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Wow, so much catch up to do that I’m sure the details will be woefully lacking in some parts! It was a fast if fun trek and I find myself taking a small breather today in Dublin while the laundry is going.

From Derry, we made our way through ice and sleet to the city of Galway on the west coast. We stopped in on an ancient chamber tomb and the grave of William Butler Yeats. I fell in the cemetery. Surprised, yes?! No harm to camera or body, just a bruised ego and muddy pants. Can’t say a lot about Galway, other than it snowed, which was quite pretty. What we saw of the city was enough that I am probably going back for another look in my remaining time here in Ireland. I wanted to see the Arran Islands anyway. Hope for a bitt less ice next time, but I’ll take what I get.

The next day we moved on towards Killarney, where New Years Eve was spent. I’ve blanked on a lot of the places we saw. Photos later will stir the memory, but fantastic rocky coast, and oh yeh, gorgeous Cliffs of Moher. Reminded me a bit of Kilt Rock in Scotland. Actually a lot of Ireland has reminded me of Highland Scotland, which is very much a compliment.

New Years Eve in Killarney was in a club playing 80s and 90s music. Some must not have been pop on the other side of the Atlantic but I recognized most of it. Everyone had a great time. True to my form, about 40 minutes past I dragged out and had a hot shower before bed. Only way to have a hot shower at the place we were staying was to be the only one who was taking one.

Next morning, there was a late start, but I was up pretty much same time. I rarely have a hot breakfast, but after so much cereal and toast, that’s what I wanted. Slim pickings but I found a cool little local restaurant serving and had a full Irish breakfast. Consisted of egg, bacon, sausage, beans, and what I would have called a hash brown, maybe it is!? Oh, and more toast. I nearly blocked the memory of more toast.

When the group regathered, we drove out to the Dingle Peninsula. Another place I’m tempted to revisit. The terrain was gorgeous, almost otherworldly in places. We even walked a portion of the Slea Head road that encompasses the peninsula. I really may return to Dingle Town, fantastic little place.

After that on to our last night in this wee village called Annascaul. Neat little village, but the worst hostel of the trip. By the next morning, all the pipes were frozen, no hot shower. So sad.

It was a bit of a down and cold group the next morning. The temp on the bus said -8 Celsius, but no idea how accurate it was. We made our way back to Dublin with a couple of stops. We visited Blarney Castle where, yes, I kissed the Blarney Stone. I passed on the photo they were selling of that moment. A very unflattering angle laying on your back with your back arched over the opening to get to the stone. Photo not worth $15 to me!

We stopped again in a little town in County Tipperary and wandered for just a bit before heading on to Dublin. I’d heard the traffic in Dublin was killer. Well at the end of a holiday, it was that and more! We finally crawled in after 6pm.

My thoughts on the Paddywagon tour. The B&B option may well be king. The tour is actually quite cool. Our guide Conrad could not have been more knowledgeable, witty, or professional. However, this is the first tour Ive taken that operated the hostels. It showed as that’s where they chose to cut corners. Without exception, some of the worst hostels I’ve stayed in. For the most part livable but u can only delay maintainance for so long. It’s a false profit that path.

Back in Dublin and now at Jacobs inn. It’s a hostel but the opposite of everywhere that was Paddy. It’s fairly new, well organized and maintained. And for the same cost as Paddys palace where I spent my first night no less!

Anyway, having a fab time! Expecting more to come!

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