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Another Travel Day - Dingle to Limerick

Sunday, July 7, 2013 @ 09:09 pm from Ireland Ireland
Day 11

I woke up to an absolutely beautiful day in Dingle. The sun broke the clouds and fog and it was a warm sunny day. It's the kind of day I wish I had yesterday when I was touring around. A bit of a shame that I wasn't going to be there another day to do a cycle tour or something.

Today was my departure day though. I got on a bus to Tralee at 12:20pm and then got a connection to Limerick. More beautiful views on the bus rides. I got to Limerick around 4:00pm and the city was totally dead. Only a few stores were open so I came and check into my hotel (yes, hotel. There weren't even any hostels in town). I watched a Hurling match with Dublin vs. Galway for the finals. Dublin ended up winning. Hurling is definitely an interesting sport. It reminded me of a mix of soccer and lacrosse.

By now I was getting hungry so I went out and found a Turkish place and had a doner kebab which was really tasty. I walked around a little more and nothing new had opened up so I bought a cider and came back to the hotel. I'm just enjoying not having people coming and going and having some time to unwind by myself.

Tomorrow I'll jump on a train and head to Doolin where I'll stay at a hostel for two nights. While I'm there I'll be walking along the Cliffs of Moher... 700 foot cliffs that drop straight into the ocean. They're supposed to be very picturesque and breathtaking. I would have headed straight to Doolin today but because it's Sunday all of the bus schedules were different and there wasn't a connection there.

No photos from today since Limerick was dead and I didn't take any moving photos from the bus.

The Blasket Islands - Stunningly Beautiful

Saturday, July 6, 2013 @ 07:46 pm from Ireland Ireland
Day 10

Today was the best day of the trip so far. I was talking to some people in the hostel last night and one of the girls mentioned a Blasket Island tour they did yesterday. For 30 euros you get an hour long boat ride to the Blasket Islands, three hours on the island and then an hour boat ride back.

The Blasket Islands were abandoned in 1953 when the Irish government declared they could no longer keep the inhabitants safe. Everyone was moved to the mainland but some settled in Massachusetts. The ruins on the island now are in the foreground of some absolutely stunning backdrops.

I got to the Dingle Bay Charters office around 9:30 to buy my ticket for the 11:00 departure. I thought the weather would be like yesterday (sunny and warm) so I had shorts on. Fortunately I packed my long pants which I would need later on. After walking around the harbor for a bit I got on the boat. It was cloudy and the seas were rough. I didn't have high hopes for the day and was a bit disappointed I dropped 30 euros for this.

As we got closer to the island it seemed like the weather started to get better and better. We passed some amazing views of the coast on the ride out to the island and then we made our way to the island itself. There's only a very small little dock there so we had to get on a dinghy which took us onto the island itself.

From the boat you can see the ruins of the old settlement but as soon as you get on the island you can walk up to and through all the ruins. There are still a few people there who tend to some sheep and donkeys (male only) but you still have free range to explore wherever you want.

The first thing I did was I climbed up as high as I could before getting into the wind and clouds and ate lunch. The views were stunning. After that I walked down and through the ruins and then headed to the NE side of the island where there was a beach and some sheep grazing. There were also about a dozen seals swimming at the beach. A few crazy people donned swimsuits and got in the frigid water. I was not one of them.

Apparently you can camp on the island too because there were a few tents set up. It would be a great place to camp for the night since you'd be completely isolated after the last ferry left during the day until the next one arrived the following morning. It might be something to look into if I make it back over here.

We had 3 hours to spend on the island so I hiked around enjoying the views. Unfortunately my camera battery died about half way through my time on the island. Not bad considering I've been using it without recharging it for 10 days now. I spent a lot of time simply watching the ocean and mountains and enjoying the views. It was almost time for us to get back to the boat so I headed back to the ruins and waited for the dinghy to show up.

The ride back to town was a lot calmer than the way to the island. We got to see the local dolphin (Fungie) when we pulled into the harbor and everyone was excited. I guess they don't get to see too many dolphins up here, lol.

When we got back to town I came back to the hostel and started working to figure out my plan for the next few days until I meet Eric in Edinburgh. Since Dingle is so far removed from everything, trying to make a good plan was tough. I gave up and went to go eat some amazing seafood chowder at a restaurant aptly named Chowder.

I think my plan is going to be as follows: Tomorrow (Sunday) take a bus to Limerick and spend the night there. Monday, catch a bus to Doolin where I'll stay for 2 nights enjoying some peace and quiet with the Cliffs of Moher. Next, I'll head up to Galway for 2 nights and then go to Dublin for a night before catching a flight to Edinburgh on the 13th.
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Heading to Blasket Islands
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Wool storage
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North east side of Blasket Island
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Windy!

Buses. A lot of buses

Friday, July 5, 2013 @ 10:10 pm from Ireland Ireland
Day 9

I spent pretty much the entire day today (10:30am-7:30pm) on buses or in bus stations. I had to take a bus from Kilkenny to Cork, then from Cork to Tralee and finally from Tralee to Dingle. The views along the way were absolutely amazing. The Dingle Peninsula is absolutely gorgeous with mountains, sheep grazing areas and farms. These are the kinds of landscapes you see when you see photos of Ireland. Green as far as the eye can see.

I finally made it to Dingle and checked into the Hideout Hostel then set about finding some food. I had fish-n-chips #2 and was still let down a bit unfortunately. I'm not sure what the deal is. The guy even battered and fried everything in front of me. It was just lacking some kind of flavor.

After that I came back to the hostel and did an hour or so of work. Now I'm going to head out and see if I can find some live music. It is Friday night after all! Also, 10:00pm is "early" in Ireland I've noticed for Friday night's. I'm not used to this...
Teaser photo
On my way to Tralee
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Random view from the bus
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Random view from the bus
Casa Batlo. One of Gaudi's buildings in Barcelona. #gaudi #barcelona #europetrip2013
St Nicholas church in Gent. #gent #belgium #europetrip2013
What I love about Rome. Middle of a busy intersection? Roman ruins. #rome #europetrip2013
Notre Dame. #paris #europetrip2013
Some of the best tea I've ever had. Mint tea. Its basically a mojito with tea instead of alcohol. #europetrip2013 #tea #tangier
Schobrunn Palace. Its the mini Versailles of Vienna. #vienna #europetrip2013
Chalk cliffs near Brighton. #europetrip2013 #brighton
Herculaneum. City destroyed by Vesuvius at the same time as Pompeii. #europetrip2013
Entry into the Medina (and the street my hotel is on). #morocco #tangier #europetrip2013
Monterosso #5terre #europetrip2013 #monterosso

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Where I've been:

Good Evening… Planet Earth
All the countries I visited on this trip (in yellow).

What's this about?

Traveling is something I've loved doing for as long as I can remember. I've been lucky enough to travel out of the US a few times but never longer than 2 weeks at a time. I decided that I should go see the world and experience all it has to offer. I booked a one-way ticket to Dublin, Ireland to depart on June 26, 2013. After I get to Europe I'll let serendipity take hold and see where I end up. No schedules and no itinerary… just go with the flow. That's as close to a plan as I'm making.

Who am I?

My name's Brandon O'Brien and I'm a travelholic. Before this journey I've been to 11 countries and put over 17,500 miles on various motorcycle trips through the USA and Canada. I'm a self-employed web developer so I'm fortunate enough to be able to work anywhere there's an internet connection. That's what truly made this experience possible.

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