Thursday, May 30, 2019

Critters, Camper Vans, and Colour in Creeslough

Yesterday afternoon when we got back to our glamping 'villa,' the wind picked up and it began lashing down rain. We were trying to figure out what the recurring rattling noises were and finally realized that it was the wind coming in through the vents for the exhaust fans--there's one over the hob and one in the shower. We keep the bathroom door closed, because the light is on a sensor, and whenever we move in the main room, the light goes on. Keeping the door closed prevents this and also serves to muffle the rattling a bit. When I woke up this morning, I could tell the wind had shifted because the shower fan, which is on the side of the 'villa' was rattling a lot and the one over the hob, which vents out the back, was quiet. Last night, it was more the other way.

There were some downpours this morning, but things eased up a bit, so we went out for walk in the mizzle. We walked through the village, down a few lanes and back to the main road. We kept going until the sidewalk ran out and it was not safe to go any further, then we turned around.

There were some critters out today, doing their work.
no need for a strimmer...

or a mower

each responsible for their own section
superhero sheep--turning grass into wool--i thanked them and left them to it

The colours were popping in the mist.

Window of Rose Cottage. This is a really cute cottage, but it's right up against the footpath and probably less than three feet from the road, which is very busy with fast-moving traffic. It's kind of a shame it's not set back more, but I suspect the cottage was there first and the road came later.
This afternoon, we called in, with our stainless steel mugs, to the Happy Camper Cafe here at the camp. Unsurprisingly, there were many more camper vans on display.
over the door

shelf over the coffee machine--we got our coffee in our own mugs, so didn't a disposable one
The woman who owns the cafe is so friendly. We had a nice chat about this area and our area. She and I were both laughing and talking about how much we love where we live. I commented that it's a pretty good thing when we can be heading for home and saying, 'I can't believe I get to live here.' She agreed. She said several times that she loves living where she does. Hearing that always makes me happy. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A Walk Through Duntally Wood

This morning, we set out to find the entrance to the trail that winds through Duntally Wood, a small nature reserve quite near to where we're staying. I was pretty sure we were on the edge of it yesterday, but we didn't see an entrance. I also knew there was an entrance on the main road into town, because I'd seen a handmade sign from the bus as we came into town the other day. I wasn't sure, though, how far the sidewalk went, so we opted to take the same back road behind the bus stop and, instead of turning left to go up the hill towards Doe castle, as we did yesterday, we kept going straight. As we walked along the curvy road, we spotted a gate with an information sign just inside--just what we were looking for.
What a beautiful place this is! The birds were singing and there was so much green! We found out that there are three entrance/exit gates on various branches of the trail. We saw one guy with his dog, not far from where we started (they'd come in a different way than we did), but other than that, there was no one else around. We followed the trail, choosing a direction when we came to a fork in the trail. We went to the end, turned around and came back, then chose the path we'd not been on yet--we walked all the trail options.

rocks and reflections
companion on the trail

ferns, ferns, ferns

good place for a picnic

moss cap on the rock--and ferns

I enjoyed this walk a lot. It was so lovely and tranquil. May there be beauty and tranquility in your day as well.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A Walk to Doe Castle

This morning, we headed out to walk to Doe Castle. It was chilly, the sky was filled with clouds and there was a stiff breeze. I was thrilled to have such fine walking weather. By the time we were on our way back, the sky was bright blue, the sun was out, and it was hot. That's pretty typical here--people like to joke that we can have all 4 seasons in one day and they're not far off.

Here are some of the sights that caught my eye as we walked.
just as we turned off the main road--lough more

dry stone wall


just relaxing
this is the same yard where the gnome was napping

monkey puzzle tree against the blue and white sky
It was a pleasant walk, although we had to stop and move off the narrow road several times to let cars pass. Tomorrow, we plan to find Duntally Wood, which is very close by. It's a small nature reserve with a walking trail.

I hope your day is pleasant, too

Monday, May 27, 2019

Greetings From Creeslough

We were up bright and early this morning so we could head off to Donegal Town, then Letterkenny, and finally, Creeslough (pop 393).

We are at Wild Atlantic Camp. It seems like a nice place--they have wooden pods, which are basically a room with electricity (no bathroom or water), bell tents, and camper van sites. We're staying in one of their new 'glamping villas.'
They are small, but well-designed and self-contained, with a kitchen area and a bathroom/shower room.
kitchen area to the right
When we got here, it was still early for check-in and they were still cleaning after departing guests and preparing for incoming people like us, so we sat in the Happy Camper Cafe (specializing in pancakes) and had tea with pancakes and ice cream! There were a gazillion different toppings to choose from, but I don't usually say no to ice cream! I've never had it on a pancake before, but it was yummy and the pancakes really are good.

After we checked in and put our backpacks down, we went out for a walk through the village and beyond. We both like it, although there is really hardly anything there.
pretty nice bus stop!
this says 'Let everyone have a pleasant life.'
like the one above, in the bus stop area
bus stop area

school garden
by a cottage door
love these!

muckish mountain
We've wanted to come here for a few years now, but there was no vacancy when we looked into it. This time, we got in during the 'low' season. It's nice to finally get here!

Friday, May 24, 2019

Community Improvements and Election Day

Some good things are happening in town. This building, which has been vacant for years, is going to be turned into a community hub.
Along with that, there will be other changes. When we lived here before, these picnic tables were not in the Diamond (town square). According to the site notice, there will be more improvements to this area and the car park will become a space for civic use.
These seem like good changes. Tourism is booming here and the building is in a perfect spot to become a hub. The current tourist info office is in a very small space. The digital hub will be helpful for tourists and for the ship crew members who come ashore. It will also be helpful for local people--we rarely need a printer, but when we do, we go to the tourist office or we wait until we go to the library.

These developments are the result of a lot of work from various community groups and from a local woman who is on Donegal County Council. She seems to do a lot for the communities in our district. Today is election day here and I was able to vote for the first time here. Bill voted on a referendum question, for Member of European Parliament (MEP) and we both voted in the local election for Donegal County Council. There were 19 candidates for 6 spots. It's a ranked-choice voting process here. My #1 went to the local woman and I hope she gets re-elected.
These kinds of signs are all over the place--and there are even bigger ones, too. There are all of these giant smiling faces everywhere. They'll start coming down tomorrow--they only have a couple of days after an election to get the posters down, or else the campaigns get fined. One guy decided not to go the usual poster route, but did sidewalk stencils instead. They've been slowly fading away as the weeks go by--that seems like a good idea.

I could not find information on all of the candidates--I assume that most people know who the candidates are already. Also, many will just vote by party affiliation. But there were 4 parties represented on the ballot (Solidarity/People Before Profit, Sinn Fein, Fianna Fail, and Fine Gael) and a whole bunch of independents, so I was looking for more information. If I couldn't find any, I simply didn't give that candidate a number. I made a list of who I wanted to vote for and in what order, based on the information I could find. In one case, going to the person's website showed me that I did not want to vote for them.

Anyway, I was excited to be voting in my first Irish election. Bill is used to it now, since he's done it a few times in various sorts of elections. Every time he goes to vote, I think of his grandmother, even though I never met her. When she left Ireland, it was still under British rule. She would not have been able to vote. It would have been some years before she would have been able to vote in her adopted country as well, since she was living in the US before 1920. It was through her that Bill got citizenship and because of that, we're here. I am grateful.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Sky, Hills, and More Wind Turbine Parts

Last night around 9 o'clock, I looked out the bedroom window. The light was interesting, so I spent some time enjoying the sky and the view of Benbulben in Sligo. I noticed that there was a different ship at the pier--the cruise ships that had been docked there all day yesterday were gone and a cargo ship had taken its place. The cranes were up, so I assumed they were unloading more wind turbine parts. We went by on our walk this morning and saw that this is what's going on.

Only a month of increasing daylight left, and then we head back in the right direction. It always makes me so happy when the darkness arrives noticeably earlier.

A friend brought over this wild iris yesterday, still closed up. This morning when I came downstairs, it was open. Isn't it lovely?
Enjoy your day!