01.07.2011 - 09.07.2011
On the way to Waterford, we stopped in at New Ross to buy some airtime for the phones and internet dongle. The roads into the centre of Waterford were all closed for the Tall Ships Festival, and 3 large Park ‘n Rides with shuttle buses were in operation, coping very efficiently with the half million visitors. We parked in the CareDoc carpark and from there only had a short walk into town. There were thousands of people on the quay in a very festive mood. Queues were long to explore the ships, but there were plenty of stalls to browse, and foods to buy.
We trudged slowly back to the van to catch up on a little sleep, as David had a full night’s duty ahead. Fortunately the patients were distracted from their ailments by the festival, so the shift was quiet and David snatched a few hours sleep in the duty room, while Sandi slept in the van outside. Even the firework display did not disturb us.
On Saturday the sun came out so we took the opportunity to give Mr Stubby a good clean and scrub.
David worked that evening till midnight, then joined Sandi in the van for a few hours. We needed to make an early start the next day, as we had to drive 2 hours up to our accommodation for the week ahead, drop Sandi to settle in, with David needing to get back into Carlow by 9am for the day’s duty.
Hillview B&B is on a dairy farm near the village of Kiltegan.
We were given a little self-contained cottage next to a field with shy 3 month-old calves, frisky ducks and plump chickens.
It is always a great treat to be able to cook for ourselves, and we raided the bargain shelves at Tesco for salmon, lamb and pork rib, which together with Sandi’s special seafood chowder, made for excellent cuisine for the week.
Breakfast each day consisted of the best eggs we've eaten in Ireland, in over 2 years, prepared by B&B owner, Rosemary - the Poached-egg Princess of the Universe!
At breakfast each morning we looked out at the beautiful view and watched the antics of the wild birds as they flitted around the bird feeder in front of the window.
We laughed at the frisky calves, who played like children at dusk every day. The long summer evenings, spent looking over the hills and trying to talk to the calves, were very relaxing.
David worked in a GP practice split between the 2 nearby villages of Hacketstown and Rathvilly.
On Saturday it was again a long drive down to Waterford for a day shift for David. The van radio had stopped working, and it transpired that the amplifier had probably blown. So he had no alternative but to sing loudly [and tunelessly] to pass the time. Some of you may remember this Irish ditty from younger years:
About a maid I'll sing a song ……… sing rickety tickety tin [melody and words available on application]