8:00AM – Woke up from an unbelievable night
I woke up at 8AM groggy and also realized that I had slept in last night’s clothes. This is evidence of a great night. My ears were still ringing from last night. I grabbed my clothes and immediately went to go take a shower. The showers were on a timer and I had to constantly hit the water button. Surprisingly, we didn’t experience any hostels that did not have any hot water. For that we were thankful, especially since it was 40 degrees F almost every single day we were there. Did I mention that it basically rained every day we were in Ireland except for the last day?
11:00AM – True Full Irish Breakfast at Cathleen’s Country Kitchen
Our trip would not be completed without trying a full Irish breakfast, which consisted of 2 bacon, 2 eggs, 2 sausages, black pudding, baked beans, and half a tomato. Black pudding is a type of sausage made by cooking pork blood. It is difficult to describe the taste, but it tastes nothing like what you would expect (blood). Initially, I wanted to get the full Irish breakfast, but then thought it would be too much, so I opted for the half, which is just one of everything mentioned previously. Little did I know that their portions are a lot smaller than what we are used to in the States. In addition, I also noticed that they usually had milk in a pouring cup and most of us weren’t sure why. Perhaps we are supposed to add it into our coffee or tea. I ended up just drinking the milk directly from the pouring cup. They have great milk!
1:00PM – En route to Killarney National Park
We put in the GPS directions to get to Killarney National Park. The first thing we saw was Ross Castle. There was also a boat tour for 10€ around the lake. However, we opted to do a hike. So we went off and ended up hiking the Mine trail for about 15 minutes and arrived at a really nice huge lake and scenic view. In the middle of the lake there was an island. We stopped to take pictures and skip rocks. The most we skipped was three times. We stopped by the Muckross House. When we found out that they charged admission, we passed on this touristy attraction. Instead I bought a cap tweed from the souvenir shop. Then a buddy of mine caught wind of a gorgeous waterfall nearby from a nearby tourist group. So we decided to go look for it. When we arrived at Torc waterfall, which was about 10 minutes away we were amazed by the peacefulness that surrounded the waterfall. Soon after we went to get lunch and then stopped by at Pennys. Pennys I would say is our Target. They had a lot of inexpensive clothes, but they were not great quality.
4:00pm- Drove towards Dingle Peninsula
We asked for directions to get to Dingle. The receptionist at the hostel mentioned that there was a scenic route we could take, which would take us close to the ocean. Our plan was to take the R561 and then follow it to get as close to the Dingle Bay as possible. While driving towards our destination, we hit a fork in the road and came by the Golden Nugget Hotel, which we were supposed to make a right at. However, we missed the turn and when we tried to bust a U-turn we ran over a curb and popped the driver’s side of the tire. For those of you who have been to Europe, you will notice that people don’t usually make U-turns. Instead there are roundabouts, whereby you will go in a circle and exit when you need too. It was really quite interesting. When we popped the tire, we stopped by the nearest hotel car park (parking lot) and then quickly changed our tire. We called Budget and they told us to go to a garage to get the spare changed. We arrived at a mom and pop kind of garage and then had our tire changed for about 90€. They were not able to patch it up because the hole was on the side of the tire. We took the scenic route and it was amazing. We saw huge cliffs and just gorgeous views. This was a preview of the Cliffs of Moher. At around 8pm, we finally arrived at the Hideout Hostel in Dingle. On our way in, we meet the Canadian girls we saw in Cork. We said Hi, but went inside as it was too chilly outside. You can imagine how chilly and windy it was as we were close to the shore. I met Chuck, who seemed to be the owner of the place and we checked in four people for 72€. I washed some of my more necessary clothing in the sink and left it to hang in the room.
10:00pm – Dinner at Half Door in Dingle
It was getting late and we knew we were risking our chances of getting a decent meal the later we waited to get dinner. After stopped by two places where we were turned away, the Half Door welcomed us in. I ordered the rack of lambs and seafood chowder. They were both amazing. The rack of lambs had no game taste and the seafood chowder had all kinds of seafood in it. I remember tasting salmon, clams, some lobster, and other fish. The chowder by itself was extremely filling. My portion of the meal came out to 38€. Pricey to say the least, but it was worth going to at least once. We walked down John St. and stopped at ‘An Oroicead Beag’, which was a yellow building. There was live music in the pub. We played drinking games and then each of us had an Irish Carbomb, which consists of Guinness, Bailey’s and Jameson. There was even a Hold’em game in the pub, but the rake was too big, so my poker buddy didn’t end up playing.
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Five of Nine
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Six of Nine
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Seven of Nine
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Eight of Nine
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Nine of Nine
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Zero/One of Nine
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Two of Nine
Ireland - The Emerald Isle - Day Three of Nine