This week we have travelled away from Kerry northwards along the Atlantic highway staying at Doolin and passing through Galway and on to the Connemara National Park. From there we travelled back towards Dublin to stay a few nights with Mai, Grai and Neale in Newbridge (Ellies aunt, uncle and cousin).
This week has been great we have started getting used to life on the road and no longer wake up at 5.30 every morning! We have also managed to get almost all of the motorhome gremlins resolved.
Before leaving Kerry I took a fab bike ride onto Valentia Island. I went across on the small ferry and rode my bike as high as I could up the Geokaun mountain (big hill!) and then proceeded to climb the rest of the way to the top. From there I phoned Ellie back at the motorhome across on the mainland to see if she could see me standing at the top of the hill next to the big antenna. After balancing on a big rock, taking my jumper off and waving it around like a crazy person she finally looked at the right mountain and saw me! It turns out both hills on the island have big antenna!
On our way up to Connemara we drove through the magnificent Burren with its karst landscape of weathered limestone and also went to see the cliffs of Moher which really have to be seen in real life to appreciate just how tall they are.
We arrived in Connemara just as it started raining, which it then continued to do solidly for 36 hours, this meant it was like living on the inside of a tin drum! We went on one walk and managed to get soaked within minutes of leaving but persisted and saw some lovely views and met a few rather weary and slightly miffed looking bulls along the way.
Thankfully on Saturday morning the rain eased off and the sun peeped out between the clouds so we drove to the National Park visitor centre and walked the 7.6km path to the top of Diamond hill (465m). The views from the top of the surrounding area were stunning and more than made up for the previous wet 36 hours.
We then headed to see Ellie’s family in Newbridge just next to the Curragh driving back past Galway passing by Lough Inagh and seeing even more fabulous scenery.
It was great to see this part of El’s family as we have never had that much time to hang before and it was great to get to know them. They made us so welcome and we appreciated all the meals and drink that came our way….as well as a comfortable bed, power shower and a washing machine that didn’t cost us ten euros a load!
This week I have also included a pie chart of our running costs for the first two weeks and I guess it will come as no surprise to anyone that with me being a builder we are officially OVER budget. This is partly to do with one off costs involved with the motorhome, fixing the hot water and the new stereo as well as paying for ferries which hopefully we will do less of in mainland Europe. It works out that is approximately 10 times more expensive per mile to travel by ferry than by road, so if someone could build us a bridge from Dublin to Liverpool by next weekend that would be much appreciated and go some way to getting us back on budget!
Next week we’re off to Northern Ireland to do our biggest walk/climb so far (865m) and to visit the Giants Causeway, something I have wanted to do for years so onwards and upwards…