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We left home 9.15 am, and reached the lunch stop at 11.30am after a good journey so far. Weather was good until we got into Wales then we hit rain, we reached Swansea about 4pm, we went into Sainsburys and had a meal there about 5.15pm after that there was just a short while to wait before we had to go to the docks to pick up the ferry. It was much easier boarding the ferry than last year, it was a 10 hour trip so we had a cabin. We docked at 7.30am.


Richard and some other members were there to meet us. We then drove to the breakfast stop and had breakfast bought for us by the club which was very nice of them. We then made our way to Killarney, stopping at a restored flour mill the grounds were very nice with the mill race you could go in and look aroun the mill but we did not have enough time. Back on the road again we made another stop as richard left us to hand over the lead to Shaun who tok us on to the Castle Ross Hotel at Killarney. We had lunch and then we were able to get into our rom to get settled in and have a rest, the room was very nice and comfortable. We then went int Killarney to have our evening meal and when we came back into the hotel we bumped into Nial and he invited us to join them at the Committee Meeting which was interesting and gave us an insight into how the club functioned and we met some of the other members. Dan was elected as Chairman once again. We slept well that night.


Today is the big run, we were given our instructions and the route etc. after breakfast and we assembled in the coach park for some photographs etc. We had mislaid our camera so Dudley had to go back to the hotel to get it but could not find it so we had to buy a disposable one for the day. From the hotel driveway we turned right towards Killarney town as we were going on a waterbus on Lough Leane at Ross Castle. It was a lovely trip despite the rain, we then went to Muchrosse House for lunch, after that we went to a beautiful spot called Ladies View and spent some time shopping and some of them had refreshments and we went back through the mountains which was wild, lonely but a bit scary. The mountain roads or passes were very narrow and rough in places. It was a very enjoyable day and we returned to the hotel at 6pm so that we could get ready for the Gala dinner and entertainment with presentations. The meal was very nice after that we all went into Mulligans Bar for the presentations and prizes. The men were presented with a teapot beautifully inscribed for the event and for the ladies a lovely glass penholder these were presented to us by Billy Coleman an ex-rally driver for Lotus Cortinas MK 1. I was able to give my speech about Simon's web site and give out his business cards. Then came the entertainment which consisted of a group of youngsters playing traditional folk music while others performed Irish dancing also poems and funny stories recited and then some members of the Cortina Club took it in turn to perform in their own particular way. The whole of evening was hosted by Dan Lucey who made a wonderful job of it. It was a very enjoyable and memorable evening.


We had a leisurely breakfast and then we went to the car park to take some photographs and chatted we said goodbye to some of the members who were going home. I got the Cortina chair that simon wanted from Richard and paid him and then we spent some time talking to Dan and some others, then it came onto rain very heavily so we had to make a dash for our cars, when the rain had cleared we decided to go off to Killarney shopping and possibly go on the jaunty car, but when we got into the town it can on to rain again, by then it was lunch time so we drove to Ross Castle in the pouring rain. It did not stop raining so we decided to go back to the Hotel and rest as Dudley wanted to go to the leisure centre for a swim and then we got ready for an evening out at the theatre at the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney, s we met the others in our Hotel at 7.30pm and then went off at 8pm. The show was the premier of Legend of the Night which was performed by a group of young dancers and one singer, the youngest being just 10 years old, who were excellent and it was really a marvellous show and we enjoyed the evening very much.


Today saw us departing after a leisurely breakfast packed and paying our bill at the Hotel. We then left to make our way back to Cork to pick up the ferry. Leaving Killarney we drove first to Kenmare, then on to Ballydehop stopping for lunch at Bantry, then Skibbereen where we stopped and had a look round and bought some Shamrock mugs, then on to Leap, Carbony and Clonacitty. We were just passing through a place called Ballyinascathy when Dudley stopped to let some traffic by and he spotted across the road a pub called the Henry Ford Tavern, so he went across the road to take some photos and over there was a model of the Ford T car done in Stainless Steel to mark the Millenium. There was a chap standing there so Dudley spoke to him and he told him all about it, then we went into the pub which had pictures all around the walls of cars mainly the Mark 1. Dudley took some photos of inside the pub and then we had some soup and a cup of tea. We left there and then passed through Bandon, Inishannon, Ballyinhassie and then on to Ringaskiddy which is the port where we picked up the ferry. We arrived with about half an hour to spare before embarking. The boat sailed at 9pm and we docked at 7am the next morning at Swansea.


We got off the ferry about 8am at Swansea. It looked very dark and grey and wet, so we made our way to Sainsburys to have breakfast and do some shopping. It rained all the time whilst we were in Wales and then after that the weather improved until we got home. We were very tired after such a long journey but we had a jolly good time so that made up for it. We are both looking forward to going back next year to Galway all being well.


The village of Ballinascathy was where Henry Ford's grandfather William Ford lived in a bothy type cottage, which has since been knocked down and he lived there until 1847 when he want to America. For the future they hope to open a Museum and have other attractions in the village as they do get a lot of visitors throughout the summer to take photos etc. Fords had a factory in Cork which originally made tractors then cars of which from 1972 Cortina was one of the models made there, the factory closed in 1984 due to economic reasons.

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