I’m just coming off of almost two weeks up in Lake Tahoe. Nohea and I were up there with Jim timing the Lake Tahoe Marathon and the XTERRA USA Championship races. We had a blast getting to trip around the lake and see everything we missed the first time we were there 4 years ago. I’ll post a more complete recap (with pictures) soon!
So we’re in Roundstone, County Galway right now, on our second day. Tomorrow we head north to County Mayo. We’re near Connemara, which is absolutely beautiful scenery. I know there’s a drinking song about the “Hills of Connemara”, and I’m sure it fits.
Yesterday we went and saw Dun Aonghas on Inishmore (one of the Aran Islands) which was very cool, and the day before we saw the Cliffs of Moher. The scenery here in this part of Ireland is amazing, and I wish I could share some of the photos with you. I really wish I had my own laptop; it would really make the process easier. Nohea and I were reviewing the photos earlier today, and are managing to thin down the 1000 some photos we took on her camera down to 850 or so.
More to come later, cheers!
So I haven’t posted nearly as often as I wanted to. Internet cafes are a bit hard to come by when you’re staying in campsites, and jaunting around the country-side looking at every castle, church, or ruin that comes our way.
It’s been a blast so far, and I’ll try to go thru a quick recap (and add links and photos in when I get back).
Day 1: Dublin
Aer Lingus (or United, according to them) lost Chris’ clothes bag, and said they’d deliver it to our hostel later. That never happened, and last we heard they had no idea where the bag was. The rental car was way more expensive than we originally thought it was going to be (insurance is something like 27 euro per day, which credit cards don’t cover when you’re in Ireland like they do when you’re in the States).
So we drove downtown, parked in a garage near the hostel, and set out to see Trinity College and the Book of Kells. Then we hit the National Museum of Ireland, walked a bunch more around town, then back to the hostel at around 3-4pm and everyone fell asleep.
Day 2: Dublin
Saw The Spire, which was part of the Milennium project. Walked by Temple Bar, then visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Amazing building. Then it was off to see Dublin Castle, and then down to the Guinness Brewery. Great trip thru there, lovely view from the top (the inside of the brewery is shaped like a pint glass, but it’s hard to explain). Then we saw the Dublin City wall and gates (from 1240ad) and headed back to the car and drove down to Wicklow.
Day 3: Wicklow
Powerscourt Gardens & Waterfall (very nice), then thru Sally Gap, Glenmacnass Waterfall, Glendalough Abbey (supposedly “romantic ruins” really weren’t), then to Fethard-on-sea for our campsite.
Day 4: New Ross
Saw a reproduction of a boat that took people from Ireland during the Potato Famine, then Jerpointe Abbey, the Waterford Crystal Factory, then bought the best strawberries evar from the side of the road, then Lismore Castle, then our campsite for the night at Blackwater Valley in Fermoy (best campsite evar!). We finally ate at a pub that night; Charlie Brown’s!
Day 5: Cahir Castle
Drove back to Lismore Castle (the lighting had been bad for photos the prior afternoon), then to Cahir Castle (which was awesome), and then the Rock of Cashel (also awesome), and finally Mitchelstown Caverns, before driving back thru Fermoy into Cork to stay at Jasmine Villas Caravan park.
Day 6: Sunday
I guess everyone is in church on Sunday morning, or nursing hangovers, because everything was closed until 11am in Cork! We managed to find breakfast, then drive to Fota Wildlife Park (lots of cheetahs!), then to Blarney Castle, but I was the only one who kissed the stone (everyone else was grossed out), then we met up with friend-of-a-friend Peter for pints at the Franciscan Well (an out-of-the-way pub that brewed their own beer, good stuff). Then we grabbed some Dominos Pizza, and headed to the campsite.
Day 7: Cork Peninsula
Mizen Head lighthouse, and then thru Healy Pass (where we stopped at least twice to climb the hills on the side of the road), then down a dodgey road on the Beara Peninsula (at some point we had to pull over to let a herd of cattle pass by us on the road). We stopped at some sea cave/tunnels, where Chris N. jumped into the (freezing) North Atlantic. We ended up at the Dursey Island cable car, which was making it’s last trip back for the day, and I tried to get trampled by a herd of sheep being chased by a sheepdog. That night we stayed at Hungry Hill, and ate (and drank) at the pub attached to the campsite (or vice-versa).
Day 8: Kilarnee
Headed BACK over Healy Pass for some more photos (and to let me drive the fun and windy road), then north to Kilarnee National Park, where we rode in a jaunting car (Irish Draft Horses are big), saw lots of butterflies, and I made everyone go on a long hike around the lake there (the signs lied about the distance, but we read somewhere that it was around an 8 mile hike, even tho the signs said it was only 11km). Saw an old weir bridge, Torc waterfall, and shopped at the gift shop. Then we drove to Kerry and stayed at Anchor Caravan Park.
Day 9: Limerick
Which brings us to today. We’re in Limerick to visit the ATMs and get Internet access. From here we head up to the Cliffs of Moer, and stay on the south side of Galway Bay. Tomorrow we’re supposed to try to meet up with Nohea and Dawn’s parents, but we’ll see.
Till next time, cheers!
So I finally figure out a clever use for this blog that I’ve had tucked away on my site for a while now. I’m going to post updates about my Ireland trip as often as I can… And as soon as I start sending photos to my phone to my email, I’ll post those as well.
So our trip started out of Kona on Sunday afternoon, and we flew non-stop to Chicago, where we arrived at 6:30am. I didn’t get any sleep on the flight over, so it was around bedtime when we landed. We left the airport and got on the tram-subway thing they have, and headed downtown to meet up with Anton. We wlked out to a big aquarium out there, only to find it was closed until 9:30. So we ventured off looking for someplace to eat. We walked along the waterfront to a big metal sculpture, and a chrome plated kidney looking thing (I apoloigize that I don’t remember the name of anything i did the other day, it was at this point that I came down with a fever and all I remember was wishing I didn’t have to walk anymore). We stopped and got breakfast, then headed back to the aquarium to meet Anton, who was still driving in from whatever cornfield town he lives in (his words, not mine).
The aquarium was very cool, lots of nifty sealife, and it was good to see Anton and family again. I have to congratulate him on getting married, and on his beautiful baby, and his baby on the way. Unfortunately, we didn’t have long to spend with them, as we had to get back on the tram and head back to the airport (about an hour’s trip) to board our plane to Dublin.
Air Lingas is by far the best airline I’ve been on. Not only are their seats made by Recaro (a company that makes seats for race cars) but they’ve got an LCD screen with TV, Movies, and music on demand. Altho, the food wasn’t much to celebrate, it was better than having to buy your food (thank you, United).
We arrived in Dublin at 5:30am, picked up our car, and headed into the city center to find the car park next to our hostel. At this point, everyone was pretty tired, but we couldn’t check in until 2:30pm, so we wandered until we found a place to eat (somewhat underwhelming, but the tea was good). Then we walked over to Trinity College and saw the Book of Kells (very cool), over to the National Museum to see some of their cool artifacts (and to kill time at this point). Then we headed back to the hostel at around 3pm, and Nohea and I passed out until we all woke up at 5am.
So, fun so far. We’re heading off to the Guinness factory later today, and the Dublin Castle, then we’re heading south. Not sure how far we’ll get, but I’ll post again as often as I can.
And I apologize if there are spelling errors, the font size on this computer is locked and I can hardly read what I’m typing.