Wow, it’s take me a little while to write about my trip to Ireland but I’m excited to finally share it with you because it was such an adventure! I spent a week driving my little car around this beautiful country with James and three of my best friends. I took an absolute tonne of photos so I’ll share them in two instalments – starting with our time in Co. Cork and Co. Kerry.
The most adventurous part of the holiday was probably the journey. We booked to come over on the ferry both because I wanted to bring the car and because I didn’t want to fly. To avoid undertaking a 5 hour drive to the ferry port in Liverpool in the early hours, we stayed the night in a hotel and used the evening to explore the city. I stupidly lost my car keys in the taxi at night – so we missed our ferry in the morning. Silly me. I always get anxious about travelling in case something exactly like this happens! After a very (very, very) stressful morning, the ferry company booked us on the overnight boat, along with a bunch of lorry drivers who were pretty perplexed as to why we were there. The only vegetarian option on the ship were chips, so all 5 of use had a very beige dinner, which didn’t make us seem any more normal… It was a bizarre experience, but at least I’ll never forget it!
When we finally arrived, our first stop was Cork where we saw the City Gaol and camped out in the beautiful Franciscan Well brew pub. Most of our visit was spent with Amy’s Irish family, which was truly lovely. All of her Aunts and Uncles and cousins came over and we shared dinner and cried with laughter watching her little cousins play together. It must be wonderful to have a large family that are close enough to see often. Amy’s family were so welcoming to us, and really helped us recover after our nightmare journey!
Our next destination was co. Kerry and we stopped off in Owenahincha, Skibereen, Loch Hyne, and Glen Gariff on the way. I knew that I wanted to take advantage of the wild swimming opportunities in Ireland and so we took our first dip in Lough Hyne, followed by a sunset swim at Glen Gariff! It’s hard to explain why I love wild swimming so much. It’s painful at first and hard to force yourself to take the plunge but once you’ve been swimming for a while your whole body tingles. When you get out it’s euphoric and everything feels warm and fuzzy. James was very sceptical that we’d swim in Ireland but after he’d done it once he swam every day! Cold water has magical properties…
Glen Gariff was my favourite spot of the day. We had this calm and unspoilt jetty all to ourselves, which was pure magic. For anyone travelling to Ireland, put this on your do-not-miss list!
We had a couple of nights in a beeeeautiful cottage in Kells Bay (thanks Air BNB!) and spent our time exploring Inch Strand and Dingle Bay – including a trip to see Dingle’s resident Dolphin Funghi. On our return we drove over Connor Pass – hoping to see some views from Ireland’s highest mountain road – but were met with a very scary wall of fog. I couldn’t see very far but I love fog and it was pretty spectacular.
In Ireland a lot of the dogs roam free (like cats do!) and we made friends with this gorgeous fellow in Kells Bay. We called him Rufus and he would follow us up from the bay to our cottage. I miss you Rufus! He helped make our cottage so cosy that we didn’t want to leave, but our next stop was co. Galway so we had to say our goodbyes. Stay tuned for Part II of my Ireland adventure!