Castlebridge, Co. Wexford.
Aug 6, 2013
|Wexford. The plan was to spend a few days with the brother and sister-in-law in Castlebridge doing as little as possible. After twelve weeks on the road, constantly moving from place to place, sightseeing and always looking for the next place to eat, we were both looking forward to having the opportunity of putting the feet up, raiding the fridge and understanding what was said on the TV (and watch some decent sport for a change).
Fergus was good enough to pick us up from the ferry and within half an hour we were back at their place in Castlebridge. Now, for those of you who are not familiar with Wexford, Castlebridge is a large village about 5 km north of Wexford Town. It is located near the River Slaney and just north of Wexford Harbour.
Interestingly, Castlebridge is the founding place of the Guinness World Book of Records. On 10 November 1951, Sir Hugh Beaver, then the managing director of the Guinness Breweries, went on a shooting party in the North Slob, by the River Slaney in County Wexford. He became involved in an argument over which was the fastest game bird in Europe, the Golden Plover or the grouse (the former being correct).
That evening at Castlebridge House, he realised that it was impossible to confirm in reference books whether or not the golden plover was Europe's fastest game bird. Beaver knew that there must be numerous other questions debated nightly in pubs throughout Ireland, but there was no book in the world with which to settle arguments about records. He realised then that a book supplying the answers to this sort of question might prove popular and so the idea for the book was born. Don't say you never learn anything reading this blog!
Anyway, over the next few days we took it easy. First thing we did was a load of washing. And another load, and another load. It was great to have a complete bag full of cleanclothes again.
Fergus has a boat which he keeps moored at Kilmore Quay so, on another beautiful day, and after a lunch of local fish & chips, we took it for a sail out to the Saltee Islands. There was a nice breeze blowing so it made for a great day's sailing.
There is actually quite a lot to see in Wexford. The Wexford Wildfowl Reserve, located on the mudflats (known locally as the slobs) was suprisingly interesting. It is a migratory stop-off point for thousands of ducks, geese, swans and waders where up to 12,000 (50% of the worlds population) of Greenland White-fronted Geese spend the winter. Bet you didn't know that!
Other places of note included the John F Kennedy Arboretum (his great-grandfather hailed from County Wexford after all), Duncannon Fort (you really have to see the attached museum for yourself. Mere words do not do it justice!), Johnstown Castle and much much more. Make sure you include it on your list of places to visit if you ever get to Ireland.
We also had the opportunity of catching up with Robert & Marian, old friends from Dublin. They were enjoying a week of R&R in Rosslare and we were lucky enough to meet up for a few drinks and a BBQ, even if it did rain as soon as Robert lit the BBQ! Afterwards we retired to the local golf club and performed dismally in the trivia night competition. Otherwise, we all just drank too much and had a very pleasant evening.
After so long on the road it was just what we needed. Good weather, good food and (very) good company all added up to a good rest. So after five days, with batteries fully recharged, we took off on the road again. Fergus had lent us his car so we were fully mobile (and a nice set of wheels it was too). The plan this time was to see some of the west and north of Ireland. First stop was Galway, on the mid-west coast. Stay tuned for the next update . Until then, take care and keep on having fun.
Brian & Katherine