth it

The magnificent 911 memorial - only two made.

On the way back to our car, we enjoyed wandering about the Waterford Streets

Chimney Pots growing trees - seen everywhere

Brave souls on the beach at Tramore

Tramore Beach

Along the coast towards Dungarven
The disused Copper mine

Seen along the roads - making a fabulous showing

Dungarven - late lunch stop


Monday 16th August – Dublin to Waterford

We stayed at the Clayton Hotel which is one of the airport hotels – very nice indeed.  Sleep didn’t come easy, but possibly four hours was had.  Up and about well before sunrise, a pleasant outlook from the 8th floor looking down on paddocks with a variety of horses, lovely to see. 
We enjoyed the full Irish breakfast which was totally overdone, but very nice all the same.  We caught the free shuttle bus back to the airport to pick up our rental.  Time consuming but we have a little car that will serve us just fine.  We even have a Dora that sits on the dashboard and talks to us.  Unfortunately, she wasn’t loud enough and we struggled to hear her instructions initially.  I tried to up the volume and she slipped from my grasp, hitting the hazard know on her way to the floor, well you can imagine!!!
 We got ourselves out of Dublin unscathed although did go around a couple of roundabouts more than once before taking the correct exit and motored down the freeways OK.  So much traffic but Doug did really well.
We decided we would like to go visit Carlow and Kilkenny, two towns off the main drag.  Carlow was lovely, very quaint to our kiwi eyes.  We had a late lunch in a café where they made us a sandwich of our choice (all we required after our big breakfast)…..little did we know that they serve a salad & coleslaw as well.  I snapped away some street photos before heading to Kilkenny.  This town is much bigger and has quite a few tourist attractions.  We found a park (finally) and joined the throngs on the streets.  All very interesting but we really didn’t do it justice as we were fading in the heat (yes, Irish heat) and jetlag was taking its toll.  We enjoyed a refreshing ice cream before hitting the road to Waterford.   
Dora did us no favours from here on in!!  That gal has a mind of her own, and took us on a back road journey which seemed to take forever, when we knew that the motorway would have been the sensible option.  This is when Dora died at my hands; she fell from the dashboard and crashed to the floor where she stayed sulking.   We did a necessary U-turn (or two) and got ourselves back on the motorway safely.  She was given a second chance before driving into Waterford and was helpful.
Waterford Marina Hotel was booked, and what a prime position it is and our room on the top floor gave us some amazing views across the canal and beyond.
We took to the streets enjoying the very old buildings, some in very poor repair, others tidied up and looking lovely.  Found where the Waterford Crystal place was for our visit the next morning.
We flagged an evening meal, watched a stunning  sunset  before falling  into bed, we both slept quite well.
First impressions of Ireland…, small paddocks, good roads and very friendly people.

The horses at sunrise - from Dublin Hotel


The cafe where we had lunch

Carlow - friendly lads








Smart bridge near Waterford - Doug was impressed

Daytime view from our window - wow!!

Canal near our hotel - beautiful white swans

Watering Cans at Waterford

Street Art - Waterford

Ruins Waterford

Our hotel - Waterford Marina

Sunset - taken through our window

1 comment:

Vicki Bright said...

Hi Lorraine, great to see your photos of Ireland and read that the trip over went well. I love the antics of Dora. Those things are a life saver and then sometimes they aren't.