Caves and Farmhouses – CastleIsland, Ireland

It is with mixed feelings that I leave Castleisland today. I am off to Dublin and then back to Wales. I have nothing but fond memories of Ireland and as upset as I am about leaving my new Irish family, I am positive that I will be back very soon.

I met Joe`s best friend Sile and they helped me along on my studies of alcoholic beverages. I am now officially educated on the ins and outs of Irish drinking. We visited Crag Caves where stalagmites and stalactites number in the millions.

>We also went Muckross House and Farms where we went back to a time when all work was carried out using traditional methods. We tasted freshly baked Irish soda bread and cuddled with baby goats. There was a Labourer`s Cottage, a Carpenter`s Workshop, Crossroads (where before TV kept people entertained, they used to gather to sing and dance) and the biggest pig I have ever seen. I think I am off pork for a while.

We also visited Muckross House where the queen stayed for a night back in the 1800`s. Preparations for her arrival were extensive and costly including the refurbishing of three rooms on the ground level as she feared fire. I wanted to play the harp in her boudoir but I wasn`t allowed so I jumped on her bed instead. The house was so large that the hallway alone was bigger than Joe`s entire house.

The view included a lake, Killarney Mountains, oak forests and manicured gardens. We enjoyed a delicious picnic of tea and ham (ok, the pork fast didn`t last long) sandwiches. We then made our way to the Gap of Dunloe where the views were breathtaking. I know that I haven`t even scratched the surface with all that Ireland offers so I will take with me the fantastic memories and leave with the promise that I will be back for more.

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