03.04.2013 - 03.04.2013 5 °C
Ireland and the UK
03.04.2013 - 03.04.2013 5 °C
04.04.2013 - 06.04.2013
The past few days has been consumed with Julie and David's wedding. No doubt my liver is hoping this is my first and only Irish wedding that I put it through, because the past 3 days have basically been the festival of the pint (Guinness of course, except for the one Smithwicks I had which was met with much disapproval from Julie). This included night before the wedding drinks in the hotel, then the wedding itself which wrapped up about 4am, then yesterday was the post wedding party at the pub down the road from the hotel.
It was at the pub I was told by Julie's dad Eddie that the Guinness in the new section of the pub we were in for our BBQ and to watch the Grand National was rubbish, and it tasted better at the little old original pub across the driveway. Apparently Guinness always tastes better at a proper old mans pub rather than the big fancy places. Of course I had to test this theory, so after our meal, Eddie ad myself with a couple of others headed for the old pub and set ourselves up by the fire and settled in for a few pints. Eddie was right, and it did taste better there, though I needed to have multiple pints just to check it wasn't a fluke on the first one.
So whilst my liver has copped a hammering, the wedding was an absolute blast, or as the Irish say it was a great Craic. Everyone I met here has been really lovely, and a lot of fun to be with over the past few days, and I was really glad I could be here to share in the fun with Julie and David.
I have safely made my way back to Dublin to head across to Cardiff to start the UK leg of the journey. I have covered about 900 km and countless pints and whiskeys over the week I have been here, but have loved every minute of it here. Ireland, you've been grand!
03.04.2013 - 03.04.2013 8 °C
Up early leaving Castlegregory for Killarney, which is fortunate I left early as the Sat nav sent me on the scenic route towards Killarney, via a single lane road across the hills through the farms. The view from the top was again stunning.
Once in Killarney, I joined my first pre-booked organised group tour of my holiday so far. Well when I say organised tour, it turned out to be me and two others put in a cab, driven to the start of the Gap of Dunloe, and our only instructions was that the boat to take us back into town leaves in about 3 hrs! In fairness though, most other tour companies probably would have cancelled with such low numbers, so at least these guys came through on the booking.
With that, I set out on foot for the 11km walk through the Gap of Dunloe, which is a gap in the mountain range carved out by glacier gazillions of years ago. The walk was beautiful, a gentle climb along the winding road and back down the other side, with only a handful of other people and sheep around it was also very peaceful. After the coldest March in about 50 years, I got lucky today with sunny skies and temps up to about 8 degrees, and only the occasional blast of cold wind.
Whilst the sun remained for the boat ride along Lough Leane, the wind did not stay away, and it was absolutely freezing on the almost hour long journey back. Unfortunately being so cold, I spent more time sheltering from the wind and ice cold spray off the waves on the lake, wishing we we back on land again rather than appreciating the scenery around me of Killarney national park.
We jumped off the boat at Ross castle, then it was back into the cab into town.
Walking back to the car, despite being barely thawed from the boat ride, for some reason an ice cream sounded like a good idea. Locally made, I could not go past the Guinness ice cream, which was strangely satisfying.
Back in the car I made my way to Cork where I am staying for the evening. Tomorrow it is onto Waterford, most likely via the Jamesons distillery, to meet up with Julie before the wedding on Friday.