It may have been described as Groundhog Day, but it is still a firm favourite for our members and the weekend of 22/23 April was no exception. I’m referring of course to Ballylickey and The Seaview House Hotel event. For those travelling on the Friday we stopped in Gougane Barra, this is a great location for taking some fantastic photos of your car as the backdrop of the mountains, lake and church are ideal. Leaving Gougane Barra we drove over the gap of Keimaneigh to Bantry where we stopped to see the town market, finally arriving at the hotel at 4pm where we met up with Christie & Mary who had travelled from Galway, dinner that evening followed by an early night.
Saturday morning in bright sunshine we left and drove to meet up with the rest of the group at Baltimore Pier where we boarded the Cailin Oir, Trasna na Dtonn Go Cleire at 11.20am arriving 45 minutes later at Cape Clear Island. The island is Ireland’s southern most inhabited island. We decided it would be more prudent to eat first before walking a circuit of the island, I’m delighted to say that the fitness of our members is excellent and the mountainous terrain posed no problems with Rodney & Frances first around the course. I couldn’t help notice the relaxed views taken by the locals about such matters as NCT, Tax and other areas of bureaucracy which we on the mainland are required to take a more serious approach to. The landscape is lovely and the view of the Fastnet Rock can be seen at a number of locations as you walk around. We had lunch at Sean Rua’s and the food and service was excellent.
All of the above had been planned by our very experienced events organiser Michael .
Leaving the island at 4pm we took the ferry back to Baltimore harbour and drove back through Skibbereen passing the now famous rowing club home to the Olympic heroes the O’Donovan brothers. We arrived at the Seaview House Hotel at 5.45pm and the sun was still shining.
Since our last visit the owner Kathleen O’Sullivan who always looked after us so well has retired. We are hoping that the new owner will not change things too much and I am very pleased to say that Ronan who is Kathleen’s nephew now owns the hotel and doesn’t plan to make any radical changes, after all it’s hard to improve on perfection. We all wish Kathleen many happy years of retirement and Ronan, his wife and family every success in this new chapter in their life. A wonderful dinner was again enjoyed by all and following that we adjourned to the bar where the entertainment continued with a sing-song.
Sunday morning at 10.30am we assembled and drove to Caha Gap on the rock tunnel road to Kenmare, our first stop was the Avoca shop at Moll’s Gap and then we continued on to Muckross House and enjoyed a walk around the beautiful gardens. By now it was 1.30pm so we had lunch at Muckross, following that we all dispersed for home.
This year we had members from Dublin, Wexford, Galway and Clare on the event and we were delighted to see Christy and Mary from Galway and Pat, Louise and David with their lovely Series 3 Daimler on its first outing with us.
Once again thanks to everyone for making this a very memorable weekend and thanks to Michael for all his hard work in arranging the event which we all enjoyed immensely.
John F Sheehan