Ireland – my PGS rocks!

I’m in Ireland now.

I’ll keep writing about The Portuguese Camino as things present themselves to me. But I just wanted to share with you an extraordinary example of how my PGS works.

This happened today.

Okay, first the backstory: Jennifer and I had gone two full days without coffee. Unbelievable, right? But true.

The coffee at one place we’d stayed at was totally undrinkable, so we had tea. The next morning we left early, skipped breakfast, and later couldn’t find a decent coffee place.

The last coffee we’d had was at the Cafe Agriamo in Santiago.

I’m a three-double-espresso-a-morning-before-I-can-function guy. So you can imagine the withdrawal I was going through. This morning, the need for coffee had become nothing less than hand-trembling desperate. I was slurring my speech and my vision was becoming impaired.

We were in Cork, a beautiful Irish town on the south coast of Ireland.

Cork riverOne of the reasons I’d come to Cork was because it has a very famous food and produce market – the English Market. The Lonely Planet Guide calls it a National Treasure. Rick Stein featured it in one of his tv shows. I really wanted to go to this market, and there was a cafe there called the Farmgate Cafe, reputed to be fantastic for breakfasts.

My plan was to have breakfast in this cafe and have a decent cup of coffee.

We were staying in a guest house about 2.5kms from the market, so we set off early to walk in. After about a kilometre, I saw a cafe.

Should we stop and have a quick coffee? I asked myself. My need for a coffee fix was verging on the pathetic.

No. There’s not that much further to walk, I said to myself. And you can have a great coffee at the Farmgate Cafe at the English Markets. It’ll be worth waiting for. 

We got to a lane which would lead us to the markets. There was another coffee shop on the corner of this lane. I had the same internal conversation. No, I said to myself. Wait. Have patience. The English Market is just up the lane and around the corner. You’ll get far better coffee there. 

I’d actually walked down this lane the previous night. Jennifer had decided to stay in and have an early night. I’d gone out alone looking for a meal, and discovered a terrific little restaurant. I very much wanted to show it to her.

But for some reason I walked right past – even though there was a sign up pointing towards the English Market.

I knew there was another lane running parallel, and for some reason this lane “called to me.”

I don’t know how I can describe my usage of PGS other than to say things “call to me.” Ways to go, paths to follow, things to do, people to talk to – sometimes they call to me, other times they don’t.

This parallel lane called to me. The two cafes we’d already passed hadn’t called to me. The English Markets were calling to me.

English Markets entrance

We walked up this lane. It was nondescript, and uninteresting. it seemed like it was a delivery lane for stores that had their shopfronts on the other lane I’d walked down last night. The more interesting lane, where the restaurant was.

But this lane called to me.

About 100m from the end of the lane, I saw a little cafe on the corner.

It called to me.

On impulse, I said to Jennifer: Let’s have coffee here.

She looked at me oddly. Why? she said. The English Markets are just around the corner.

And they were. We were probably no more than 250m from the English Markets, and from the Farmgate Cafe. The fabulous place to have breakfast.

Still this little coffee shop called to me.

Jennifer knows now not to argue with my PGS, so we walked inside.

The cafe was a tidy little place – not very crowded, with baskets of scones and cakes on the counters.


We ordered coffees – she a latte, and me a cappuccino. Double strength.

latte cappucino

From the first sip I knew this was good coffee.

From the second sip I knew this was great coffee.

We had scones, and they were still warm. Freshly baked. With local butter and home-made jam, they were delicious.

We paid the bill, and we walked out. And then Jennnifer asked if I’d known.

Known what? I said.

Look – and she pointed to all these plaques outside the cafe attesting to it being an award winning coffee shop.

Idaho Cafe ext closer Idaho Cafe plaques

Curious, I went back inside. The owner was a bloke named Richard. I told him the coffee was great, and asked about the awards.


He told me they’d been winning awards since they first opened thirteen years ago, and just this year the Restauranteurs Association had voted the cafe the best coffee shop in all of Ireland.

Not Cork – Ireland.

I was stunned.

My PGS had led me to the best coffee shop in all of Ireland.

We walked into the English Markets, and the Farmgate Cafe was shut.

My PGS rocks!!

English Markets




23 thoughts on “Ireland – my PGS rocks!

    • Lynda, you’re so right and keep up trying to assimilate some Aussie slang. I can attest from my 40 years here that it’s an endless learning curve, always interesting, never boring and some times totally intriguing!!


  1. Dia duit, BIll and Jennifer… you do know that Irish Breakfast Tea is almost as stark and strong a brew as coffee…. love the pictures and the story behind it. Now, if I were your PGS, I would kind of kick you a bit in the “you know where”, for someone who coined the word and lives by it, it surprises me that you are still surprised…. 😉 Ingrid


  2. Your PGS does rock! I love it when you write stories (posts, whatever) like this one. I can literally feel your glee. It’s infectious! Glad you and Jen are having such a wonderful trip! Hugs! Julie


    • Hey Steve, it’s just crazy, but as soon as we arrived in Ireland we were told that we’d get rain the whole time – especially on the west coast, but it hasn’t rained at all since we got here. Not one day. Just lucky I guess!

      Hope you and Arlene are having a wonderful time in Santiago. You’ve been taking some lovely pics. With your iPhone? 🙂


      • Been finding indoor games as it has rained a good portion of every day, but making the most of it. What’s the alternative? Grumbling? No thanks. Heading to bus station this morning to guarantee a bus ride to Porto on Sunday. Be so glad to get on a plane Monday that i dont even mind it is at 6 AM.

        Glad you are having a good time and good weather, but of course you are. Miss you. No one else seems interested in taking my picture. Just when i was feeling special.


  3. … another Aussie-ism, Steve, ‘diddems’!! I guess, meaning you ‘poor, pathetic pet, who needs someone to tell him he’s special’. From having read your blog and your contributions to Bill’s blog, we all know you’re not any of that, so I hope the sun shines and perks you up for your return journey! 🙂 Britta


  4. Oh! I laughed out loud! What a great story. Don’t doubt your PGS!
    (I am so glad you are continuing to blog. I so enjoy reading of your adventures. And you certainly have a way of writing! Thank you, thank you.)
    Coming to Washington state on your trip to the US? Let me know!

    Fran H


    • haha – thanks Fran! Yes it was a funny story.

      We could in fact be coming to Washington State. The purpose of the trip is to raise the finance for the film on PGS, and I believe there are some possible investors up there. So I’ll let you know. You can contact me on if you do wish to meet up. If we go up there (and Jennifer is coming) then it would be lovely to meet! Bill

      Liked by 1 person

          • Right now in Puyallup about twenty-thirty minutes south of Seattle. Have lived in Maple Valley and North Bend (Twin Peaks series & movie) over the last few years. Would love to meet you and Jen and the others from Eastern Washington.


          • Hi Lynda – that would be great, if the schedule allows for it. The priority is to speak to potential investors about the PGS film.

            Let me know if you can think of anyone in your area who might be interested…



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