Sep 27: Galway girl – Mayo bound

It’s always better to write the blog at the end of the day when your thoughts and feelings are still fresh and ripe, not the next morning after a great sleep when your mind forgets all you did the day before! 😉

I really enjoyed looking back at the blog I kept for my trip to Hawaii. Reading it so many years later brought everything back to me and it was like being there again. So I enjoy writing about my day and adding photos just seems to top it all off!

The castle was a real treat. Lying in bed late at night I could hear the wind howling while it blew around the building. It wasn’t hard to imagine what it could have been like in the 1700s, with the exception of windows and in floor heating that is.

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I think my second favourite part was taking a bath in the living room. I can’t explain so will let the picture tell the story!

The entrance way to the living room was a bit tricky as there was no landing and the step was just slightly above or below. Even trickier after a few glasses of Baileys!

 

There was a landing outside of the bedroom so I felt like I was on much sturdier ground! I don’t have a picture that does this room justice. Notice the four poster bed… Peter made it with trees he planted in the yard.

 

The stairway to and from the turret as well as the turret.

 

The bathroom always looked so cold but thanks to in floor heating it was toasty warm. Notice the feet prints in front of the toilet. Best toilet ever, in my opinion 😉

My favourite part was getting to know the inspiration and passion behind the castle, it’s keeper, it’s restorer, it’s heart and soul and it’s lover… Peter. Pete is a real character, full of passion and a great story teller. I enjoyed listening to him regale the history of the castle and his role in it. One William Burke once lived there back in the 1700s. This was the first mention of Burke we had seen/heard since arriving in Ireland. We’ve seen the names of Quinn, Connolly and Murphy but no Burke, until now.

Now I’m not that good with remembering dates and specifics so bear with me. Pete fell in love with castles from a young age and his dream was to one day own one. He bought this castle from an American woman some twenty years ago and then he began the restoration. He spent a little time with a stone mason to learn what he needed to be able to work on his castle. Amazingly he has done all of the work – stone and carpentry – and his passion for this dream is reflected in the lovingly restored building. It’s not completed just yet. There is some work yet to be done with turret but he his nearing completion.

There’s mom at the top of the castle!

I saw names and signatures carved into a slate on the window sill in the living room but didn’t have the heart to add my name. Little did I know it was expected and when I explained I just didn’t have it in me to do it, Pete showed us a stone in which William Burke carved his initials and how it has lived on all these many years later. He found us a piece of slate that would be installed on the roof and had us sign our names which he would later engrave. It’s kind of nice to know a part of us will be there for all times.

Before we left, we took a walk around the property which was for the most part in a small forest. It was so lovely and magical with mushrooms growing, birds chirping, ivy growing on the trees, old stones covered in moss and ivy. There was a definite faerie energy!

We bid Adieu! to our lovely hosts. (Thanks Pete and Eva!!!) and were off, headed for Galway city for lunch and groceries and then on to Mayo.

What I like best about all these roundabouts is if you take the wrong exit, there is usually another roundabout a few 100 meters away which allows you to essentially turn around and make it back to your first roundabout and you get a redo. Thanks to Peter, we now know the proper way to take the roundabout and that we should be signaling our intentions. No more horn blows – thank you very much! 😉

We had a nice fish and chips lunch in the mall and had no problems withdrawing money from the bank machine. We stocked up on lunch/dinner items for our home in Mayo but refrained from buying breakfast items because we thought they would be provided – it is an AirBnB (bed and breakfast) after all. Just outside the mall was a fruit and vegetable stand. There is nothing like local produce! The man running the place was so sweet and we had the nicest chat. He got me a box for all my veggies and fruit and off I went, almost skipping, to the car.

Our host for the house in Mayo, Bobby, had sent us directions for the scenic route to Louisburg. Oh dear Lord, I have given my heart away to the finest land, so scenic and beautiful. Hills and valleys, mountains dotted with the whitish yellow of sheep, so high up the mountain they are nothing by a tiny dot. We encountered a few sheep eating at the side of the road. A couple turned to look at us when we stopped to take their picture most likely thinking – silly American tourists. No point in correcting them!

Our home in Louisburg is just so lovely! There are three bedrooms, a large living room with a peat stove (we really need to figure out how to use it) and a piano! I played a few tunes last night. The acoustics are great so I walked around the house sining Fields of Athenry! Mom joined in too. Lots of fun!

Remember the part about this being a bed AND breakfast? Well breakfast is not included. Should have gone with our first thought and bought the breakfast stuff. Oh, well. We’ll be off to town this morning to pick up some bread and cereal. Our host did give us some milk, wine, coffee and tea so I’m grateful for that. We were hoping to have a nice quiet and relaxing day at home but it is what it is!

Today is a rainy, blustery, very windy day. A great one for keeping low and catching up on some much needed rest and a little laundry!

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