Catching up after Ballyvaughan birthday and long Friday drive to Westport, Co. Mayo.

What a day…the Flat Chip birthday, created by Amy and the Sky/Mike poem.  Our meal at Gregan’s Castle Hotel is worth one more mention – the best in a decade.  Chef is shy and wouldn’t come to see us, so we wrote him a letter and all signed it.

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Sky, Brock, Nancy (birthday on the 12th), Amy, Mike and Chip.

Gregan’s was a delight in all aspects.

As we left on Friday, we were headed to Westport about 3 hours away, if we wandered to Clifden in Co. Mayo (through the Connemara Region) along the way…for lunch.  So, it was a long drive day, punctuated by a fine lunch…best in a long time at a local restaurant called Mitchell’s…don’t miss it, if you’re in Clifden.

Our headquarters for 2 nights in Westport is on the water, but not in the town…fine though, since there are miles of walking trails right out the door.IMG_1359

Our evening in the Octogan main square in Westport includes some after dinner pub music….but, instead of Irish, they are singing Ricky Nelson and John Denver.  We will have to try another place tonight.

Saturday, the younger people want to climb up Croagh Patrick, the highest mountain in Mayo…and the elders find a driver – Liam, another knowledgable local – to take us to Kylemore Abbey.

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Sky was nice enough to take the photo, but they all risked getting blown off the mountain in gale force winds.  That’s Clew Bay (365 islands) in the background.

The grayness makes Croagh Patrick even more foreboding.

On our more tame outing, Liam gave us way more than we paid for by showing us some amazing landscape along our route.

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Doolough is a lake that can be rough (as it is today) or tranquil (maybe next time)
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Here’s the peat cut into turf for burning in fireplaces.  It dries out for a month or so in the fields.

The Abbey itself is a gem of a castle, built as a gift by a doting hubby in 1905…now a Benedictine Nuns place of worship, education and tourist interest.

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Seen from the approach on the N59 it is impressive.

Inside you can see some of the luxury in the place and marvel that they had running water and electricity in Ireland at this early time.  Then the gardens are a shuttle bus about a mile west…a public garden extremely well-done.

And, we still have people sending Flat Chip photos…amazing lifetime collection is being amassed from this caper.  Here’s Mike and Sky’s daughter and our best granddaughter, Eli Roach.

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She’s in Steamboat Springs, CO but we have face-timed more than once this trip.

The end of a wonderful day, brings us back to the bar at the hotel.  Sky is nice enough to bring beers to the men.IMG_1447

Just a couple more of my more artistic shots need to be the ending here for the day.

chiproach

Lifelong Philadelphia area Realtor. Now a 13-year citizen of Sanibel, Florida. Married to Nancy for 53 years. Three children (2 in Devon; 1 in Steamboat Springs, CO) and 5 grandkids (2 in college). Helping with charities involving poverty, kids and education.

One comment

  • There is a real cute pub past the hotel where you are staying in Westport. Just turn left when you walk out of hotel (you may want to drive). It’s an authentic pub. We enjoyed it very much. It’s less than mile away.

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