Thursday, 26 August 2010

It was an Offally good time...

Westmeath evening

After writing the last blog that was uploaded, we left the house for some touring. The Joe Dolan tatue is located in Mullingar town, so we went in and stouched it, after this we watched the Man U game that was on then went out to Lough Ennell and the jealous wall.

In the house later on, I wandered out to the back and played some guitar, the evening settled with some television and eventually a good night’s sleep.


The next morning we got up late, enjoying the comfort of a comfortable home. A two course breakfast that beats the hell out of Leitrim Mammy’s was provided. Between the Sunday Dinner the night before and the breakfast of that morning, we had no need to eat for a week...

We reluctantly left, heading east to Meath. Our first port of call was Newgrange. The visitor centre there kindly sponsored us entry... even though we were wearing ridiculous hats and had Ronald with us. There was a bit of a wait before the next available shuttle bus to Newgrange, so we occupied the time with a tour around the exhibition and the AV show they have, as well as a Shuttle to Knowth. Once we had our fill of the rocks, we returned to the car.

That short walk was heartbreaking.

Ronald Died.

It is unclear at this juncture if he fell or if he was pushed, but regardless: his shattered body lay littered about the path.

It was with heavy heart that we posed for pictures beside the dead guy, picked up his remains and stole away into the sunset.

We moved to Kells. A bit of a wander found our hostel, where we checked in. The Kells Holiday Hostel very kindly sponsored the cost of the nights accommodation. Food was had in the form of WONG PALACE RESTAURANT. OMNOMNOM.

After the meal we were given some pretty interesting fortune cookies... we will never speak of this again.


After the meal, we popped in to Supervalu and sourced some glue. Ronald was welded back together using some serious epoxy. He is now in full health... however he is nursing a chip on his shoulder over the whole affair. (Didya see what I did there... didya see it? Didya?)

The sound track to the surgery was Hot Fuzz, which were on the tele. Damn funny shtuffs right there.


Next morning, we put off leaving as far as possible. The time, however, came and we had to journey forth to the start of phase four; the first county of Dublin: Louth...
From Kells we headed north east to Dundalk for a gawk... finding little there we turned the car southwards to Droghega. A wander around brought us to our hostel. The Greendoor Hostel very kindly sponsored us the cost of the nights accommodation.
As is our tendancy, we took a wander around the town, picking up food for dinner and goin to see the head of Oliver Plunkett. After we saw that surreal sight, we returned to the hostel to make the dinner. The remains of the day were passed by watching The Rose of Tralee.


We had to make an early start of it on the Wednesday; we had a lot of stuff to pack into Dublin.

Making our way through thick traffic, we parked in Huston station and walked to James’s Gate brewery where we were given a discount for the Guinness Experience. The gravity bar at the top allowed us to plan the rest of day and to see some of the sights we couldn’t get to see up close.

From here we wandered down to and through the Pheonix Park and to Dublin Zoo, who very kindly sponsored us the cost of entry. Animals were looked at and Minstrels were eaten. There was an awkward moment while we audibly debated robbing Kelly the Penguin... we decided against it in the end... we don’t want to appear unoriginal after all!

After a tea break in the Aisling Hotel, we hopped on the Luas to go as far as the Point. Here we we kindly sponsored the cost of entry to the “Eye of Dublin”. This let us see Dublin from the opposite angle as the Gravity Bar (no one would tell me why they called it that...)

From here we Luasd back to Abbey Street and a gawk around, picture by the spire and a look in some shops. On our travels we visited the National Leprechaun Museum, who very kindly sponsored us entry.

THIS PLACE IS FANTASTIC.... YOU MUST DO IT. It gives the story behind mythology and etymology of the modern leprechaun, going from its roots in Irish Folklore through to its evolution when brought to America where we know it today. At the end of the tour (which includes a giants causeway thats better than the real one... and a giant room where EVERYTHING IS HUUUGEEE.) you got the chance to sit around with a cup of tea and draw leprechauns... so we did... they even hung our pictures up on the walls for future generations to see!

On wards to victory!

We got back to the car and fought through more traffic to find Ranelagh, where we were staying that night. Don’t ever let anyone out in Dublin, because there is no one else to return the favour... except other non Dubliners...

Peter, our friend who we were staying with, showed us the place for food, which was duly bought, cooked and eaten. It was a fantastic idea to get pepperoni pizzas and to add burgers to them to make Pepperoni and Burger Pizzas... it were delicious.
Later on, we were brought out on the town. Templebar got an awful going over. The night saw us complete another couple of challenges which had been set to us... Busk in Templebar (thanks to random street corner busker who let me borrow the guitar), have a rap battle between me and james... and inform a load of people that “I have a massive ego”... (it wasn’t 100 people... but we got a good load in)


The next day, we had a late start... 11 o clock... shocking stuff. We hit the road, fighting as we would through traffic to head to the final county of Dublin; Kildare and the end of phase four. We banged out to Kill, where we set up shop in the Dew Inn with a cup of tea while we waited for our contact.

Ciara arrived and brought us to the Kill International Equestrian Centre.

At the centre, the “Kildare Committee” had set us a challenge. This was a messy challenge. We were to spent 32 minutes shovelling horse shit. I’m not going to sugar coat it; we were pretty horrified at the idea, but we rolled up the sleeves and got shtuck in. We had to move the shit from one pile, to another... a lot like POW entertainments...We shovelled at a fierce rate, with the knowledge that a reward was in the cards if we did well.

And well we did! Over the time, we shovelled the equivalent of 10 or so stables... smelly but satisfying labour.

Our reward for our back breaking work was first to see how it was normally done (JCB...) That was a demoralising show... and secondly to go horseback riding.

Our horses were Marge and Duracell, both fine animals with eyes wild and blue. I was on Marge and James atop Duracell. This was the first time James was ever on a horse, so he was nervous. I had been on a horse before... just been on one...

We were brought into the ring and mounted up. Walking was first, so we did a few laps, then we advanced to trotting finally trotting through steaks... I realise this isn’t fast at all, and the horses have a good few more gears, but to us inexperienced so and sos, we were travelling at lightspeed.

After this we took the horses on a river walk, as in walking through and along the river rather than beside it.

Look at me, look at yourself, look at me... look at yourself... Look at me... IM ON A HORSE.

After Dismounting (I Love the way I can say that innocently in this context) we went with Ciara to her place, which is on the Curragh... a fantastic piece of scenery. She brought us out mountain boarding on the hills there. Injuries were sustained, but none life threatening!

Dinner was cooked and eaten, then we were brought to the Court Hotel nightclub in Naas, where they let us in for free. After the nightclub we returned to the house... the taxi driver was kind enough to give us a discount... meaning we only paid 32 euro for the long trip.


By the time we got round to leaving Kildare it was late in the day. We went straight to the hostel... which is deceptive... it took us an hour to find the hostel, but it was worth it overall. Farran Farm Hostel very kindly sponsored us the cost of the night’s accommodation.

Our task for the evening, get the signs. As we were on the motor way on the way into Kildare from Dublin and into Laois from Kildare, we couldn’t stop to take the needed snaps. To rectify the situation, we found a road that crossed the border and took both the Kildare and Laois Signs.. it took us a while to find one with the signs... we ended up trying a few.

After this, we needed to get some food into us... so we went as far south as Ballyragget, where we also called in on a couple friends of ours for an hour before heading back to the hostel for the night. While the Hostel was fantastic, very comfortable and well equipped; we got no sleep. There was an under 14s Hurling Team sharing the hostel with us that night. Bloody hell, they were loud.


At about 11 we journeyed on to Tullamore. Found tourist office to try sort accommodation for ourselves. No cheap options on the table from there, but while wandering we found Loughrey’s, a pub where we are staying for the night... our second time sleeping in a pub.

A cup of tea and we were out the the direction of clonmacnoise. On the way we passed GAA grounds where they were filming Celebrity Bainesteoir. There was no way we could pass it, brakes were applied and in we went.

The two celebrities: Nuala Carey, weather woman from RTE and Derek from Crystal Swing. The other two members were there as well and we got photos with all. We had a great chat with Mary Swing about the last time we had met (while they were performing in the Theatre Royal in Waterford) and Nuala is going to give us a shout out on Tele Bingo the next time she’s on! Which is on Friday the 3rd... I think she said 1:45.. but that could have been 1:15... itll be up on the page anyway when we have confirmation!

In a buzzing mood on this dark horse of a county, we went on to clonmacnoise where they very kindly sponsored us the cost of the nights accomodation, had a look around, and came back to watch the Man U game.

Witnessed the second half of the game, and at about that point a familiar face from home came to see us and join us for the night.

Food was had, and then some socialising. While enjoying a quiet evening in the corner a text were received... Olaf were coming.

There goes the quiet night...

Olaf are the people who provided us with Ronald Reagan, and theyre a pack of mental bastards. No more on this will be spoken...

But I will say... it was an offally good night.

Next morning we rose in good time, had breakfast and hit the road for Tipp. As I write this, I am sitting in a Hostel I was in before. The Cashel Holiday Hostel, who are very kindly sponsoring the cost of the nights accomodation, was the ame spot I stayed in way back when, when I went on a charity cycle... Jayz that was a while ago now...

This is up to date for the minute. We have travelled over 2600 miles. We are into phase 5; the homeward stretch. Kilkenny, Carlow, Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford.
Only 5 to go!


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