The Happy Hippie Convoy by Daquiri

Well we were back home for a grand total of 2 days before we were off on our next adventure. Not much settee snooze time at all we’re complaining to the management. But it was worth it as we got a very big surprise as Auntie Jules & Uncle Pete from The Hippie Boat turned up in their motorhome. They brought our old friend Polly who at 15 is a very old lady now blind & deaf but still going strong. In addition there were 2 pals; naughty little Millie & noisy Eric who barked more than us. Yes its possible!! They’d come over for 2 weeks to explore part of Ireland in a convoy with us. Here’s them in The Richmond Inn straightaway on the Guinness!!

The next day we set off in our convoy of 3 humans, 5 doggies & 2 motorhomes for Cavan. Jules wanted to do some family history on her relatives with connections to Cavan so spent a bit of time in the genealogy department at the library.

Next we were off to Ballyconnell in pursuit of showers & mum wanted to look at the moorings there. The showers there were eventful. Mums door wouldn’t close properly & the light didn’t work. then they were press button showers so everytime auntie Jules pressed her button mums shower stopped & they were only luke warm but funniest of all Auntie Jules got stuck in the shower as her door jammed. Uncle Pete was just coming to the rescue with a screwdriver when Auntie Jules got out!

After all the excitement we headed further north to the shores of Upper Lough Erne as mum had researched a parking spot at Tiraroe Quay. It was a perfect spot for our 2 vans & we headed off in the evening to visit Jan & Alistair just up the road at Knockninny. Mum thought it was safe to let us off as we were enclosed by 2 cattle grids but oh no we’re cleverer than that. Firs Daquiri went across one & nearly broke his legs but mum coaxed him back. Then I went across & Daquiri did it again! So I’m stupid & Daquiri is doubly stupid!!

From here we headed up to Enniskillen. We fell very lucky here as we stopped again at a waterways mooring & it had a doggie park right next to it. Well it actually had 2 doggie parks one for small dogs & one for large dogs with a long list of rules which we broke straightaway as we all went in one doggie park!!

The humans then went off for a wander round Enniskillen starting at the castle.

Then of course they ended up in a pub citing some reason about trying to see Inspector Hastings from Line of Duty as he drinks there! Blakes of the Hollow is renowned for its traditional Irish heritage, Blakes of the Hollow Is one of the most famous and well recognised Victorian pubs in Ireland. It is a must see attraction which has graced Co.Fermanagh’s shores for over 125 years. It also has one of the Games of Thrones doors in it. These are mostly around the Belfast area.

In the evening we went off in pursuit of a parking spot right by a castle on the shores of Lough Erne. Tully Castle is a fortified house and bawn are set on Tully Point and were built for Sir John Hume who occupied the house until 1641 when it was attacked and burned on Christmas Eve by Rory Maguire and the inhabitants massacred. It was not lived in again. It was a great parking spot & we went on a great looped walk down to the lake shore the following morning to try & wear the youngsters out namely Eric!

From here we headed up to Donegal in search of coastline & beaches. We found one beach & had a great walkies on it then headed off to anther one which although was an amazing parking spot we decided to go back to the first one as the wind had really picked up & the first one was more sheltered. When we got back from walkies w ended up with a stowaway in our van naughty little Millie tried to be one of the Boyz1!

The next day we headed inland to avoid the worst of the wind & went too ne of our favourite moorings at Acres Lake at Drumshanbo just south of Lough Allen. First we had a visit to the Distillery there but after Uncle Pete nearly had a coronary at the price of the whiskey they found a pub for Sunday lunch. We had nice walkies round the boardwalk at Acres Lake & got a fabulous furry family photo shot – well Auntie Jules had a fluffy coat on so she counts too. From left to right we have Cosmo, Daquiri Polly, Jules, Millie & Eric!

Next it was off to a place on mums bucket list Achill Island. It was one of our longest drives & we’d unusually for us booked a campsite to stay in this time. We’d planned 2 nights there one to get there & one to look round which ended up being a very wise move as Auntie Jules & Uncle Pete were struck down by a nasty bout of flu. How mum escaped it after being in the small confines of the vans we’ll never know.

So on our day at the island we headed off in just our van while Auntie Jules & Uncle Pete rested. Achill Island lies off County Mayo on the west coast of the Republic of Ireland. Marked by rugged mountains and peat bogs, the island is known for its tall sea cliffs and clean beaches. Its breezy shoreline makes it a popular spot for water sports. The strand (beach) at Keem Bay inspired visiting writers Heinrich Böll and Graham Greene. Keel, the island’s main village, has a sandy surf beach. Achill Island and the Curraun Peninsula, in County Mayo, are the jewels in the crown of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Soaring sea cliffs, Blue Flag beaches, mountains, lakes and big Atlantic skies. We weren.t disappointed though it was a particularly foul day. Mum drove a full circuit of the island including the scarey route up & down to Keem Bay until you reach the sign that motorhomes aren.t allowed to proceed past. There were sheep everywhere who were often just strolling along nonchalantly in front of Toddy. Here’s a selection of our photos. It was hard to pick there were so many fabulous views. I think we need to come back for a week to Achill.

The next day we were all back travelling together with Auntie Jules & Uncle Pete armed with flu remedies & tissues. We round the coastline & through the beautiful scenery of Connemara stopping at Leenaun for a pub stop & then onwards to our parking for the night at Letterfrack. Auntie Jules stayed in but mum & Uncle Pete him the local pubs.

The next day was quick walkies around Connemara National Park then onwards towards Galway. We stopped for a look round Clifden & yes you’ve guessed it a drink in the pub before eventually finding a sheltered parking spot at Ross Lake.

The next day Auntie Jules & Uncle Pete set off before us to use a laundrette as mum was working first thing then we reconvened & headed into Galway City. Mum love Galway & after a look at The Spanish Arch & the incredibly high & fast flowing River Corrib you’ve guessed it pubs! Firstly the Kings Head the oldest pub in Galway & then O’Connells the one mum visited in April with a street in its beer garden.

Then it was off to visit Santa Kevin who mum had worked with as Elf Lollipop at Center Parcs. Kevin lived just outside Galway near Tuam & had invited us to dinner & to stay the night. We had fun getting there as some of the roads were flooded but we eventually made it. We had a wonderful time dining on steak dinner & Pete is still talking about all the whiskies him & Kevin were sampling.

Luckily with not too bad heads in the morning we set off after a hearty breakfast cooked by Kevin for the Cliffs of Moher. We wound our way there up the adrenaline pumping corkscrew hill until we eventually reached the visitor centre. Now I really don’t think we could have picked a worst weather day to visit the cliffs if we tried. We parked up & it was blowing a gale both vans were rocking I thought Toddy was going to blow over. Then down came a huge hailstorm. It sounded like the roof was caving in. Once it stopped we were left in the van than God but the humans & the other 3 doggies set off up the cliffs. They could barely walk against the wind & at one point little Millie took off up into the air!! Anyway they made it for a short visit & got a few photo shots but mum says we’ll come back when its less windy as we want to visit Doolin too.

That night we went in pursuit of music & settled on the lovely town of Ennis. Again the weather was dire with hail & wind & rain but they managed a pub crawl around Ennis & found a bit of music in the last pub. Ennis ahs gone on our list to revisit in better weather too!

Next on the list was to see Lough Derg. We had a quick stop at Mountshannon then it was onwards up to Portumna. We had a walk round a bit of the forest then the friary & castle. Me & Cosmo had a fight to see who could get through the gap in the wall first. I won!! The evening was spent in the lovely company of Fergal, Wendy Emma & Sophie the jack russell (my girlfriend!). As ever many drinks were consumed!

The next morning the others headed off early to a vets in Athlone for tapeworm treatments before their ferry home in a couple of days. Thank God we escaped that. Mum had work to do so joined them in Sean’s Bar (where else?!) later. Our final evening together was spent at Abbeyshrule. We decided not to stay over that night as the temperature was due to drop a lot & as we have no heating. It proved a wise move as the fire had blown out in the boat too so we were glad to get that lit before any pipes froze. SO we enjoyed a fabulous final meal at The Rustic Inn & bade our farewells & drove back to Golden Boyz.

Auntie Jules & Uncle Pete set off early the next morning for Newgrange & then caught their ferry home the next day. So after 13 or so nights, lots of miles, 2 bad bouts of flu, numerous whiskeys, many walkies, Lots of Guinness & three hundred million pubs visited we are back snoozing on our settee in front of the fire. We had a fabulous time with the Hippies & are hoping they’ll come back & visit us in the autumn when the trading season is over.