Ghosts, stories and a pint in Kinsale
Trip Start Sep 02, 2010
19Trip End Sep 18, 2010
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We woke up with a big day of driving today as we had to get to Kells Priory, hit Castle Leap and then head on down to Kinsale for our night at Friar's Lodge. I am trying this now from our room at Friars Lodge and unfortunately they only offer internet access in the lobby and until 9pm. Not thrilled about that. So this will be posted a day later or so. So we said our goodbyes to Ann Marie and Mark and Conner and we really liked them a lot. Soon on the road, we found out that Kells is very close to Lawcus and we were there in 15 mins flat! And it was amazing. Very much like Jerpoint, but in its natural condition and not enhanced by the Irish Government – meaning that it was very natural and in bad shape. They had some scaffolding around, but for the most part we had full reign of the grounds and by ourselves.
On way into the ruins, we were surrounded by sheep and we ran into farmers driving their Toyota Corolla across the grounds beeping their horn to round up the sheep
Well, we turned into a very well appointed mannor that was attached to the 'side' of Leap Castle. There was PRIVATE RESIDENCE signs everywhere - surely this must be it. Where was Sean Ryan? So we parked way down in a very nice car port walked up to the front door of the manor and saw an old man sitting in the chair – not moving and looking at the wall and just staring – and freaked Ginger and I out
We knocked and an old man who looked like an ex-hippie answered. He was a bit odd and made Ginger nervous. But he was very nice and spoke to us all about the history of the grounds and Ireland in general. Ginger and I were very careful not to push asking him questions about it being haunted as he and his family lived there. The insides were decorated with a TON of junk and artifacts from around the world and just had a weird vibe about it. So finally he gave us a tour – and only showed us 3 rooms and all up a very creepy stone staircase. First was the lower level. Then the Pastors Room (with a creepy small balcony and painting with a hole punched through it) and then finally the Chapel room – which was the scariest with hay on floor and shadows that just moved on the walls for no reason
At the end, he was nice enough to speak about all the TV shows that have come by to do paranormal investigations and what they found – but he did not speak specifically on the lore or myths surrounding the castle. During the tour, he mentioned that he played the Tin Whistle and was very good. He traveled all over the world and plays at a local pub with a band. Before you knew it, he pulled out his tin whistle from his satchel and played us a song – which I recorded indiscreetly. In the end, it was a weird tour, but again the hospitality of the locals really shined through. We said our goodbyes and wished him well and sped off for the next 2.5 hour drive to Kinsale and it was already 230pm
Our route lead us through Cork, but before we got there – we saw some of the most beautiful green landscapes and blue/dark grey skies. We tried to capture some of this by camera, and I am not sure it will do it justice. So the Fiat was cruising at a pretty good little clip – about 140kph (or 80mph) and cars will still passing by me like I was standing still. All was fine until we hit the outskirts of Cork which came to a standstill. The lights were very quick to change and really played with my nerves. We finally made it through Cork and we were on our way. We only had about 16km to go and half way there on the road into Kinsale – when Lucy (our TomTom voice) said to turn right. I did – Ginger protested and we were on this VERY small back road and we were very confused. Turn right. Turn left. Turn right after a tree. Turn right again. And blammo – we ended up on the backside of Kinsale right at the doorstep of our hotel!
So we showed up and checked in. Once again, we skipped lunch and pints as we were too far out of our final destination or I simply did not want to drink up and drive 2 hours. The good news is that all the pubs are in walking distance to our room. Our room was ok – I knew it would be a little dated, but the price in Kinsale could not be matched
Needless to say, we napped for 30 mins and ran straight to the Tap Tavern. We saw the group we were going with on the tour and we met a nice couple from Austin/San Antonio. Also, in our group was a couple who really defined 'american tourist’. He wore a Pittsburg Steelers shirt and she laughed at everything and very loudly. Ginger and I kept our voices down to a minimum is that we did not get lulled into their chat sessions. Needless to say, this ghost tour rocked our night. I was just two actors who played it up with humor – so it was not a serious affair here – but good storytelling and great acting. It was very funny as one guy would hide somewhere in the dark and jump out in costume and act out a part of a story. Really well done and very Monty Python like. Plus we got to see the town of Kinsale which is a very midevil town and Ginger wants to buy property there now. Calls will be made when we return to the US. We turned in at 11pm for the night as we need to leave tomorrow for Kenmare and coastal fun!