2017/06/12: Then End of an Era

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Ed's been talking about selling the trailer since last fall as he really doesn't enjoy pulling with the truck especially through Toronto. On Friday Ed stopped by the local RV dealer to see he would be interested in purchasing our trailer (it's where we bought it). The dealer said he was and gave Ed a price. Ed thought the price was fare and agreed to the deal. I spent Saturday morning emptying the inside of the trailer --- it's incredible where you could squirrel away stuff. Sunday, Ed and I merged what we could into the house. About a half dozen cupboards were totally rearranged so the trailer stuff would fit. Not sure what Ed did with the stuff that went into the garage ---- it's kind of a black hole out there so the extra stuff probably just merged in. There's a small pile for the garage and another pile that's to be put for sale on kijii or varage sale. This morning I went off to aqua fit and coffee and when I came home there was space where the trailer had been. I guess the RV dealer was anxious to get our trailer --- knowing Eric he may know someone who's looking for a small trailer.

I have to admit that I'm a little teary eyed to see the trailer go as I really enjoyed traveling in it. We made a lot of good memories in the years that we traveled in the trailer. I guess it time to make memories on trips that require flying on an airplane or even just road trips with the car. Who knows maybe will get back into tent camping.

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My favourite garden.

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I also really like my hosta / coral bell garden. A few other plants have managed to find their way in add some flowering colour. Coral bells come in all different leaf colours -- green, red, rust, yellow, redish blackish purplish and many more.

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The vegetable garden has been shrunk. It's down to rhubarb, garlic, beans (any one who knows Ed knows why I plant lots of beans), lettuce, kale (not up yet) and spinach. The lettuce is almost ready to pick.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
We joined a hiking group this morning to hike a 9.6 kilometer portion of the Bruce Trail. The Bruce Trail follows the escarpment from Niagara Falls to Tobermory. Ed and I are use to hiking alone or maybe with another couple so it was interesting being part of a group of 28 hikers.

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Unfortunately, some parts of the trail follow the road. In a few cases landowners did not want the trail on their property since the creation of the trail system. In other cases hikers did not following the trail rules causing the landowner to ban all hikers.

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2017/06/07: Kayaking

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Ed, Rob, Ellen and I hit the river in our kayaks today. Yesterday was an absolutely horrible day weather wise and today is the total opposite --- sunny, just a slight breeze and just the right temperature to be on the water.

We put the kayaks in the water at Walkerton and took them out at the next access point 14.5 km away (by water), a lot less by road.

Ed was playing is his GoPro taking video so I grab some stills from the video.

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and we're off

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Lunch break. Ed picked the spot because there is a geocache here but it was too wet to climb the cliff to look for it. We did get to watch the swallow flying to and from their nests in the cliff.

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Rapids!!!! Think they are a .1 or maybe a .001. Even small as they are they added a little fun to the trip.

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I love this spot on the river --- there's just something about the tree at the bend in the river.

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Not the most user friendly access point.

I suggested that we go to the next access point but luckily I was overruled. Ed and I forgot to put sun screen and by time we got home our legs were bright red.

2017/06/05: ATVing

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
On the 3rd Ed and I spent a bit of time taking the garage out of it's winter storage configuration and getting it into it's summer configuration. Ed also put the batteries back into the ATVs and after a little persuasion they even started. The kayaks are also ready to rock and float. Yesterday, the 4th, Ed and I rode the ATVs north to Paisley and back. That's about a 50km round trip. It's was a good ride but nothing picture worthy.

Today Ed and our neighbour Rob rode the ATVs south to the end of the trail. Their ride was a bit more exciting.

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They saw baby raccoons.

2017/06/01: Hike at Inglis Falls

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Today we went hiking with our friends Bob, Sue and their golden retriever Amy. Yup, Ed was a happy camper as he had a dog to pet and spoil.

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Amy want to see the falls too.

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Inglis Falls just outside of Owen Sound is a beautiful place with some good hiking trails. This is the Sydenham River.

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The falls.

2017/05/31: Home

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
We made it home safe and sound on May 26th. It's the first time we've flown Air Canada Rouge and I would definitely fly with them again. The seats were reasonably comfortable and leg room was fine ---- Ed's long legs even fit. Each seat had a pillow and a blanket both for the night flight and the afternoon flight and we were given a full meal and a light meal plus beverage service several times.

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One last look at Ireland. What a beautiful country.

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Our flight took us across Labrador ---- it's still winter there!

The last few days of May were spent catching up with life --- unpacking, mucho laundry, major gardening and house cleaning. Now it's time for summer to begin.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
We're flying home to today and as Ed is still sleeping I thought I'd write a little about the over all trip.

We stayed in 11 B&B's and 1 hotel and all of them were good. One B&B had the best towels, another the best home baked goodies, a third the best sausages another the best view and largest room. Only one was a little on the small size. The bathroom was a converted closet --- just the toilet and showerr fit. The sink was in the bedroom and that room was a little on the small size as well, but the room was clean and the bed comfortble. All the B&B's had sitting rooms you could use so a small room wasn't really a problem.

Food, oh we had some wonderful food on this trip. I've already mention sausages and baked goods, Then there was the bouble and squeek, it's really a British dish and just left over potatoe, turnip, and cabbage but oh so much better than regular hash browns. Then there was a savoury pancake --- a thin pancake (but not a crepe) filled with cheese, ham, cooked onions and peppers. I'm not an egg fan but scramble eggs and smoked salmon for breakfast is really good --- think there was as much smoked salmon as therre was egg. The dinners were really good as well --- we tried most off the standard Irish meals, Guiness Stew, Irish Stew, Bangers and Mash, Pot Pie, Fish and Chips, Fish Pie. We also branched out and had Lamb shanks, lasgnage, seafood pasta, Chicken Fajita salad ---- the list goes on. There was only one meal I didn't like, the chicken in a chicken stir fry was tough and I didn't care ffor the sauce but it was edible.

Once again it's been proven that it's a small world. When we werre in Doolin at a pub eating dinner we ended up at a table beside a woman, her mother and her son that are from BC, I think Kelowna. Then in Donegal Ed and I went into a hotel bar for dinner and sat down. After a few minutes I noticed the people at the table beside us ---- yup the three people from BC. We said hello and had a chuckle. Well, last night Ed and I are walking through the streets of Dublin heading back to the bus stop and who walks up to us and says hello. Yup the three people from BC. Then there was the Germain couple. They were at our B&B in Donegal. Who pulled into the driveway right behind us when we stopped at our B&B in Dunfanaghy. Yup the couple from Germany, we had reservations and they were winging it.

Bathrooms --- oh I could go on and on about the bathrooms but there is one that deserves to be mentioned. We stopped at a park so Ed could find a geocache. When he got back to the car he told me I had to go use the bathroom. He said whoever designed the bathroom had spent too much of their childhood watching The Jetsons (I hope you remember the cartoon show with George and his son Leroy). Anyway, the building was square and metal, you pushed and button the door opened, after several seconds the door closed behind you. The room felt like it was totally stainless steel --- to wash it you could bring a hose in a spray. Everything was attivated with push buttons, you wanted toilet paper you pushed a button, you wanted water to washer hands, push a button. There even was an SOS button. Oh and to get out you pushed a button.

Some other bathroom highlights, taps that reminded me of a Kligon battleship, a mirror with a touch sensitive button in it that turned on side lights that were also in the mirror (Ed wants one of these), a rectangular toilet seat, plumbing on the outside of the wall, shut off values turned the water on and off. I've seen shared bathrooms in small establishments but at the Cliffs of Moher they took it to the next level. The washroom was a true unisex washroom --- every body went into the same bathroom and took the next available stall. just waiting in the same room.

There is a lot more interesting things we ran into on our trip but this is all I have time for right now and if you haven't quick reading already you're happy that I'm done.


2017/05/25: Dublin

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Four beers today, two Guiness, Porthouse Pilsner and Porthouse Nitro Red.

I learned a few thing today. Don't make assumptions, I assumed that the exact fair was required but didn't think that notes (paper money) would not be accepted. Also know what bus stop you want to get off at before you get on the bus, don't assume it'll be obvious. The first error in judgement neccessitated a trip back to the hotel to get a 10 euro note changed into coins. The second error in judgement caused us to walk an extra kilometer or so. Luckily a gentleman noticed that we were not sure where we were and gave us directions. Turned out we were going in the correct direction, we were just looking in the wrong part of map to determine our location.

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First destination was the Guinness Storehouse for a tour. Guess who chose this stop?

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The tour goes through the entire process of making beer. When you get to the part about the spring water from the Wicklow Mountains there is a waterfall. It makes for interesting photos.

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One stop on the tour was the tasting room. Mini beer glasses are used dooring the tasting phase of beer making. Advertising for Guinness has changed over the years. A lot of the old and new advertising was on display. Ed noticed a lot of old Guiness ads on buildings through out Ireland.

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The tour ended with a couple of glasses of Guinness (included in your tour cost) in the Gravity Bar overlooking the city. This has got to be one of the most popular tours in Dublin.

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Dublin is full of old buildings, especially churches.

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Dublin Castle.

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The old city walls.

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A couple more city shots.

2017/05/24: Starting to Wind Down

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Guiness and a glass of Chardoney were tonight's libations.

This morning we drove a few miles to Bru na Boinne. Bru na Boinne, which means the ‘palace’ or the ‘mansion’ of the Boyne, refers to the area within the bend of the River Boyne which contains one of the world’s most important prehistoric landscapes.Within Bru na Boinne are three well-known large passage tombs, Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth, built some 5,000 years ago in the Neolithic or Late Stone Age.

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In the 1960's when archeaologists started excavating the site, Newgrange was a small hill. As they dug they found stones not native to the area, then large stones and finally the opening into the tomb. It has since been "rebuilt" to match one archaeologist's view of what Newgrange would have looked liked.

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The entrance to the tomb. The outside of the tomb is ringed with carved kerb stones. Above the doorway is a port that allows the sun to enter the tomb and shine to the back of the tomb on December 21st --- winter soltice. When you enter the tomb you walk down a very narrow low passage way and after 19 metres you enter a large chamber with three recesses. Unfortunately photography was not allowed in the passage way or chamber.

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Knowth is a large mound with 2 tombs. There are also a number of smaller mounds in the same grounds.

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Knowth also has carved kerb stones.

The mounds look boring but the history behind them is very interesting.

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The mounds need maintenance, so you have to figure out how to mow them.

Next stop our hotel a few kilometres away from the Dublin airport. We checked in, dropped our bags off and drove to the car rental car return. The sun was shining and it was about 21 degrees C so we walked the 4 1/2 km back to the hotel. Now it's time for a restful evening before we head into Dublin tomorrow.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Ed tried a Boyne Ale local to Drogheda and I had a cider this evening.

This morning we drove east along the Causeway Coastal Route. First stop was at a scenic overlook with a castle.

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The bit of rock on top of the left hill is all that's left of the Dunseverick Castle.

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Another beautiful beach.

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Ballintoy harbour

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One of several loctions in Ireland where the Game of Thrones is filmed.

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The rope bridge to the island Carrick-A-Rede. We opted to skip this tourist attraction.

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Kilbane Castle isn't in great shape. It was built in 1547 by Colla MacDonnell (Ed's mom was a MacDonnell).

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That's me at the end of the pennisula. I got my adrenaline rush by walking out to the end of the pennisula along a narrow path. I was high enough that birds were flying below me.

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The harbour at Ballycastle.

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We decided to leave the coastal road and cut cross country, which included going up a hill and seeing beautiful farms.

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The Agnew clan originated in Scotland but was also found in Northern Ireland near Larne. This is the remains of the Kilwaughter Castle which was once owned by the John Agnew.

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Ed thinking about climbing Agnew Hill --- he didn't. Agnew Hill is one of the highest hills in the area at 474 metres or just over 1500 feet.

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The token sheep photo of the day.

Leaving the Larne area we travelled south. As it was rush hour in Belfast we stuck to back roads till we were past the city. It was long before we were back in the Republic of Ireland and in the town of Drogheda for the night.