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Archive for the ‘Ireland’ Category

today we did nothing well almost nothing cause we sat in the car all day and went to the pool with papa.  On the internet I made a virus on a game called pandemic 2 and it goes all around the world killing people.  My virus is called lacosopuris I thought it sounded virus-like.  I like to read Leah’s facebook over her back and I learn lots.

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We left 26 books in the lounge at Blarney Camping Ground and that was only about a third of what we’ve accumulated since we had the camper.  We have to swap campers again on Friday and it is very stressful swapping over, but I was quite impressed by how many books we actually get through on our travels! Bede did retrieve one he thought Emmett wasn’t quite done with, but mostly they’ve become resigned to being unable to carry all the best books they’ve read around with us.  They are very much looking forward to having a home base again in a few months and being able to have more than one book at a time and a few precious toys with them.

Athenry was the next stop after Blarney, where it was very special to meet my90year old Great-uncle Paddy for the first time and stay with his very friendly daughter Patricia and her family. The kids truly thought they’d found heaven, playing with the toys Liam and Catherine has stowed in the attic!  My mother took us to see the wonderful house my Pop grew up in, now an abandoned farmhouse,our boys felt we should stay there forever! We also saw the homes and birthplaces of generations of my family. Climbing over the stile my great, great grandmother used was pretty special, especially for us Pakeha Kiwis with a history only 150 years old in our own country.

We spent a day at the Corrandulla Fair seeing the cows that really do have those big behinds like in old paintings and entering “how many pages” competitions and the like.  We also shared a lovely meal with Noreen and John, whose daughter Sile (my second cousin) I was pen-pals with as a kid.

We headed into the Burren next, venturing into Ailwee caves and seeing 5000 year old Irish tombs that pre-date the pyramids.  The kids loved standing in a ruined ring fort and imagining living there.  The Cliffs of Moher were breathtaking even on a misty afternoon(although the 8 euro parking charge was nearly as breathtaking…).  Tonight we are camping by Newgrange and planning to explore this monument in the morning.  The boys are even managing to come out of their “over-templed” haze to appreciate that these monuments are our family history! 

We head to France on Saturday so we’ve got lots to fit into our last couple of days in Ireland and goodbyes to say to Norah and Papa till we see them again in New Zealand in 2.5 months!

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We went to Allowee caves and the birds of prey center that was there.  I got to hold an eagle and it flew from my hand to Emmett’s hand.  I could feel its claws through the glove.  Eagles can see ultra-violet so they can see meat in a lot of pebbles that are the same colour as the meat.   Falcons are designed for speed, they have shorter wings and longer tails than eagles who use there large wing span to glide on wind currents.  Eagles circle to gain height using the heat from the day and then dive to down on to small or dead animals.  The Falcon chase there prey down relying on speed and agility to catch birds.

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Blarney

We’re still in Ireland which is amazing because it’s ages since we’ve been in one country this long.  I hung upside down and kissed the Blarney stone.  I don’t get it it’s just one stone at the top of a tower.  So how does it give you a gift?  There were coins in Blarney river that I wanted to get out but mum wouldn’t let me.  We got  huge punnets of gooseberries and strawberries and raspberries today

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I’ve been so busy enjoying Ireland I haven’t been writing much for our watchers!  We spent our first few days here staying with my grandmother’s cousin Pat in Ashbourne.  We’d met some of his 11 kids during their NZ travels and it was nice to catch up with them again and meet some of the others and their kids.  Emmett and Airmid turned out to be the same age and had a fantastic time.

We explored the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin and had fish and chips on the beach at Skerries, where the kids even had a swim as we managed to arrive during a very hot week for Ireland.  It was special for us to enjoy Skerries which was somewhere my grandmother loved.

From Dublin we headed down the coast through Wicklow and Arklow to Wexford, where we’ve been camped on the seafront for three days now, only a short walk over the bridge to a lovely town with lots of interesting boutiques and a lovely walk along the water front.  Leah and Anna had a lovely evening out while the grandparents had the grandchildren last night.  (We heard this morning that figuring out the carseat straps and the fold down bed in the camper in our absence was somewhat problematic…) We had a swim in the newly opened pool today – compulsory swimming caps and all and Leah, Emmett and Florence have all got new shoes having worn their others out on this “seeing the world” trip.

Norah and Martin have headed away to have a couple of days break while we are planning to kiss the Blarney stone tomorrow and head towards Athenry to meet more of our Irish relatives.

Impressions of Ireland: we’ve very much enjoyed meeting family here, we are incredulous at the cost of living, 4 euros ($8) to wash a load of laundry! our supermarket shops here are costing about double what they did in London.  There’s lots of people who look remarkably like my brothers here!

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I saw Iron man 2 with Papa my mother’s would not have taken me!

It was cool.

We are in Ireland, it is green.  We are staying with Pat my great grandmother’s cousin outside Dublin.  He has 11 kids some of them came around today.  Florence has some new pyjamas.

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Norah and Papas GPS stinks, papa calls it Rachel and on a bad day he doesn’t listen to Norah or Rachel and we end up in the mountains not at the beach.  We are at a camping ground for 2 nights and it has a pretty cool playground and is right beside a rocky beach.  We went to a farm with lots of rabbits and it has a goat that I fed milk so it was a baby.

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