The first part of my day was a short trip to heaven. I left Dingle and headed west. The sun was peeking in and out of clouds as I drove through the twisting coastal roads. I got behind a big tour bus for a while and that was nice since the road was only one and a half lanes wide. Most of the oncoming traffic just pulled over and let us pass.
I stopped at the prehistoric beehive homes. It was 2 Euros and a VERY steep walk up a rocky hill but totally worth it. The homes were like tiny rock igloos and even though its summer here, the wind was whipping up the hill and it was 15 or 16 degrees. I don’t know how cold that really is, I don’t do Celsius, but take it from me, it was nippy! I don’t know how the prehistoric people survived, they must have been a hardy bunch.
I continued up the coast. The next overlook was on a hairpin curve that stuck out over the ocean and had a giant marble crucifix on the other side of the road.
I stopped at all of the pull off areas until I got lost. All of the signs are in Gaelic, they aren’t easy to follow. Thankfully I am a human Tom Tom and somehow ended up on the road back to Dingle. I was behind a tractor on a gravel road going straight up a mountain, but it worked.
Next up was a trip through Connor Pass. It’s the tallest mountain pass in Ireland. It winds around and many parts are only one lane. It’s kinda terrifying when you see the “Danger” “Turn Back” signs at the start and I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to see anything when I got to the top because I couldn’t see the top, it was covered in fog.
It was misty, or soft as the Irish say. But still beautiful. Then I went down the other side, which it turns out is only slightly more terrifying than the way up.
When I got to the bottom, I noticed a sign that pointed to the beach and there were tons of cows milling around by the water. I thought, “great photo shoot” and made a quick turn. Halfway down the one lane dirt road there was a car stopped to take pictures. When they saw me they moved forward until we all got to the end and realized that the dirt road just stopped when it hit the beach. They were in front of me and there was nowhere to turn around.
I hopped out to take my cow pictures, cause it looked like we were all going to be stuck there, so why not?
The ladies in the are ahead of me got out as well. It was three Italian ladies on an 8 day holiday. They had spent the day before driving the Ring of Kerry but were really disappointed because it was foggy and rainy and they couldn’t see anything. I told them weather was sunny and nice on the other side of Dingle. We said our good byes and then I BACKED ALL THE WAY UP THE DIRT ROAD. Did I mention there were ditches on either side? And that I was backing up my stick shift UP A HILL? And there were curves? Impressive, no? Its a lot easier when you know how to put your car in reverse. Wish I’d had witnesses…
It was past lunch time and as I drove I found a pub on the side of the road with a large sign that said wifi. That always appeals to me, so I stopped for lunch. I had bangers and mash and tea. I wasn’t prepared for any Irish driving on Guinness.
That was seriously the best bangers and mash I have ever had though. Seriously.
I continued on to Limerick. The city apparently consists of a maze of one way streets and billions of pedestrians who don’t respect the cross walk.
The Boutique Hotel is on one of the one way streets that probably should only qualify as an alley. Naturally I drove past it a few times. Also, I had to park in a parking garage a block away. I don’t remember that from their website. They buzzed me in and gave me the key to my room which was again on the attic level. Since there was no lift, I had to lug my bag. Good thing I only packed a carry on! I couldn’t help but notice the interesting art.
My room is above the pub. I’m thinking about going there until it closes, since I don’t think I’ll be sleeping!
It was too late to see the castle, but the shopping district was still open. Since I haven’t found/had time to look for a laundromat yet, I picked up a few necessities. Then I found a pub for dinner/blogging. Tomorrow is a big day, wish you were here!