On the road again, we just can’t wait to get back on the road again!!! Oh the places we have been and seen together!! This road trip was around 4 hours of driving to get to our new farm stay which was on an Irish Eco Farm with their own organic farm shop. We were thankful for beautiful scenery that kept our mind off the long drive. An hour from our stay we enjoyed a stop near the Irish surf coastline of Mullaghmore. This is where the coast meets the grass green hinterland.
Due to our sightseeing it turned out to be a full day road trip to our new eco farm stay. Our host farmer’s wife was not around so that meant that he was in charge. He was extremely friendly as we have found all our German hosts to be. He showed us around the serve yourself farm shop where you write down what you take in the book. If life could always be so easy and honest like this. Just simple always having faith in others. We like this view of life!! Rob found us a spectacular German wine!! We learned that they breed pure Irish bred cattle which roam the surrounding hills in the summer months. Sadly signalling the end of Autumn they sent a bull to slaughter just before we arrived. Due to the fact that these cattle are pretty wild it can be a difficult task but apparently the bull went in the truck quietly without a fuss. Wasn’t he a lucky fellow. We love rural life and the animals but we don’t have the heart for the end of the road for these beautiful creatures. This is why I don’t eat red meat. We met the younger cows and their mother who was making a lot of loud noise from the barn, as she was in a separate area mooing loudly in protest. At least in the summer months they get a taste of the good life as they roam freely. We were told that the mothers are very protective of their calves. Mother cows can be extremely dangerous. I read that early childhood author Babette Cole was badly injured when attached hiking on a public foot path in England by a cow.
Another animal that Rob didn’t want to get into a cock fight with was this head rooster. He pranced around on his huge feathery claws which were like prehistoric talons, which we are sure would rip you apart in one single blow.
We did find some furry friendly animals to pat. There was the 1 year old Labrador they have rescued only a week ago. He was no longer wanted after a year by his family. Apparently it is a common story here. Heart breaking really!! WHO DOES THIS?? – a pet shouldn’t be a toss away item, they are really a luxury item!!! Interestingly the warm hearted host who took in this young lab also had her hands full with 3 active young children. We have too easily forgotten how much energy young ones have.
Then there were the faithful farm house cats who yearned for a pat. One was persistent at crying and scratching at our glass door to be let in from the cold afternoon air. Even though we do love cats we felt terribly guilty when we didn’t let it in. Reason being – at our last stay the kitten accidentally got in and urinated all over the quilt!!!!
We did an hour’s drive out to explore Glenveagh National Park. We found a cute beer garden on our way with spectacular views.
The landscape was not what we were expecting. It was barren dry brown grass which is great if you were a deer, and probably why we never saw any deer even though there are meant to be loads of them in the National Park. The only sign of deer was on our walk and that was their footprints in the bog.
After exploring the visitors’ centre we decided on a 4 kilometre walking path to visit the castle. The path mostly followed the lake which gave us a nice view, but not long after we started the rain set in so we got pretty wet!!! Which is not too good in the cold weather. We realised why all the other hikers were passing us on the warm cozy bus!!
We checked out the gardens and then the castle. We warmed up with apple pie and a warm coffee. We opted to take the bus back to the car park which cost 1-50 each as it was still raining. We didn’t feel bad as the bus was full. I loved this sign about not pushing and waiting your turn!!! I may put this one on my front door at school.
On our drive back we watched the sun setting over the mountains at around 4 pm. This and the cool temperatures are tell tail signs that winter is upon us. Our days are now a lot shorter.
A bonus of our stay here was the organic farm shop as Rob and I were able to walk next door after a day of sight seeing to grab another bottle of tantalising German wine. This was our last stay in the Republic of Ireland. Our hosts bear hugging enormous dog (a Newfoundland) was there to wag his fluffy tail as we drove away. These dogs wouldn’t handle the heat in Australia.
We stopped for a last shop at our favourite Dunnes Store. A huge Irish supermarket with a great range. We have loved shopping at Dunnes as they have had a great deal on, giving you $10-00 off every $50-00 you spend and for budget saving travellers like us this meant we shopped for a week and saved $20-00 leaving our weekly food bill at $100-00. This included 8 breakfasts, 7 home cooked dinners and all Rob’s special alcohol elixirs. All our euros spent, we head back to pounds until Singapore!! We were wondering if we would recognise Australian money in a few months when we return??? We also realised we changed from kilometres to miles as we crossed once again back into Northern Ireland. Rob was wondering why everyone was passing him.
Travel snacks sorted from Dunnes Store, Dark Orange Chocolate coated rice cakes… and they were delicious, packet empty.. sorry!!
We also found Irish plain salty potatoes crisps for a travel snack. Plain chips are hard to find here as cheese and onion seems more popular.
Our shop included our favourite Freedom super healthy grain bread which is gluten free. We only get the sweet potato wraps in Australia but here the also have gluten free pita breads. We have also been enjoying hazelnut milk even though oat has been our favourite since travelling through Sweden. The Dunnes also sell homewares and clothing. This cute children’s winter nut cracker coat caught my eye.