Fáilte go hÉirinn: Welcome to Ireland
It was one and a half weeks full of adventure and great people. We explored the Irish landscape and saw a lot of its beauty. It was windy, and the temperatures cooled down, but it was still enjoyable. So, what did we actually do in Ireland?
We went for a walk by the Cliffs of Moher – a must see for tourists in Ireland, I guess.
We drove along the Ring of Dingle: We learned that this is what people visiting Ireland are doing as well. Actually, now we know why.
We also drove to Killarney National Park where we stayed overnight and went for a little hike. At the waterfall Felix played with his photographer skills – which turned out impressive:
All in all, we had amazing spots to stay overnight and enjoyed the sea, beaches, hills and forests. Enough about great landscapes in Ireland and beautiful images of it. Besides enjoying the nature, we did some work on the road. We built our own website – so we switched from our free-of-charge-blog to our own domain and website. The outcome is what you see here. We also visited some little towns like Kinsale and spent one night in Cork with Leon, Tim’s friend (Read more about all the great people we met in Ireland here). We got the whole program in Ireland, I guess. Of course, there were some mishaps, too, which always kept us busy.
Well, not a real mishap but definitely a challenge: There are barely public trash bins in Ireland. Sounds silly, but it is pretty challenging if you are dependent on little things like that. This way, we carried loads of trash with us through Ireland. Plus, we more or less ran out of money by the end of the month – but thanks to some awesome people, we managed the situation.
The biggest bummer occurred on our last day in Ireland. We had great plans for that sunny day. Since we parked at a beautiful spot on a beach near Kilmore Quay we thought about staying there the whole day, repair last little things in the van, work on our new website to make it even more beautiful and enjoy our last day on the island. In the evening we needed to be in Rosslare since that is where our ferry to France took off. Well, things on the road always turn out differently as you plan them. We lifted the mattresses of the big bed in the end of the van to get something out of the storage room from underneath the bed. What we saw there ruined our mood, fortunately not for too long – there was a loooot of mold. Change of plans! We had some hours left to organize new wood, get rid of the mold on our mattress cushions, wash everything, build new flaps for our storage room under the bed and get rid of the old, moldy ones. In retrospect, the day was pretty funny. Big bummer in the morning but then everything went really smooth. We got the wood we needed in the first store we stepped in, drove to an Aldi store to by baking powder and washing powder and then drove to a Tesco parking lot since there was a washing and drying station for clothes. We spent most of our day on that parking lot which must have seemed weird for people passing. First, we got rid of the mold on the cushions with water and baking powder, afterwards we put the cushions in a hot, soapy water bath and in the end, they landed in the washing machine. Guess, we lost respect for uncomfortable situations. Felix got inside the supermarkets toilet with or washtub to fill it with hot water from the sink. People are mostly confused by those actions, but we learned, nobody really cares or says anything. Talking about loosing respect for let’s say embarrassing moments: Tim and Felix sawed the new flaps right there, on Tesco’s parking lot while I took care of the cushions. And again, people seem confused but don’t care too much about what’s happening around them. All in all, it turned out to be an exciting day where everything went well in the end. Plus, we realized how good we interact as a team already. We managed the situation really well, everybody was busy and we got everything done by the time we needed to catch the ferry. Even to pre-cook food for the 19 hours ferry ride. So, off we went to France!
As usual, you can follow our route here. It marks the ways we took from Northern Ireland to the very South of Ireland and the spots where we stayed:
We learned about Ireland: Most people like Halloween. They decorate their houses and wander around in a costume the whole day.
What did we find out besides that?
- Public libraries are perfect spots for free WiFi.
- Fuel prizes can ruin your monthly budget.
- You can meet so many kinds of people on your way when you are open to it.
- There are lots of sheep in Ireland.
- Building your own website is not too easy but manageable in case you have good WiFi every now and then.
- Cork accent is not easy to understand, even if you thought your English skills are descent.
- People are mostly fascinated when you tell them, you’re living in a van.
- Big supermarket chains lock their trash cans. In case you want to be successful while dumpster diving, you need to aim for the little stores. It worked out for us one time in Ireland – that was like heaven. Loads of fresh fruits and vegetables!