I have just arrived, following a four-hour drive, in Westport a smallish town in County Mayo in the west of Ireland. Westport is a laid out town as opposed to, a hey let’s just stick another building here and there topsy-turvy type town. Architect James Wyatt designed it in the eighteenth century. His client was the then Lord Sligo, from nearby Westport House, who wanted a place for his tenants and workers to live.
It’s an attractive town filled with Georgian buildings, cafes, shops and oh so many pubs and B & B’s. The Carrowbeg river runs through Westport, lined on either side by low grey-granite walls and mature trees standing sentinel. Apparently Westport is very buzz-y in the summer months when tourists throng there for angling holiday and/or to explore the surrounding scenic area. It was lively even on a crisp early January day, in sharp contrast to the other Sunday-hibernated towns I drove through en route.
Normally when I arrive somewhere new the first things I do is to seek out the best coffee shop. Not today. I will soon be back in the car to drive the last few miles to what will be my home from home for the next six days. It is a health retreat centre and in preparation I have eschewed coffee, alcohol, and red meat this past week.
There is no Wi-Fi at the centre and in keeping with its ethos guests are asked to be as disconnected as possible from their wired life during their stay. So there will be no blog posts for a whole week. I hope I still have some readers left when I next check the blog!