Kilmahon House in Shanagarry

The museum at the Rock of Cashel

The Rock of Cashel

Before we left Kilkenny, we went in search of a new tripod – John’s broke last night, and it would’ve been one very unhappy photographer having to suffer the rest of the trip without one! Luckily, John does his research, and after some time on the net last night, found what he was looking for in a local shop – perfect! Went for a walk this morning, did some comparisons with a couple of products in different stores, and viola, new tripod (better than the old when it was new!). Shame he missed a few spectacular shots the previous night when it upped and carked it on him.

Celtic cross at Cashel

Cashel

More Celtic crosses

We left Kilkenny and headed south in a round about way by going via the Rock of Cashel. While this may be a popular tourist spot, it’s easy to see why. Some tourist spots are just money spinners with a lot of hype to mask how rubbish they are (like Blarney – but more of that in another post). This one, while it nearly froze bits off us with its icy winds snaking through the roofless Gothic cathedral, was very impressive. There is a very atmospheric graveyard surrounding the cathedral, and it’s one that still takes “permanent guests” – but only those whose rellies put them on a waiting list in the 1930s, otherwise you are out of luck!

The ‘Vee’

And from another angle

We wended our way down the hill, collars turned up against the chilly gusts of face-achy wind, and drove onward to Lismore for a nice little lunch of tomato & vegetable soup and a side of veggies at Foley’s on the Mall. Once again, we couldn’t fault the hospitality of those serving us, or the friendliness of other patrons. Ireland is such a nice place to visit!

Lismore Castle – the Ireland estate of the Duke of Derbyshire

Tomato & veggie soup at Foley’s in Lismore

When we arrived at Kilmahon House we were greeted by the friendly and delightfully spoilt spaniel/retriever cross, Tess. She is a lovely caramel colour and has those “love me, pat me, feed me” brown eyes all dog lovers are familiar with! Our hosts, Mary and Jeremy, were as sweet as Tess, and we connected with them immediately! And with Mary’s offer of staying with them another night, we rang our Blarney accommodation and cancelled while we were having afternoon tea in the Georgian drawing room (egged on by the oodles of homebaked deliciousness – the chocolate and cinnamon loaf cake was a particular success). Too easy!

Our master bedroom at Kilmahon House

Our teeny, tiny bathroom

We headed out in the rain – our first of heavy set in precipitation, everything else had been showers really – but we didn’t leave the car! We checked out Ballycotton and then drove to Youghal (pronounced ‘Yawl’) to find some wine for dinner, as Mary had offered to cook for us that night. After meandering back to Kilmahon House, it was just far too easy to rest for a while in our room, then dress for dinner and move to the drawing room where the open fire and a crisp, white wine and the company of our hosts awaited us. Dinner was a very nice menu of garlic prawns (a favourite – and Mary was worried about them being TOO garlicky!! As if!), baked hake and vegetables, followed by a raspberry parfait. We then enjoyed a nightcap together as we talked until about 1am! Absolutely delightful evening!

Nic & Jeremy in the drawing room

The drawing room at Kilmahon House

Tiny cemetery near Kilmahon House

About bontaks

Nic is the the ‘Bon’ part of ‘Bontaks.’ Together we are Nic and John – two travel-addicted teachers who enjoy every opportunity to go places, meet people and experience life.

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