Another Irish day beginning with an early run in the dark morning as I explored the small (narrow!) country roads outside Ballygawley. Again, there are very few cars out and about in the wee morning hours so I didn’t have to worry about scaling any stone walls or hedges to avoid oncoming traffic. The only signs of early morning life were the outlines of a few horses in the fields and the wafts of peat and coal smoke from the occasional house.
Arthur and I watched the sunrise as we ate breakfast overlooking the mountains and grounds of our hotel. No rain to start the day (for a change) and we made our way to our first school performance in the day in the town of Cloonacool, a 30 minute drive away. It was a lovely welcoming and we had actually played for this 80 student school on two previous tours. They had been anxious to host us again, remembered us well, and were a delightful group. We couldn’t linger for tea time today though since we had an hour’s drive to scoot south and set up for a larger school, Scoil Raifteiri, in County Mayo. This was a school that had also hosted our show on a previous tour. It was a large group of 220 students and we were enthusiastically greeted. By the time that we left the school, 3 hours later, we had had a very fun performance for them and 3 tea times!
After another 3 hours of driving, with a few stops to take pictures of castles and a detour through the Burrens, we arrived in the small town of Ballyvaughan, on the west coast just south of Galway. Accompanied by rain for most of our drive, we were happy to land and settle into our cozy countryside B&B overlooking the sea. A late fireside dinner of delicious local mussels, crab claws and fishcakes in Monk’s Pub next door made for a perfect end to our day.
We thought, “who could ask for more … our fun and rewarding work of performing Celtic Rathskallion shows, delightful Irish hospitality, beautiful scenery (rain and all), wonderful food and accommodations, and each other.” The only thing more might be a ‘pot of gold’ at the bottom of one of those triple rainbows! :-)