Yikes! Have I really been back from my trip since the 1st of May? Worse yet, am I really just writing this blog post with photos I finally uploaded from my camera? The answer to those questions is: yes.
My last few posts were done using photos I snapped on my HTC One (M8) cell phone, so I’m finally catching up and will be doing the next series of posts from photos I took on the camera my parents bought me for the purpose of my vacation from obligations/late birthday present to self.
If you read my first post from traveling to Ireland, then you’ll know I spent about the equivalent of a day flying because someone who failed logistics 101 decided to change my flight from DC-NYC-Shannon to DC-NYC-London-Shannon. Thank you, oh great master of jackassery.
I digress. I met up with the taxi I hired (the bus only runs from Shannon to Doolin twice daily and the last thing I wanted to do was spend 5-hours sitting around Shannon’s wee airport) and found myself wondering if the roads were designed only for motorcycles/motorbikes and/or horses.
1. Riding down the “Irish” version of a two lane road in a car while watching a Bus Eireann coach coming toward us was a rather interesting moment. “Ach, ya just close yer eyes and hope for the best.” – my introduction to two-way traffic by my cabbie. So, I did as the locals do – I closed my eyes and hoped for the best.
We arrived at the Aille River Hostel after a lovely, thrilling, drive through County Clare’s country-side on an overcast day. Got checked in easy as can be, but decided I needed to stretch my legs outdoors before I allowed myself to give in to the desire to close my eyes and wind up sleeping the rest of the day away.
I took a little walk, found a horse who greets you going between the split lanes into the town of Doolin or continuing on to the Cliffs of Moher Trail… I took the trail.
A few of the girls in the hostel were heading up to a local pub for the night so I joined in after I racked out hard in the bunk for a few hours. I had a few pints of cider (it felt a bit like sacrilege not being able to down a proper pint of a nice stout, but Celiac/Coeliac is a beast and takes that option away) and met some great locals, headed back to the hostel with one of the girls and promptly found my place face down in the bunk until my alarm went off the following morning.
I believe I noted the fact that I went horseback riding in my first Ireland post from this trip, but alas, I hadn’t had the photos to show until I pulled them from the camera.
If you’re ever in the area, look up Mountain View Trekking. I had to pop off into Lisdoonvarna to grab some snacks for the 6-hours scheduled for riding – thankfully, there are quite a few shelved selections of gluten free foods in Ireland, so I picked up some ham, cheese, and GF crackers and a bottle of water. Thanks to the lady at the little shop, I found my way up the proper road for a 45-minute walk before meeting with Peter and my guide for the day – we’ll call her German Chick since I cannot, for the life of me, remember her name (this is a travesty because she was awesome).
It was an amazing day out on horseback riding through miles of peat, forest, famine ruins, viking ruins, views of Galway Bay and Connemara. The sun peaked as we pulled up to take a short lunch amongst some wandering cattle, and I found myself with my first sunburn of the year…in Ireland.
I’m nearly at 700 words for this post and I have a 5-page paper due by midnight tomorrow… I think I’ll stop now and post the photos you’re far more interested in than my ramblings and my utter procrastination of all things collegiate.