A Travellerspoint blog

St Paddy's Day

Galway

overcast 14 °C

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We arrived in Galway and took it easy for a day.
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The next day we organised a day trip out to The Burren where we saw a brilliant Neolithic Dolmen and the Cliffs of Moher. The trip out included a stop at a cute little castle. Then we made our way out through the Burren. It's an amazing landscape rocky and stark but beautiful. The Dolmen was actually a pretty brilliant sight. Set on a massive rock plateau cut through by water erosion the three massive slabs used to build this thing were impressive.
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The Cliffs are truly spectacular. We walked as far as we could one way and back the other as far as we could get before our time was up. It wasn't enough time to really absorb and appreciate the beauty.
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The next day was St Patrick's Day. We loaded up on food and headed out onto the streets to see the parade. It was cute, mainly schools and local associations, apparently the money is all spent in Dublin, but it was fun to watch anyway. Then we decided to check out some of the local bars. We spent our day with a few of the other backpackers in our hostel and checked out a few pubs and knocked back a few pints. Fish and chips for dinner was a nice treat as was the Irish Coffee half way through.
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The next day was pretty quiet and we had a bit of a wander around Galway and got ourselves organised to head off to Belfast.

Posted by Addy21 08:31 Archived in Ireland Tagged galway cliffs_of_moher the_burren st_patrick's_day Comments (0)

Why I love the Irish

Walking the Kerry Way - Killarney, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Caherdaniel, Sneem, Kenmare

rain 14 °C

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We arrived in Killarney and spent the afternoon planning our next hike around a section of the Kerry Way.
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The next day we got a bus to Cahersiveen to start out. Our original plan to hike over the mountain to Waterville was dashed by the difficulty and the fact that the weather had been a bit on and off making the way incredibly boggy. We settled for walking around the road instead.
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We arrived in Waterville with time to spare and took a stroll around the village. It was a really pretty spot. We spent a night in a nice B&B and set off the next morning for our next leg.
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We made our way along the much more interesting walking track from Waterville. Unfortunately we made a wrong turn and ended up walking miles out of our way before turning back. We struggled to find the right path and ended up knocking on a local's door who very helpfully let us cut through her back paddock to get back to the path. After that it was quite a quick and beautiful walk. It's just amazing how green Ireland is. I've never seen anything to compare to it. The only hiccup was when some sheep herded together and started following at Matt's heals (we think because he had plastic bags attached to his bag and the noise was something they associated with food).
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Caherdaniel was a cute and tiny town that we almost walked right through assuming it was not a stop but just a collection of houses. We found a hostel but there was no one inside. Matt asked at a couple of the local pubs and very helpful chap called the owner (who was in Killarney shopping for her daughter's upcoming wedding) who told us to just let ourselves in (yes the hostel was completely unlocked) and make ourselves at home until she got back around 8pm. We did exactly that and made endless cups of tea and cooked up a great feed before settling in to watch some TV when she arrived to show us our room and generally give us the run down.
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The next morning we headed towards Sneem. If the path wasn't so clearly marked we would have been sure we'd missed it somewhere as the first section we were literally walking up a creek bed (at least a path that had virtually turned into a creek).
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Our shoes were soaked through in minutes and thanks to the wet and windy day, the rest of us was decidedly damp by the time we arrived in Sneem. We met some very cute little horses that also decided to follow Matt in the hope of some food.
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We struggled to find a place to stay and had a very nice young gentleman offer for us to stay in his shed. We declined as it looked a little dusty and cold and only had a single bed and spent a bit more than we would have liked on a very nice B&B down the road.
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After a brilliant breakfast we set off for the longest day of our trek and headed for Kenmare. It was another wet and not very pleasant day, the boggy ground had our feet soaked again pretty quickly despite our best efforts. By the end of the day I must say I was well and truly ready for a nice warm and comfortable bed. We were wet and muddy when we finally made our way down into Kenmare and the walk was losing a bit of its appeal in some ways. There's nothing like a gorgeous hot shower and warm B&B room to make you feel better though. We'd found a room in a nice pub and had a very chilled out evening watching TV after we'd soaked the mud out of us.
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The next day was the final walk to Kilarney which was going to be another long day. We started out well but not far in I was really feeling it. Matt encouraged me along but I was really not looking forward to the full day even though in many ways it was much easier than some of the other sections. We ran into a woman not far out of Kenmare who was running from the car park near some falls along the route (not too far out of Killarney) who very helpfully told us it wasn't that far or difficult. I struggled though, I'm not sure I was entirely well. We were finally getting close to the carpark when the woman ran back past us. We asked her how much farther and after assuring us it wasn't that far she offered us a lift the rest of the way. We gratefully accepted and were even more grateful when we realised just how much further it still was to Killarney.
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We made it to the hostel a lot earlier than expected, had a shower and then lay about and watched movies for the afternoon. It was great.
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The hike had been amazingly beautiful but I was glad it was over. The last time I was in Ireland I had remarked how lovely the people were, always friendly and helpful, and after this hike it was just reinforced tenfold. You've got to love the Irish.

After a lovely night's rest we hopped a bus to Galway.

Posted by Addy21 05:58 Archived in Ireland Tagged hike kerry_way Comments (0)

Dublin

overcast 16 °C

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We arrived in Dublin ready for some fun. Our first night we decided to check out a local pub which advertised live music. It was a great night. The bar was small and only had a few locals. The music was very relaxed, obviously a few musically talented folk willing to play for a few drinks. They played some great folk music but it was almost more fun when the local old boys took up the task during their break. We chatted to the old boys and had a great night.
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We stayed at an Airbnb place after our first night (rates were ridiculous in the hostel over the weekend). We did a great free tour around the city and learned a lot of great history. We saw Christchurch Cathedral, the gardens over the original Black Pool, some of the old walls/gates, Temple Bar and much more. Later we strolled by Molly Malone and booked ourselves for a day tour which took us to some of the great sites a few hours from Dublin.
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We started out early and headed to the Hill of Tara, where the High Kings of Ireland were crowned. On a clear day you can see 3/4 of the counties in Ireland. The legend goes that when the true High King put his hands on the stone the roar of the stone could be heard all throughout Ireland. Unfortunately it turned out that neither Matt or I were not the true High King.
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We also saw Trim Castle, one of Ireland's largest Anglo-Norman castles and saw some amazing Celtic High Crosses at Monasterboice.
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The highlight however was the Loughcrew Passage tomb. It was pretty incredible really, considering how long ago they were built. They were clever enough to position the tomb so that on the Winter Solstice the sun would light up the back of the tomb. It was a great day out.
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After that we headed to Killarney to walk a section of the Kerry Way.

Posted by Addy21 04:21 Archived in Ireland Tagged dublin cairns celtic_high_cross Comments (0)

Pit stop # 3

London again

sunny 19 °C

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We made another quick stop in London before making our next sortie to Ireland.

We crashed with Tom for the weekend and caught up with him and Becs, then headed back into the city to do a bit more sightseeing.
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We did a pretty good free tour which took us around all the major sights in London, which happened to coincide with a visit from the Mexican President which meant there was quite a lot of pomp and ceremony happening around Buckingham Palace and we even caught a glimpse of the Queen as she drove by to meet him.
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We also found time to see another play. Once. It was brilliant. The cast were also the orchestra, so all the music (Irish folk/pop) was played on stage by the actors and weaved through beautifully with the story. It was absolutely fantastic!
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Overall it was a lovely break before heading to Birmingham to catch a flight to Dublin.

Posted by Addy21 02:25 Archived in England Tagged london queen musical once Comments (0)

Beach break

Hurghada

sunny 30 °C

After a jam packed few weeks we decided to take it easy for a few days on the Red Sea. We headed back to Hurghada and payed the $1 to secure a spot on the beach, which also comes with a beach chair, umbrella, towels and even a wind break when necessary.

The sun was lovely and the water beautiful and clear. It was a lovely way to spend our last couple of days.

Posted by Addy21 02:17 Archived in Egypt Tagged beach hurghada Comments (0)

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