Sligo

Sligo is know for its literary heritage and rugged countryside. Steeped in history and mythology. From clear lakes to rivers to dramatic mountains. Sligo has it all.

We decided to head away to Sligo for a few nights. Mountain climbing, cycling and walking was on our agenda. The weather was perfect. The company was great and the air from the Wild Atlantic. Sure where would ya want to be. Nothing beats the west of Ireland.

Our first stop was a cycle from Sligo town over to the Devils Chimney. A lovely cycle.

The Devils Chimney is just over 1km hike. We didn’t expect to see any water flowing from the waterfall as this only happens when it’s raining. But we wanted to do the hike and see the views. It was a lovely hike through wooded area. When you reached the top the views were pretty impressive. We could see Glencar Lake and the valley stretching below between the hills. There was a lovely picnic area at the top and we took a short break to enjoy a snack.

You have to have some sort of level of fitness to this do.

A quick trip down the road after to the Glencar waterfalls. Very pretty but nothing else to do there.

After this it was time to cycle back to the car and head over to the Beach Bar and B&B in Aughris head where we were staying.

What a location. We arrived and the place was buzzing. Seeing so many people enjoying the sun and happy. What a great feeling. Quick shower and change and up to the bar for dinner. I’m not a fan of bar food, probably because of several bad experiences and cheap pre cooked food shoved out to customers. I didn’t have really high expectations. I was proven wrong. The food was exceptional. Simple food cooked perfect. I’m gutted I didn’t take any pictures. I was starving. I had fish and chips. The batter was so fresh and soft. And not all batter and no fish. A few pints to help wash it down and a lovely walk to watch the sun set.

Next morning we decided to walk the forest walk around Benbulbin, but missing the turn lead us to Luke’s bridge where we decided to climb Benbulbin instead. Not the best decisions Iv ever made. Not following any track, we just decided that we would climb some of it. We started to climb and it was easy enough, in so far as I was able to still stand and walk up it. It gets steeper and eventually you have no choice but to start climbing (like Spider-Man, but without the web) so close to the top I looked around and went into a state of panic. (Iv never claimed or walked up a mountain before) I froze. I just wanted to get off this mountain. Petrified. Convinced myself I was going to fall, (if I fell there would be some serious injury’s) tears rolling down my eyes. Literally holding onto the side of a mountain, legs like jelly. The only way off this mountain was to keep going up. We really should have just followed a track. Stubborn and angry at myself I reached the top. Every single emotion going through me. I couldn’t wait to get down.

Once we got down I needed to feel grounded so I decided to cycle Lough Gill Cycle Loop. Amazing views and a lovely cycle. Pushing all my frustrations out on my quads as I pushed up hills. Best therapy ever.

Back into Sligo town after and time to relax.

Benbulbin you nearly had me but nearly never matched the cow.

I would highly recommend Sligo for a mini adventure trip. I had a blast.

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Mayo

A short visit to Westport lead us to some great food and a fun family afternoon.

Some light shopping in Carraig Donn followed by a few pints in Porter House and an amazing dinner in An Port Mor.

You can read a blog I wrote a few years again about An Port Mor here

There’s no place like home

There’s no place like home. I love when I plan a trip to Mayo. Apart from seeing my beautiful family, I really enjoy the scenery, the beaches, the peace and quite and the wildness of the Wild Atlantic.

This trip wasn’t unlike any other with the exception that we were planning to cycle some the Green Way. Unfortunately it was too windy. So instead we done Claggan Mountain Coastal Trail followed by the Ballycroy National Park walk. Both are very easy and quick walks but the Wind from the Wild Atlantic definitely make it more fun.

The views are amazing but on the dull day that we got, you can’t really see how beautiful it is.

Onto the Ballycroy National Park. We were advised not to climb up to the top, as it was to windy and dangerous but the rebel inside me wouldn’t listen. This walk is only about 20-30mins, very easy to do. The views are incredible. For me there is no better feeling than enjoying complete quietness. I love having time to dream, enjoying peace and the wonders of the sea, the mountains and fresh air.

Mayo is a beautiful county, it’s my home and there is no where in the world that is this special to me.

Dear Coffee I love you

There are so many coffee places to have a cup of coffee in Navan. But who really is making a good coffee?

I wrote a blog a while back about coffee and the top 5 coffee places in Navan. My opinion has changed. ( you can read it here )

The brand of coffee is important, and everyone likes different brands. So opinions change. But what it really comes down to is the barista. And as I’v found in Navan no one is a trained barista. 😞 The coffee in some of my favorite places change depending on who is making it. Which is quite frustrating. There is one place I know if I go at lunch time any day the same lady is making it and she is very serious about her job, her presentation and her COFFEE. I have no problem telling you that its Margaret from Ryan’s Bar on Trim Gate Street.

Ryan’s bar has everything to offer, scones from 10am, lunch daily from 12pm-4pm and an evening menu on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They are the best sports bar in Navan and as I said in a previous blog it’s so nice to see the owners working there and been apart of the team. Just when you think Ryan’s couldn’t possibly do any more for its customers they now serve Pizza in their beer garden every Saturday and Sunday. Local lads RBs pizza are rolling out the dough. I haven’t had one yet but looking at their social media the guys are doing a great job.

I digress, food will always get me excited. There are 2 other places in town that I pop into for coffee. Ode on Market Square is really good, the coffee is consistent. They use lavAzza coffee, which I like, plus I love to sit outside and watch the world go by. The other place I go to is The Central, the coffee is really good and the staff are friendly. I’m a regular there and it’s lovely to see one young lady recognize me and remember how I like my coffee. I love the front coffee area, and again you can sit and people watch from there. I love The Centrals branded takeaway cups and always get my coffee in one.

To finish up guys. This is my opinion and my personal taste. There are few places out there with staff that can’t use a coffee machine, they serve good quality coffee badly. Beware.

The Central

It’s great to have The Central bar in Navan. It caters for everyone. Recently we took the staff there for lunch. There was something for everyone. We all had a really present afternoon.

A massive thanks to everyone for looking after us.

I highly recommend the garlic bread. Over the last few months I have slowly been introducing lactose back into my diet. The Centrals garlic bread is loaded with garlic butter. Yummy.

Kajjal Malahide

One of my favorite restaurants. This place is consistently good. Very friendly staff and fresh food.

Pictured below is Chili Chicken. The picture below that is 3 Veg Sides. Dal Turka, Spicy Aloo and Chana Masala.

If you haven’t been yet it’s a must try.

12 Gins to Christmas

On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Gin Mare. On the nose it smells herbaceous with thyme. On the palate basil rosemary thyme and coriander. Best served with a Thyme.

12 Gins to Christmas

On the 11th day of Christmas

Dingle Gin. Locally grown botanicals giving that “Taste of Kerry” feel. Simply served with a wedge of lime.

12 Gins to Christmas

On the 10th Day of Christmas my true love gave to md

Beefeater Gin. It’s easy to overlook Beefeater gin, as it’s widely popular. But it’s a great gin and those that haven’t tried it yet is missing out. On the nose it’s spicy and fruity, and on the palate it’s dry with herbal and citrus notes

12 Gins to Christmas

On the 10th Day of Christmas my true love gave to me

Beefeater Gin. It is a classic gin that is s cut above many of the others on the market. It is spicy and fruity, but nicely balanced.