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Kanye and Kim Kardashian follow us to Castlemartyr Resort

Writers and artists are invariably ahead of the curve. The rich and the famous are usually just one step behind. Case in point: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are spending their honeymoon at Castlemartyr Resort, a five-star extravaganza in the south of Ireland. We read about this in today's Toronto Star. As it happens, I spent a bit of time at this resort with Sheena -- who took the photo above -- two seasons ago. Spring, 2012. We were about to embark on a voyage around Ireland with Adventure Canada (AC), the Ontario-based travel company. In Dublin, we learned that our ship had been delayed by stormy seas. We would not be able to board near Cork on schedule . The folks at AC's head office made some calls. They located Castlemartyr, which could accommodate an influx of 80 or 90 people on short notice, and cut a deal. We did not arrive in "a fleet of limousines," as Kanye and Kim are said to have done, but rather in a couple of buses. But when we tumbled out, wow! We knew we had come to the right place. At the link above, or from Tourism Ireland, you can read about the golf, the horses, the fine dining. But what we enjoyed most, apart from the splendiferous grounds, and learning about the history of the place, was the heated pool. The water is ozone-treated, apparently, and as I dutifully did my lengths, I swear I felt it caressing me. Oh, and the pool is surrounded by two-storey glass windows with stunning views of the magnificent gardens. No, we did not stay in the presidential suite, where Kanye and Kim are holed up. But our huge suite was perfectly adequate for our needs, thank you very much. We had toyed with the idea of returning to Castlemartyr Resort, but now that the rich and the famous have discovered it, probably we won't. Someone has to maintain that cutting edge.

Ken McGoogan
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Before turning mainly to books about arctic exploration and Canadian history, Ken McGoogan worked for two decades as a journalist at major dailies in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. He teaches creative nonfiction writing through the University of Toronto and in the MFA program at King’s College in Halifax. Ken served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, has written recently for Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic, and Maclean’s, and sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian. Based in Toronto, he has given talks and presentations across Canada, from Dawson City to Dartmouth, and in places as different as Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Hobart.