Sandy is pleased to host an African Sunset Tour: Safari, Wine, Cuisine, and Culture. This deluxe tour of South Africa is February 18 – March 3, 2017.(Departing from Canada on February 16th )
Private Game Reserve
Cape Town, Simons Town & Cape Point
South Africa Winelands
Garden Route & Ostrich Capital
View the Itinerary: Sandy’s Africa Tour (PDF)
On August 11th, Brian and I will be off on our anniversary tour and for this special occasion we’re off to Ireland.
Count down is on. Guides are booked for Derry, Belfast and Dublin. Where else do we need guides? Guess we’ll figure that out along the way.
We’ve arrived in Dublin. The wind is blowing and the sun is just coming up. It’s 5am! The suitcases needed a bigger car, so Audi Q3 it is. Premium price for a premium car but they threw in a free road map, gave us air miles and a ‘deal’ on the price. Thank you Hertz. Now we wait for our friends Chris and Karen to arrive from London. It’s now 7am, only two hours to go.
We left Killarney and headed to Tralee, from there to the ferry at Tarbert. The ferry cost 18€ and was well worth it. The view of County Clare and the mouth of the Shannon were spectacular. From the ferry we took the road through Knock to Ennis, the capital of Co. Clare.
We had to stop to take a photo of the best thatched roof cottage we’ve seen so far. Beautiful, until the husky scared us away!
The road to Ennis along the Shannon is picturesque. Stone walls are high, roads narrow but views of the Shannon and Co. Limerick are worth it.
Stopped at Knox’s Pub for lunch (hope it’s as good as The Blind Piper in Caherdaniel, on the Ring of Kerry. Both Brian and I really enjoyed our lunch of curried lamb, steak and kidney pie followed by the homemade Banofi Pie, yum!
After lunch we did some shopping and noticed that the whole city was displaying the county colours of blue and yellow to celebrate yesterday’s GAA Hurling victory.
After Ennis we took the scenic route along the Atlantic coast through Milltown Malbay to the Cliffs of Moher.
Magnificent, even in the whipping windy rain. We carried on up the coast noting ocean front castles, some still occupied, past the caves of Doolan, through the rocky ‘moonscape’ of The Burren. Can you believe that there are rock fences all the way up these barren rock hillsides!
Dinner at Moran’s Oyster Cottage in Kilcorgan, still operated by 8th generation Moran. Some of whom have held the International Oyster Shucking Championship.
Off to Galway, expecting to arrive around 9pm after a full day.
Having taken a walk into early Celtic life, I imagined the people of the region
Wednesday, Aug. 21st – 9 days left!
Today we got an early start, tis true! Driving to Sligo we passed by Knock, made famous in 1879 by the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and St. John appearing against the south gable of this tiny town’s church. The countryside here is lush, people appear to be better off in this area, with larger farms, nicer houses and plenty of livestock.
A slight detour to go back in time to 5,000 BC took us to Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetary. The largest found burial sight in Ireland. Awesome!
Having lunch in Sligo means we’re eating in a pub which was probably frequented by Yeats, as it is the oldest in Sligo, Hargadon Bros Pub- awesome lunch!
A quick stop to see a 15 min video on Yeats and on to see his grave site in Drumcliffe.
Belleek Pottery is well worth a stop. Did you know they make all the pottety they sell around the world here in Belleek and it is still hand made and painted? Yes, I did buy my Christmas ornament there! A snowman carrying an umbrella, how fitting!!!
Donegal has a castle in the middle of town. We missed the tour, but wandered the town with delight. I talked Brian into purchasing a taupe houndstooth jacket which he promptly wore around town while I carried his other jacket! Lol!!!
Arrived in Derry and our hotel is within the walled city. We walked down to the lake to eat at The Custom House. Wine choices – Australian, California and Chile. Settled on Californian out of fear that Yellowtail set the standard! It was a great meal. Every store, business, pub and restaurant were closed on our way down the hill, I hope it’s safe to walk back up!!!
The Radisson Blu in Galway is a great hotel with a wonderful spa. I’m looking forward to swimming tonight!
Leaving Galway, we headed into Mayo County. First stop – Cong! As I’ve seen The Quiet Man every year, at least once during baking season, I was looking forward to seeing where it was filmed! The original cottage is not mentioned, but the museum is housed in a replica of White O’Morning! We toured the Abby and set off for Westport.
We stopped to see the National Famine Memorial, a bronze ship covered in skeletons. Across from this gruesome ship is the mountain St. Patrick banished the snakes from Ireland from. There is a pilgrimage to a chapel at the top and in the pouring rain with gusts of wind so strong I was almost blown over, we could see many people climbing. Unbelievable!
The heart wrenching trek from Louisburg to Delphi was made even more sorrowful when experienced in the pouring whipping rain. 200 of the 600 died on this barren road after their request for food to their landlord at the Delphi Lodge was denied, heartlessly!!
Kylemore Abbey would’ve been an awesome visit if I had worn something other than my rag dress! Yup, open toes sandals too! You guessed it – totally soaked even with a warm coat and umbrella. Brian in his shorts had to drive 1 1/2 hours soaked through all the way back to Galway. It was interesting to see the Abbey nevertheless, and they had Irish music in the Chapel. Brian took excellent photos but google it for a nicer rain free view. Definitely worth a one hour min. stop.
We checked out Galway, changed our clothes and had an early night!