Getting to Know You

Thursday 5 July, Dublin to Middleton

Our driver for the Irish tour, Gareth, picked us up after another Avalon brekky in a bag, and we all got aquainted en route to Glendalough (or 'Valley of Two Lakes'), where we saw not only two pretty lakes, but also an old church, the associated graveyard, and a tower which almost certainly contained a vicious Deadly Spiral Staircase, but we couldn't get in to check as the door was 12 feet above the ground.

Next stop was Jameson's, an Irish Whisky distillery, where Christina and I both picked Irish whisky over Scotch or any other, in a tasting that was only slightly rigged. Oh well, we both got to drink a bunch of different whiskies.

After a brief stop at Kilkenny Castle (where most of us didn't get out of the bus), the next main stop was the Rock of Cashel, a huge old abbey with a pretty graveyard on a hill. It had the gift shop and 'interpretive centre', but it wasn't too touristy. Kate and I had a quick wander, then sat at the local deli with Tove and Gerard and Gareth, and ate burgers and pasta outside in the sunny summer air. Life could be worse.

Unfortunately, it soon was. By the time we got to Middleton, Kate was feeling very unwell, so after finding a doctor (no mean feat) who said she needed antibiotics and plenty of rest, she slept for a while and I joined the others for tea at the local restaurant. (Pasta again - too much penne is barely enough.) A couple of hours later, Kate was feeling well enough to join us at the local pub for a drink or two, before retiring to our very pretty yellow townhouse in the An Stor hostel. (Did anyone get a photo of that? Pleeease?) Each house in the row was painted a different bright colour - very pretty.