It’s been some time since our last post and we are now writing this relying on memory and photo’s……..the photo’s are reliable but after too much Guinness and red wine and the lapse of time, the memory may be a little blurred. Probably a good thing as I’m a firm believer in what happens on tour stays on tour. Non the less we have had a grand old time in Ireland and this reasonably short post should help us relive the memories in our dotage. In between all the rain and believe me there was lots of it, we did manage to capture lots of snaps with the sun out ….Our very limited Winter wardrobe had a lot of outings. This part of our trip seemed so long ago and we have been so busy since that this will be more about the memories photo’s and scant less on the detail .. but it was brilliant despite the poor weather .
So Ireland part two began with meeting our good friends Alana and Jeff from home. They hired a motorhome and were intending to DO as much of Ireland in a couple of weeks as possible, so there was a lot of driving involved. WE drove South to rendezvouz in Killarney and travel North along The Wild Atlantic Way. We had no set plan save a few places each of us had shown particular interest in. Carmel and Graham, friends from home had spent a little time a few weeks previously in Ireland and stole all the dry weather. OK it’s the land of 40 shades of Green and it didn’t earn that name due to drought conditions, so Iwill not refer to the weather again….probably !……but just for the record….It was feckin raining cats and dogs LOTS.
Killarney was a lovely Town, very touristy of course and seems a popular spot judging by the amount of accommodation. Luckily during our couple of days there it was quiet. We had a smashing day exploring the area on our bikes around Muckross Abbey, house and surrounds. The weather remained reasonably kind too.
.Lovely and green…probably due to the RAIN….shit, sorry it just slipped out.
Beautifully kept gardens to wander through. ..Surprisingly the water temps were pretty good. We know because we put our pinky in and wiggled it round a bit.
Sneem and around the Ring of Kerry was lovely. We had been warned we would not be able to move around the Ring Of Kerry due to the sheer volume of traffic. So we picked our time of day and time of year and only passed one coach. The secret I’d been reliably informed was to travel clockwise with the coaches……or maybe it was anti clockwise, I can’t remember now so make your own plans please. We had a lovely pharmacist attend to Al’s blocked ear here. Did n’t fix it mind you, but not for lack of trying.
.His son is mining somewhere in Far North Queensland although he couldn’t quite remember where. Lovely chap.
.We can’t speak highly enough about the lovely West Coast of Ireland. Gorgeous rugged scenery and the nicest locals. They were so engaging , funny and hospitable. Just genuinely nice people. Alana did need a translator on more than one occasion throughout the trip. Her understanding improved considerably after a pint or two of the black stuff though.Charlie Chaplin used to love coming to Waterville for his holidays and it seems the folk who visit lately enjoy giving his nose a little rub.
Cahersiveen Stones …very impressive apart from one grumpy old man who refused to let us park in a spot beside his van because he would loose business from tourists who would pay to have their picture taken with a lamb !! Al and Alana nearly in fisty cuffs ha ha Truly the only miserable gift we encountered on the entire trip..Dingle Pennisula was beautiful but not too many pics as the the you know what was tumbling down. You travel the other way round from the Ring of Kerry. Again do your own homework on this one please. We actually thought it was much better than the Kerry trip.but we found a great spot right on the harbour overnight just an honesty box on the wall for 5 Euro and the note beside it said don’t worry if you haven’t got the money…..only in Ireland !,We then boarded a ferry (with the motorhomes) to Loophead. Wow what a special little spot that was. Really spectacular clifftop scenery. Jeff and I were seriously tempted, (to give them a wee nudge) but after a short chat, we decided no-one else would have us.We parked for the evening on the deserted parking lot in front of the Lighthouse. Just one of those truly amazing spots to share with good friends and some decent vino. It must have been decent quality because we did give it a serious nudge and woke as fresh as daisies in the morning....Jeff had a couple of small issues with his renter. Mainly the water tank was tiny and needed regular top ups..Doolin, Cliffs of Moher. I bet Amanda was having the very same thoughts we had earlier lol. I have to say the Guinness, and I have to say we had lots, was gorgeous. Just not the same back home. Maybe it doesn’t travel well or stays too long in the kegs ?...Another ride along some pretty quiet roads with a few hills to get the air circulating. I had a puncture at the top and after replacing the tube, the whole bloody type blew to bits 100 metres before the finish line..I did have an incident involving the rear end of Pinot and an old gate bracket somewhere around here but it’s way too painful to relive the experience . The good news is it’s repaired and looking good as new 😉..Galway..That was another fine mess we got ourselves into. Lovely old pub and some nice people for a chat. I think they were from America……or maybe Canada. Can’t remember now !Please note the Summer attire;-).....Sligo & Co.Mayo and a spin round a nice old home. Kyle more Abbey. I wont give the details cause I just want to get this post away before 2020...Another lovely driving day. Fabulous scenery and quiet roads. Just what we like.
.I can’t believe how good you look after a few pints. Takes years off you. The boys were still as ugly as sin the next morning though !..We had a great walk along the Coast from Hollywood to Bangor. I remember a holiday staying at a family friends old cottage in Bangor West….Happy days. In fact it was the only family Holiday I ever went on. It’s such a pretty coastline and so close to Belfast. We were a bit goosed by the time we got to Bangor so hopped on a train back to our free camping spot in Hollywood and went out for a lovely dinner and had a few pints to cry into reminiscing lol. A really lovely way to finish our little sojourn in Belfast. AND the weather was absolutely glorious.Belfast for a couple of days before parting ways. We did a Gastronomic food tour with the gang. I was surprised when Alana booked it because my recollection of food in Belfast was……well pretty average really. However things must have improved since I left. Actually they really hadn’t. But it was a lot of fun and we did learn the odd interesting fact. I must admit my favourites are still Tatty bread and soda bread.Jeff and Alana’s son Matt and his wife Kaeli joined us for a day and we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. .In fact at one point an old chap with a few too many under his belt pushed his way into the group (he only had a tenner he kept repeating) and with quite a few bevvies under his belt, ended up kidnapping us to go and watch some bands play. I thought I’d escaped from all that……..but NO. Lots of Loyalists and Red hand of Ulster flags and a feeling of impending doom. We escaped unharmed and finished with a nice meal…….without the old chap ! (He only had a tenner when we met him and he still had that bloody tenner when we split). Plus a few more pints into his vast belly. Just a gentle old drunk out for a good night on the turps. .Diddles (that was his name) befriending Kaeli before kidnapping us all and taking us to a pretty dodgy bit of Town. Armed Police out with roadblocks at the start and finish to keep the order. My God isn’t it time it all stopped.T.The bands were a bit more subdued than the old Flute bands I remember as a kid. Maybe they still play on the 12th of July ? You can just see George Best and wee Van etc in the background in the wall mural.Belfast Castle. I remember walking up here as a boy via Napoleon nose. A favorite spot not too far from my old school..I didn’t think when I left school here in 1974 that I’d be living in Brisbane and returning nearly 50 years later for a holiday. Mostly very happy days !.....We did a little tour along The Gobbins. An old Edwardian cliffside walk which had subsequently fallen into disrepair and is now fully functional and a lovely way to spend a few hours just half an hour North of Belfast.
So in brief, did we enjoy our short trip around Ireland ? We absolutely loved it to bits.
Lots of hugs x
A and A