This would prove to be an especially exciting day! We awoke in the castle and headed down to the formal dining room to have our breakfast complete with hot chocolate for the kiddos. At breakfest we met the boat captain who offers tours of the lake and he talked us into a delighful one hour boat tour. We had to be back on shore by noon sharp because we had a special appointment at 12:30.
The tour lasted an hour and The Princess even got a chance to steer the ship. Those of you who have watched John Ford and John Wayne’s Quite Man will recognize the name Inisfree!
The next stop was the school of falconry.
The Captain it would be cool if we scheduled our own falconry lesson for the family. While I personally wouldn’t have chosen this activity, I wasn’t against the idea and booked it. It turned out to be one of the best experiences of the whole trip.
We worked with Red Tail Hawks, not Falcons. It seems these hocks do better with people they don’t know because unlike
Falcons and most other birds of prey the Red Tails hunt in groups. Another funny thing about this bird, is that it’s from the American Southwest not Ireland. And when we got home to America and we’re visiting the Las Vegas Springs preserve we actually saw a plaque about the Redtailed Hawk!
Our guide was delightful and gave us an almost 90 minute course on the Hawks, other birds, and falconry in general. He was truly passionate about the subject and a delight with which to work.
Everyone (both Cinco and The Princess) held the hawks and took a turn sending them out to hunt. I think the kiddos were a little nervous at first, but they never shied away from the birds even one. The hawks were named after famous Irish writers– Wilde and Stoker. Our guide told them apart based on the color of their claws (something I never really got the hang of in our 90 minute lesson.)
Post hawking it was time for a walk of the grounds. Including a number of hidden gardens.
Next stop was a stroll into town for a little something to eat. A pretty good day, I’d say