Day 7 – 1 week since we left – what have I learned?

Not f….ing much really! The week has gone quickly, that means that travelling has been fruitful and enjoyable , mostly anyway. So what have I learned;

  • Chinese food in a Ireland ain’t that flash
  • It’s easy to drive, but modern technology is a big help ie a gps can prevent major conflict, even divorce.
  • Guinness is the national drink, no exception.
  • People are friendly, maybe the odd exception, but I reckon Aussies get a pretty fair crack
  • Get off the main roads, and explore the villages and pubs. It’s fun, the pubs are friendly, and you don’t get beaten up
  • The “troubles” are over but just be careful talking about politics, religion, the British etc to anyone over 50.
  • Run over foreign tourists who park where they aren’t supposed to.

So today, just to get that out of the way, was pretty boring travel/ tourism stuff, we got up and got away at about 8.30am, too late for Genelle, too early for me, but I don’t count, apparently. But I’m big enough to let that one blow over my shoulder, or am I ? Therapy might help me resolve these issues I have!

My turn to pilot the Peugeot, so we’re off to Giant Causeway, the drive is uneventful, we’ve been there yesterday, but when we get there I miss the turn, much glaring and vitriolic words result in my humble u turn and drive into the car park. It’s freezing, the rain is blowing sideways, and there are tourists everywhere and it’s only going to get worse.

TIP – don’t park in the Giants Causeway car park, or if you do drop your passengers before the car park, pay £11.50 for 1 x car park and walk in through the tunnel. The entrance is a rip off at £11.50 per person, the local Irish are up in arms about it big time, it’s chasing people away. Look to park outside the car park and walk in through the tunnel beside the car park for free. That aside the rock formations are spectacular and worth the walk in.

Just to make this longer and more boring, there is a story to Giants Causeway, the reality is that it’s a World Heritage site, a 60 million year old result of cooling and shrinking lava flows that result in over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns. The legend though is based on a mighty Irish giant called Finn McCool, who carved out this coast line after a battle with a giant from Scotland. This is the Northern most point of Ireland and pretty much the closest point to Scotland.

We leave, frozen to the core, and head for the Dark Hedges area from Crown of Thrones fame. It’s great for photos but only if all the tourists would f… off and the selfish pricks who park in the road where they are told not to would f… off and park where they are meant to so we can get better access and nicer photos. Today I detect a lot of the recalcitrant parkers have German accents, may I don’t have enough mongrel in me!

We drive back via Antrim, through Belfast to the wedding reception area ” Larchfield Estate” – google it – to meet the bride and groom and check out the plans and venue for the wedding seeing I’ve got a little job to do at the reception.

Hanover House Restaurant at Coagh for dinner, we’re listening to American country music in an Irish restaurant, drinking Guinness ( at least I am), the potato crops failed, the farmer kicks the dog and his daughter is leaving for Australia and meets a bloke in the outback working in a mine with a dog you don’t need to kick. Is there a song in that? Check with me when I’ve have less Jameson’s and Guinness!

Just sayin’ but Irish food doesn’t rate as a culinary style, it’s solid food, the specialty being taties, but it really isn’t that special. Tonight Mark had a pasta bake, Genelle a chicken dish and I had a pork dish with Champs ( spud chives garlic). My pork is dry, the seasoning ok but the champs is very nice – with butter. The Guinness is iron in my diet, very nutritious.

let’s leave it at that for the day, tomorrow is a wedding and it’s going to be fantastic, 47 people I think from Australia

Ciao from Paul in Coagh, Northern Ireland

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