Get ready for a lot of pictures!! On our way to the Dingle Peninsula from Killarney, we made our way through the Gap of Dunloe through the mountains in Killarney National Park. This is probably so far the most spectacular sight I’ve seen. It may have been due to the weather, since it was sunny, but it was like being in a very beautiful dream. Actually, I don’t think I’m even capable of dreaming things that beautiful. The road was really small (barely big enough for one car in most spots), but the rock faces, bridges, small reservoirs and waterfalls made it worth the small panic of coming upon another car. There were really tiny shoulders on the road every once and a while which were used to pass.
After going through the pass we were headed on to Dingle! We’d heard the Dingle Peninsula and its Slea Head Drive is one of the best drives in Ireland so we had to check that out. More small roads with spectacular sights!!
Next we headed to the town of Dingle itself, and stayed in this really awesome hostel (my favorite so far) called The Hideout Hostel. It had more of a bed and breakfast feel, and the people there were really friendly. We met a lot of well-traveled new friends and it was great hearing their stories.
We went out with a few other travelers to the local pubs. The first was to Dick Mack’s. It was an old shoe shop turned into a pub that was recommended by one of Chad’s old travel mates.
It was really interesting to learn that they had small areas on the side of each bar, that both contained small windows for ordering into the bar, and were close to each door outside. They were for women to come in and enjoy a drink prior to when they allowed women in the main pub. The locals said that women from that era used to still use those spaces to chat even after they were allowed in the main area.
I’ve noticed almost every pub we’ve been in has a fire going somewhere.
The other pub we visited was called An Droichead Beag/The Small Bridge. They had fantastic trad (traditional Irish music) that I wish would have continued all night!
Most hostels we’ve been at have bread and jam and coffee or tea for a light breakfast, but this one had all of those things plus juice, granola, and yogurt (that others seemed to really enjoy)! This really gave us the energy we needed to continue on to the Cliffs of Moher!
The Cliffs of Moher were next on our list. Here are a few shots from the Cliffs. We walked the entire route from one end to the other. It was really nice to get out in nature to do a little hiking and to take in the views. We really have not been able to complain much about the sunshine for the sightseeing!
To top of an already amazing couple of days, we stayed with a really great Dutch couple out in the country near a town called Loughrea. Many of the villages we drive through have a distinct wood burning smell that I love!! We found this couple on couchsurfing.org and it couldn’t have been a better experience. They were so generous and hospitable. They have 3 grown children in college or just out of college and so had extra bedrooms to spare. They had the cutest quintessential country home and we had really great conversation on a lot of different topics including politics (Monsanto and Putin), the medical device industry (which have recently been bringing offices and manufacturing to Ireland), their thoughts and views on couch surfing, and how they used to hitch hike when they were young just to name a few. They are Dutch but have lived in Ireland for 25 years. The lady of the house works thatching roofs and her husband does millwork. Together they made a really nice home with loads of animals (a dog, two cats, three geese, 16 chickens (for laying eggs), a few peahens, and some horses). It was really nice to stay out in the countryside for a night! I awoke to the sound of the geese and a rooster crowing.
It’s hard to believe that all of this happened over two days, but it explains why I was exhausted and basically slept all day when we arrived in Galway!!
Until next time, loves!