Our First Adventure in (Hot) Toddy by Cosmo around Lough Ree

Well we’ve managed to wrestle the blog back off mum. As you’ll have read in her last blog we now have a new addition to our fleet Toddy the campervan. Now to say we weren’t keen is an understatement as we HATE going in cars & vans but Toddy was a bit different as we got in at the side not the back & we were still able to see mum which was better. We were also tricked big time as we got in it a couple of times at Richmond Harbour & were very pleased to find out it didn’t actually move or so we thought. Until one day our illusions were shattered & it did move. By the we were a bit used to it so we weren’t quite as nervous as getting in a car or van & we don’t run off from getting in. now it did help that there were antlers for us to chew inside Toddy

So before we knew it we were off on our first big Toddy adventure. Mum made a snap decision one Friday afternoon as the weather forecast said unseasonably warm for November so we set off to the shores on Lough Ree. Mum had done extensive research on the park4night app & found a spot that couldn’t be reached by Golden Boyz at Portlick Woods. We arrived just as it was getting dark so we didn’t get chance to discover the lake but mum was impressed that there were toilets there that were open all night. So mum had brought a pan of veg curry shed made the night before that she reheated & we had our tea in our new bowls specially for keeping in Toddy. Mum got to grips with most things in Toddy that she needed & chilled watching The Crown on Netflix. It was a peaceful night & I discovered mums bed was far better than the floor though I’m not sure mum was overly impressed as there wasn’t really room for both of us!

In the morning we woke early & went off for walkies to explore the area. It was fabulous for walkies & we discovered Lough Ree about ten seconds from our back door. This is a wonderful walk that explores the wooded glades and farmlands of Portlick and the Whinning peninsula of Lough Ree. Portlick, meaning, “part of the flagstone surface” refers to the limestone bedrock that occurs extensively in the region.¬† Portlick is a native hazel/ash woodland with lesser amounts of oak, whitebeam, holly, alder, willow, birch and hawthorn ¬†including Whinning House, the ruins of which are within the forest site.

Portlick Forest is a designated Millennium Forest. As part of the millennium (year 2000) celebrations, over 1500 acres of native woodland were designated as “People’s Millennium Forests”. This native woodland (divided into 16 forests around the country) included newly planted areas with native Irish seed and the restoration of native woodlands. Under this initiative, a native tree was planted free of charge on behalf of each household in Ireland. A total of 1.2 million native trees were planted. Every home was issued with a certificate giving details about the tree planted for each family and where it is located.

We met another goldie & a black lab & had a great time running round with them in & out of the water.

We returned to Toddy exhausted & settled down nicely in the back as mum drove to Center Parcs. Mum has a winter job there (more about that in another blog!!) so she gets free access. She’d only just started the job so she wanted to have a wander round to have a look at the Xmas lights & she went for a swim in the pool. We fell fast asleep in Toddy while she was doing all that.

I was very comfortable!

When she returned we literally had a 5 minute dive to our next spot for the night Newcastle Woods. Mum already knew this spot as she’d cycled here when she was moored on the River Inny but we’d not been. Again we arrived in the dark but the next morning we went off to explore. It also had lovely walkies around the perimter fence of Center Parcs. We even saw some deer in the forest. We also had a lovely surprise when we saw our friend Mary from Tullamore who was with a canoeing group braving the white water of the River Inny. It was rather a long walkie as mum got lost but it meant she didn’t hear a peep out of us the next night – method in her madness

At about lunchtime we left Newcastle Woods & headed back south through Athlone & up the west side of Lough Ree. Mum was aiming for a car park called Judys Harbour which is very near Rindoon Castle. We couldn’t get Golden Boyz to Rindoon n our Lough Ree cruise. There is a floating jetty which mum stopped at for photos with the castle in the background but because its not connected to land its no good for us. This time we were approaching it from the land side.

It was a beautifully landscaped car park with a lovely flowerbed boat arrangement & some fun interactive games by the picnic benches along the shore line. Lough Ree is really high at the moment so the water was almost lapping the picnic benches. Also the car park had a fabulous shelter with picnic benches underneath which made a great spot for us to lie outside under at tea time. Sadly the path to Rindoon castle was closed so we didnt get to go there but we were happy to have found such a great spot.

Unfortunately Daquiri also discovered he quite liked being up on mums bed too! Don’t know where mum is going to go!!

The next morning we headed back to Golden Boyz as we weren’t far away as mum had work to do. It wasn’t too bad this campervan life especially as we seem to be getting extra walkies when we’re in it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.