We were reluctant to say goodbye to B, the horses, and the beautiful land and views and buildings of the horse farm. We spent the morning picking yet more berries for the horses and ourselves. The previous evening I had done some laundry; the pony and the setting sun and our laundry on the fence were so pretty (above). The kids rode Rollo the pony as well. We wanted to stay but it was time to go. After about 24 countries and all of the wonderful places we have experienced, this place was a distinct favorite. Thank you! We will always remember B, the land and the horses!!
We were headed next to the town of Mallow, near which a friend of Mr. Fantastic lives. We stopped to see Cahir Castle on the way. The castle looks like it grew from its foundation of rock and had an embedded cannonball on one wall. The adjacent park, rivers and small main street make the area very picturesque. We walked around the town and castle for a couple of hours.
Next we found the home of S and J and their five sons. S had been in a band with Mr. Fantastic almost 20 years ago and they hadn’t seen each other in many years. S and family have been in Ireland about four years and before that lived almost as long on the road in an RV driving around the US. Now we stayed with them in their large, uncluttered (I found this very impressive!) house in small-town Ireland. Our kids were thrilled to run around with their homeschooled kids and we shared wonderful meals with all 13 of us! They also took us to a donkey sanctuary. J explained that during the economic boom many people bought donkeys but could not care for them when the economy declined. Many were abandoned and the Irish, who have fierce love for strays and abandoned animals according to J, set up donkey sanctuaries such as this one.
So much donkey love! J also took us to her son’s primary school. He attends to learn Gaelic as required in Ireland, and is otherwise homeschooled. The school is public and has an attached church; schools are Catholic and until recently refused admission to non-Catholics. DH went to see another son at his Gaelic football game. Yet another son does Irish dance. It was interesting to spend time with this family and we all felt cozy in their warm home, full of kids and games and great food. We could have stayed longer, but we had to return the rental car and make our way to Barcelona, from which we would return to the US. We headed for Waterford, Ireland’s oldest city founded by Vikings in the AD 900’s. Stay tuned!