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Ronan's report


Monday 13th April, 2009

Yes there really was a Prince at Latohead and apparently he was a bit of a womaniser, drunk and a gambler. I suspect he may also have been a flyfisher. And when he was Prince Latohead he grew wine. He lost Latohead in a game of cards. I don't know any more that, and although it sounds like I just made it up, I can assure you that it's all true. And Prince Latohead returns!

So this week, hopefully, we'll own a strip of Latohead, where we can build a cabin, start the first Sexyloops flyfishing school, grow very high quality wine and fish the Drava for Asp. It's taken a long while because there are some unusual laws here regarding land sales. For the last two weeks neighbours and family have had the opportunity to buy the land we negotiated hard for. So that's been interesting. Another interesting fact is here in Hungary foreigners can't buy agricultural land (Babus is the purchaser) and every piece of land had a crown value - Latohead is 7.5 gold crowns, from memory - and no citizen can own more than 3000 gold crowns. So that's a challenge.

Anyway it's a bit of a change for me, going from living in a car for 15 years to becoming a Capitalist - or Capitilist as my Grandfather used say - my Grandfather was a Socialist who grew up in Glasgow and attended Communist Sunday School, where they sang “There'll be pie in the sky when you die…” and that's fine by me. I've always had a long term plan/wish to have a little bit of Eden somewhere that I can grow potatoes. I guess that means I must be coming into my prime. And about bloody time, that's what I say.

Ultimately of course we plan to build many Latoheads. I think a Latohead in BC/Alberta would be perfect. Another near West Yellowstone, Montana. Maybe Latohead Spain. And of course Latohead New Zealand. This could be a step in our plans for world domination.

Latohead Latohead is stone's throw to the river, through the Hungarian Drava National Park which borders the bottom of the property. I can be there in less than ten minutes, quicker if I jump. The Drava River - in this section anyway - is one of the most unspoilt waterways in Central Europe - or so everyone tells me. We camped on the Drava last year a number of times, in fact I fell into the Drava one night, pulling in a new found friend with me. It's a beautiful river, it's a big river, the banks are wild and one of the most interesting looking spots to fish is pretty much at the bottom of the hill. The difficult access on this side of the river means that it's not fished very hard. It's a really interesting river. The other side is Croatia.

Fishing opens May 1. Now I'm told the river is going to be dirty, but there are other fishing options locally. There's Lake Geykenyes which is a famous lake in these parts for giant catfish, but there are also carp, pike and asp. Lake Geykenyes - actually there's about five lakes - are deep and very clean lakes. We swim in them during summer when they reach 25 or 26 degrees. And there are some other lakes even closer - a three minute drive - with black bass which I should be able to fish, because the son of the current land owner leases these lakes and wants to learn to flyfish… and I love fishing for Bass!

So very exciting times. Good fishing, lots of wild fishing, and a just breathtaking view. Hopefully we can set up a couple of schools midsummer. I have two weeks to build the cabin, install a toilet, lighting - we're considering solar - a shower, a terrace, beat back the jungle at the bottom of the hill, and tie Asp flies.

Today is Easter Monday, which is one of my favourite days in Hungary because I get to throw a bucket of cold water over Babus and she gives me money in return. I'll be posting pictures later. I love these traditional local customs!

It's pretty hot here at the moment, daytime temps are averaging around 26 degrees, apparently this is the hottest Spring in Hungary for 100 years. Which you could celebrate if you didn't know about global warming.

Finally Daniel asked me last week how the training was going. Really well Daniel. Mostly running at the moment, have a marathon to race in June, the Ironman in August, and I've just got the Marc Machine out. I start the morning with either a 20K run or a 10K run and a 40K bike. Getting fast too!

Mad times. See you on the Board!

Cheers,
Paul


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