Revenge not the only thing savoured on trip
I WAS on a top secret mission to Kinvara in County Galway last week, secret in the sense that my friends over there had no idea that nine of us were landing, and that included my mate Mooney who turned up at a festival I was singing at in the Lakes in the summer.
But revenge was wonderful and savoured with a smile as he blubbed into the palms of his hands.
One surprise out of the way, time for a quick spin to the Burren next door in County Clare, to take advantage of the blue skies and T-shirt weather.
A charm of goldfinches flittered about the blackthorn bushes, as we left Kinvara, followed in order by a head of curlew, a parcel of linnets and a murder of hooded crows.
You can’t beat a collective noun to annoy your friends; it’s almost as bad as me knowing a song about almost every town in Ireland and insisting on singing them every time we pass through or see a road sign.
First stop would soon put a smile on my long-suffering buddies’ faces though, the renowned Linnanes Seafood Pub for lunch, with the prerequisite Atlantic view, half a dozen oysters, soda bread and butter, and of course, a pint of Guinness.
One of my most memorable trips to this place, once again with 10 of us, involved the young waitress coming to ask us if we were ready to order... “Yes please”, I said, “Can we have the first page?”
For a second she was unsure, but after seeing the size of us rufty-tufty rugby players, she collected the menus and went off to the kitchen and then there arrived, in no particular order, lobster, oysters, clams, crab claws, smoked salmon, scallops and much more, a feast to be sure.
Linnanes is also perfect for the birdwatcher, sitting as it does on the edge of a fierce tide race, which hourly tosses up all sorts of food for myriad birds, both on the shore and in the foam.
On this day, a gaggle of brent geese, a fling of sandpipers, a sedge of herons, a doping of sheldrakes and, this is a good one, a gulp of cormorants.
Within 10 minutes of the pub you hit the top of the Burren, an amazing escarpment of limestone, carved into a unique World Heritage Site of hidden wildflower gullies and grykes, secret gardens of orchids and gentians, hazel forests to hide a Hobbit in, and ancient dolmens, the work of master craftsman from before the Pharaohs.
As we curled back down the Corkscrew Mountain, we were just in time to catch sight of a flick of mountain hares.
‘It’s a special place indeed’
Sean Wood savoured a pint or two on his recent visit to Kinvara, in County Galway, Ireland