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Our trip to Waterford, Killarney, Dublin
and the Dingle Peninsula, Ireland
October 1-12, 2009

Sheepherding, Food & Wine Fest, Unlading

Page 1: Prep and Travel.
Page 2: Fri - Waterford Castle.
Page 3: Sat - Blarney Castle and Stone Cottage.
Page 4: Sun - Sheepherding, Food & Wine Fest, Unlading.
Page 5: Mon - Ponies and Blasket Ecotour,.
Page 6: Tue - Museum, Inch Beach and An Droichead Beag.
Page 7: Wed - Brandon Mountain and Laundry.
Page 8: Thu - Killarney, Lamb, and John Benny Moriarty’s.
Page 9: Fri - Dingle, Car, and Birthday.
Page 10: Sat thru Mon - Dublin and Return Home.
Original, all-on-one-page version.

Press here to return to personal picture menu.

Sheepherding and Food and Wine Festival

Sunday, October 4

Herb and Elke were up before we were the next morning (and every morning after that as well) and Elke told us that although she had known about the view from last year’s blog, when she entered the living area that morning the vista took her breath away. This is what she saw:

The SPECTACULAR view from the living dining area:

Location of the cottage with respect to the shore:

A GORGEOUS shot of our cottage, taken the following morning:

The road north to Ballyferitter:

The road south to Clogher Head:

The fields behind the cottage where sheep are normally grazing:

I woke up at 9:30 and KC was still asleep! He woke up a few minutes later and we debated whether we should leave that warm, comfy bed….Adventure trumped sleep so we roused ourselves and went down for breakfast. I had another migraine – this was 3 days in a row now – and figured I was weaning myself off caffeine as I hadn’t had much since we’d left. I contemplated finishing the job until KC told me it would take another week.

Herb and Elke had been up for a while and coffee was already made so I sucked down 2 cups (Herb makes the BEST coffee!) and the migraine disappeared! Thank goodness. I hadn’t brought enough medication to take a whole pill every single day.

Herb and Elke had already eaten (scones, as they did almost every morning) and we all wanted to get on the road so they went to get dressed and I ducked in the shower. Just after I’d pulled on my jeans, KC called up that if I hurried, I’d see some sheep herding, so I grabbed the nearest shirt and ran outside in my bare feet holding the shirt to my chest, expecting to see the same type of show we’d seen last year.. This time, though, all the sheep were already at the top of the hill, by the road, and the dogs were all the way at the bottom. What was going on?

There was a guy at the bottom of the hill walking towards us with the dogs and it was clear that I would have time to finish dressing before he made it so I ran in, put on a shirt and shoes and came back out. Just as he got to the top of the hill a second guy drove up with an SUV pulling a trailer. He told us that, yes, he would be putting some of the sheep into the trailer. I assumed the dogs would be herding them in and got all excited. Where was he taking them, we asked. “To another pasture” he said, “but only the cute ones.” Hmmmm….it sure sounded like they were going to the butcher…. I wondered if we’d be able to cadge some meat….

The dogs coming up from the furthest pasture

Huddled together by the gate to the road:

The two men talked amongst themselves in Gaelic and the only word I could pick out was “shed”. They then proceeded to herd the sheep into the small shed next to the cottage, using the dogs when necessary. Boy, those dogs were vicious, barking and nipping at the sheep’s legs, but they got the sheep into the shed in no time. The men then barred the door – and did those dogs ever want to get into that shed – but they stayed outside.

Herding the sheep into the shed:

Shutting the dogs out

The dogs, desperately trying to get into the shed:

The dogs were let inside the shed periodically and eventually this one ram got out with his nose all bloody. I felt sorry for him at first but, in retrospect, he was one of the lucky ones. A short while later, the men came out of the shed dragging two young rams and put them into the trailer. They did this twice more until there were 6 sheep in the trailer. The dogs were tossed, literally, into the back of the SUV, the rest of the sheep were let out of the shed, and the two men drove off. As they were pulling out of the drive I asked which butcher they were going to as we were planning to make a lamb stew later that week.

At this point they admitted that the sheep WERE going to “a better pasture” and that, yes, we might get some chops if we’d be around till the end of the week. The driver of the van told us that he was Phil’s son and would give the meat to her if he could get us any.

The (lucky) ram that got away:

The ones that weren’t so lucky:

Huddled in the trailer,
did they know where they were going?

By now it was late, and we knew we’d missed the cheese-making demo we’d hoped to catch at 1:00pm, so we hurriedly got ready and were in Dingle Town at 1:45 determined to catch the tail end of the festival. We parked by the harbor and paid for 3 hours.

Dingle street map

Since KC and I hadn’t had breakfast and it had been 4 hours since Herb and Elke had eaten, I didn’t have any trouble convincing everyone to stop at Murphy’s Pub for lunch. KC had roast pork, Herb had shepherd’s pie (with 3 additional scoops of mashed potatoes!), Elke had fish and chips, and I had “the ham special without the ham, please” or, in other words, a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich. I wanted to make sure I would have room for dessert – the best sticky toffee pudding in town.

From Murphy’s we headed up Green Street towards Dingle Crystal but stopped at Lisbeth Mulcahey where Elke and I tried on every sweater in the shop while KC and Herb bought tickets to the festival, entered the lottery, and had a couple glasses of wine. I bought a scarf and some cards and KC bought a pair of socks.

We continued on to Dingle Crystal and were pleased to see both Liz and Sean were there. Liz had been ill, but was on the mend, and she looked fabulous. We really wanted to stay and chat but the store was packed and we felt like we were preventing them from doing their job so we promised to stop by later in the week and moved on.

We walked up to Main Street and over to Michael’s store, Siopa Ceoil an Daingin, but it was closed (although the “open” sign was still in the window). We figured they were enjoying the festival, too, and hoped we’d run into them.

On our way to Siopa Ceoil an Daingin, Herb wanted to stop in a bookstore so we all went in and I bought a few small things, throwing the newest Kerry Guide onto my pile at the last minute (remember that). We also stopped in a gift shop where KC saw some wall sconces he wanted for our bedroom but he decided that I should buy them later so I took the woman’s card and promised I’d be back.

There was a farmer’s market type of area just past Siopa Ceoil an Daingin where we bought some fresh French bread, several unusual locally made cheeses, and some fresh sausage, merguez and salmon, for dinner that night. We stuffed the food into Herb’s backpack and the bread into mine.

The festival was winding down by now but KC and Herb still had some coupons left and wanted another glass of wine so we walked over to Dykegate Lane, and then down to An Canteen (the restaurant owned by Phil’s sons) on Dykegate Lane, next to the Hideout Hostel. They weren’t serving wine, though, they were serving food, so we used our coupons on one of each of their offerings and bought 2 glasses of wine to go with them. It was a beautiful day so we ate on the patio behind the restaurant.

Making fun of my constant picture taking on the patio at An Canteen:

Wow! The food was amazing! KC and I split the fish and chips that were so good we asked for seconds but were told they were all out. Herb had the seafood stew and Elke had a glass of wine. The restaurant has been written up by Rick Steves and various other reviewing sites, and every single review was glowingly positive. Here are links to a few of them:

Trip Advisor reviews for An Canteen

Writeup in SlainteCork for An Canteen

Brian, Phil’s son who takes care of the front of the house, came back to chat with us and, when we told him we’d met his brother, he explained that the reason he’d been so evasive about the fate of the sheep is that a previous tenant had burst into tears when she learned the truth. While I wasn’t exactly happy about where the sheep were going, if you eat lamb, as we do, you have to be realistic. Brian brought us a piece of bread, studded with seeds, that was so good we tried to buy a loaf but they were all out.

KC and Herb asked Brian about the cottage we were staying in. He told them that his father was a contractor and that they had built it by hand – father and sons – painstakingly, over a period of three years whenever business was slow. No wonder it’s perfect, it was a labor of love!

By now, some dark clouds were rolling in so we walked back to the car and noticed that a ship was just pulling into the harbor. We walked down to the end of the pier to watch it unload and ended up talking to a local fisherman who explained that all the fishing boats in the harbor were made in France but operated by Spain under the terms of their agreement with the EU. The fish on that boat – mostly cod and mackerel – would be loaded on one of the trucks waiting on the pier and driven back to Santander where they would be sold. Unfortunately, we don’t have a single picture of this, unless Herb took some….

This is probably my favorite photo from this trip,
a very funny shot of KC and I in front of one of the ships moored in the harbor:

Herb’s pics of the fishing boat unloading its cargo:

It was getting dark now so we excused ourselves and drove home. KC suggested we walk up to Clogher Head, as he used to do with Rick, to watch the sun set. We all agreed but KC didn’t take into account that we’re not as hale and hearty as he and Rick and that it was way too late for us to make it to the top before the sun went down. We didn’t realize how long a climb it was (it wasn’t steep but it was pretty far) and, since none of us had a flashlight, we turned around about half way up as we were afraid we wouldn’t make it down before dark. KC went ahead to see whether it would be worth the risk and when he saw that the peak was obscuring the sun, we decided to stop. In fact, as we started back, the moon was just coming up.

Our destination, the top of Clogher Head:

Negotiating wet spots on the way up:

As far as we got:

The full moon coming up:

Dinner was the spoils from the festival. KC fried up some of the merguez (boy, did that make a mess!) and it was delicious – hot but not searingly so, Elke made a tossed salad, and I laid out the bread and cheese. We had a hard cheese flavored with fenugreek, an herb-flavored cheese, and a very good cream cheese with garlic and herbs. We finished the wine we’d opened the day before and then Herb brewed a pot of that delicious coffee which we drank while be played another round of cribbage.

We used a new deck of cards this time and, to my surprise, they must have been for the sight-impaired because the numbers were huge! They ruined our luck though, because KC and Elke beat us. The score was now HB=2 EK=1 with one skunk. We then played scrabble on the new supposedly-phenomenal travel board I’d bought from England which was NOT as good as the reviews said it would be. Elke won and I think I came in last. (BTW, both rood and orc ARE words!)

Dinner: the spoils from the festival:

While we were discussing what we would like to do, I pulled out the guidebook on Kerry I’d picked up at the bookstore and was surprised to see that, this year, there were no ads. I showed it to KC and he pointed out that it was not the FREE version, which he’d picked up elsewhere; this one had no ads because it was 9 Euros! Ack! I didn’t think I’d paid for it! I got out the receipt, added up the other things I’d bought, and realized that I’d walked out with it! If you remember, I’d added it to my pile as the woman was ringing me up and, I guess, she didn’t see me do it. I felt really bad and resolved to make restitution as soon as possible.

Herb and Elke went to bed at midnight, I stayed up till 1:30 with my journal (I had another scone, heated in the oven this time, which was much better than the one in the microwave) and KC read until 2am.

Page 1: Prep and Travel.
Page 2: Fri - Waterford Castle.
Page 3: Sat - Blarney Castle and Stone Cottage.
Page 4: Sun - Sheepherding, Food & Wine Fest, Unlading.
Page 5: Mon - Ponies and Blasket Ecotour,.
Page 6: Tue - Museum, Inch Beach and An Droichead Beag.
Page 7: Wed - Brandon Mountain and Laundry.
Page 8: Thu - Killarney, Lamb, and John Benny Moriarty’s.
Page 9: Fri - Dingle, Car, and Birthday.
Page 10: Sat thru Mon - Dublin and Return Home.
Original, all-on-one-page version.

Press here to return to personal picture menu.

Note to self: bring the following next time: boat shoes, knife sharpener, speakers for MP3 player, adaptor plug.

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OOAKFolk, Inc., and artist Barbara Healy are not affiliated in any way with the original manufacturers of the dolls pictured in this site. No photograph, text or graphic on this site may be copied without written permission from Barbara Healy. Copyright © 2004 OOAKFolk, Inc.

Last Revised: October 20, 2009
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