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  • Day12

    Day 12 - Gone Fishin'

    August 12, 2019 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Quite frankly it was a pretty lazy start to the day for us all. I pottered around doing my blog, whilst the others did other things, mostly basking in the sun in the front garden. A fox ran across the field, then we were joined by Rosie the Donkey & a herd of bullocks.

    It wasn’t until midday that we set out to the local town of Lismore for a walk & some shopping. We parked up in the sunshine & headed to the Lismore Tourist Information Office to enquire about pony trekking. Unfortunately the nearest stables were amazingly over an hours drive away, so that was crossed off the itinerary.

    We then embarked a walking tour of Lismore led by our guide, Chris. First stop was St Carthage’s Cathedral, which had been a Church since the 7th Century. We went in & met the cleaner, who it turned out was kept busy with a family of swallows nesting in the ceiling. It wasn’t the most attractive of Cathedrals if we are going to be brutally honest.

    We then found an outdoor handball court dating back to 1875 whereupon it started to spit with rain. We ummed & ahhed about continuing the walk & decided to go for it. It was the wrong decision, by the time we got the river bank it was pouring down. We ran for cover, dispersing in all directions.

    All thoroughly saturated we met up with each other about 20 minutes later with the rain having now stopped. The other three headed back to the town centre, but I went off in the opposite direction to a bridge that overlooked the back of Lismore Castle.

    Lismore Castle is currently owned by the Duke of Devonshire & recently hosted Charles & Camilla when they visited Ireland. The Castle has had some illustrious owners including Sir Walter Raleigh, Richard Boyle, once the richest man in Ireland & Robert Boyle, the ‘Father of Modern Chemistry’. Guests have included John F Kennedy, Fred Astaire & Adele Astaire. Sadly, only the gardens at Lismore Castle are open to the public, but at €8 a time I’m not sure whether we will visit.

    After taking several photos of the castle, I walked back up the hill to the town centre & got caught in another downpour. I took shelter & failed to make contact with the others who were in the supermarket. We met up in the Redhouse Inn for a beer & a toastie.

    After lunch, we drove to Cappoquin & drove around & around until we finally located the fishing tackle shop, which it turned out to be inside the Post Office, where the postmaster doubled up as the fishing expert as well. I bought a rod & some spinners, which we were assured would catch us some trout. As if!

    We then returned to Lismore & drove down to Ballysaggartmore Towers, where a circuitous walk took us along a woodland path of ancient oak trees for about half a mile to the Towers & Grand Lodge. Ballysaggartmore Towers were built around 1830 by notorious landlord, Arthur Keily-Ussher, as an entrance to a massive stately home he was intending to build. During the Great Famine, Keily-Ussher evicted his tenants to make way for sheep that he judged were more profitable. A group of tenants plotted to kill Keith-Ussher, but the plot failed & he had them transported to Tasmania. During the walk it poured with rain yet again, which was just not funny.

    From what I saw of Lismore, between the constant downpours, was a very attractive, spotlessly clean ‘Historic’ town built on the River Blackwater. It also had an exceptionally nice Millennium Park, with several sculptures & points of interest.

    Back at the cottage we had a cup of tea, then Chris attached a weight & a spinner to the fishing rod with some fancy complicated knots. After a few practice casts in the garden, we then marched down through the cow field towards the river. En-route we bumped into Willie digging out rocks in a field & upon seeing our rod he expressed his opinion that the river maybe too deep to catch a fish. I got the distinct impression that he thought we had not a cat in hells of catching a fish.

    Chris & I got to the river bank & muscled our way in between a couple of bullocks. Chris as teacher showed me the ropes with some ‘expert’ casts & rewinding. On around his 5th cast, Chris started reeling in & lo & behold caught a fish, which he landed on the bank. It was a small, but perfectly big enough, brown trout. WoW! A quick photo sent to the girls soon had Jackie racing down to watch two masters ply their craft!

    I had a few casts & managed to hook a few weeds, but after not too many more casts, I also had hooked a brown trout (which was fractionally bigger that Chris’)! My trout put up a tremendous fight & got caught up in the weeds, which required Chris to pull it out. I am also a bit squeamish, so Chris had to de-hook it after I had obviously had my photo taken with it, then he had to stun it with a rock to put it out of it’s misery. But I still caught the fish!

    It was now one-all & the race was on to catch the third & deciding fish. Try as we might, neither of us could land that final fish, despite trying different locations along the river bank. After an hour or so, us hunter / gatherers called it a draw & lugged our haul back to the cottage.

    Chris then gutted the fish & they were put in the oven with oranges as a starter (for 3). Once the delicious fish had been baked & eaten, Chris fired up the BBQ for sausages & burgers, whilst the girls faffed around in the kitchen, which all made for a very lovely evening meal.

    After dinner, we had a tetchy game of Cribbage, that the boys naturally won! This brought an end to the day.

    But on not such a good note during the evening, I managed to break a chunk of my tooth off whilst eating a curly-wurly & Jackie & I received the very sad news that our good friend from Doncaster, Paul Drakett, had passed away.

    Song of the Day - Gone Fishing by Chris Rea
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