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Thurles & Surprise Hike

June 17, 2008

Deb & Rick Atop Silvermines

corey says…On Saturday, I took Liam’s mom, Pat, into Thurles for a bit of an outing. It was a good town for her because it wasn’t as busy as Nenagh and it didn’t require as much walking. Her knee was still bothering her from her fall and that was causing some back pain for her.

We had a great day popping in and out of the shops. Then we stopped at Quiggley’s Bakery to have tea and scones. From there I connected up to the internet and got some work done while she read and people-watched. We both quite enjoyed the day.

Then we went to the Hayes Hotel for their carvery lunch…meal was okay, but not the best I had there.

On the way home we called in to Tony and ate pizza and drank whiskey with him. It was great fun. Then it was back to Doree to Liza’s cottage for the night.

On Sunday, we went to mass at Curreeny Church. It was an anniversary mass for the mother of one of Liam’s neighbors. Liam’s cousin Anna Mae sat with us and after mass we chatted for a moment with the neighbor whose mother the mass was being said.

Anna Mae insisted we come down for tea after mass. We headed back to Knockahopple road. I stopped at Liam’s to water the flowers and give Anna Mae a chance to get ready for visitors.

Once there, we had tea and Anna Mae’s homemade rhubarb tart with cream. Oh it was wonderful. Mehal (Anna Mae’s husband) was there, and the two of them told us the stories Tony had told them the night before about his runaway nun guests. Anna Mae and Mehal were in cahoots with Tony and exaggerated the tale a bit to shock another neighbor, Tom. Somehow, the story went that these two visitors were hiking the valley with their tops off and running into the surf in County Waterford with no pants…Tony could hardly handle these buck-wild ex-nuns! With all three corroborating the story, Tom was left believing every word…oh, the craic on the mountain can be quite colorful.

After a trip to town, we were back at Liza’s for the night.

On Monday morning, I dropped Pat off with Anna Mae for them to have a “girls day,” and I took Liam’s guests on a hike up the Silvermines Ridge. Deb and Rick had been itching to get outdoors after spending two roadtrip days enjoying the Cliffs of Moher/the Burren and then Waterford Crystal/Lismore/The Vee.

The day was brisk, slightly cloudy, but dry…perfect for hiking. We spent a good four hours on the ridge and ate a picnic lunch at the top. While we did this, unbeknownst to Rick and Deb, Liam was busy setting up a special anniversary gift from Deb’s mother. Champagne, Waterford Crystal goblets and cards from their daughters. Meanwhile a spread of fruit, cheese, meats and wine from Liam/Knockahopple Cottage. The couple was touched…and were especially surprised that our hike was all a front for something especially for their anniversary.

Liam then left them at the cottage to enjoy their gifts with a message he repeated at least three times, “I won’t be back until between ten and eleven,” wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Liam and I headed to Tony’s to catch up with him. We had a great visit sitting by his fire and just relaxing. Tony showed us pictures from his recent travels with the runaway nuns (no, they were never nuns…just nurses). I was heading to get my laptop from the car and when I opened the door, our friend Eddie was outside with his truck and trailer…he was unloading top soil for Tony’s new raised flower beds.

Liam and I observed as Eddie and his co-worker Andak unloaded the soil…Tony pushed around some dirt with a spade. Eddie and Andak came in for a beer…and Andak was given a hard time for having celebrated a bit heavily for his birthday this weekend. Then, Liam and I headed up to Knockahopple to pick up Liam’s mom. We visited with Anna Mae and Mehal for a bit and then took a drive to Nenagh to get 99s (ice cream) before returning Liam to his guests.

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