Dingle Way Day 7, Time to hit the trails again

October 17th, 2017

Ophelia came. She was not scary and most of the day was just a nice stormy day where we sat inside and watched the waves.  It was beautiful and the Pub right around the corner opened up about 5:30 so Irish coffee and pints were the order of the day.  It is really fun to check out the pubs in these sleepy towns.  The locals really do come, sit, have a pint and use the free wifi!

Today’s hike was the one I had been dreading as it is over the Masatiompan Mountain with an elevation gain of 720 m and 22km long.  After two days of rest I think I’m up for the task.  Our innkeeper relieved me when he said “it is not a good plan, it’s still quite cloudy and foggy up there and the trail is going to be wet and very slick.”  He suggested the southern route which won’t be as beautiful but will be much safer.  It’s only 10 km and 400m elevation gain.  So we prepared and he had to drop us off near the beginning of the trail.

We get there and he says it’s easy, keep the telephone poles on your right, straight up that road to that mountain and keep going to the top.

The view looking back into the valley

Because this wasn’t the official trail we have no markers.  There is a path until you get to the top!  At the top we had to rely on the poles and kept a farm and a road in our view as we knew we had to follow the road into Cloghane where we pick up the trail and find our B&B.

Spectacular view

The farm, which when we finally made it there looked abandoned

Today was a short hike and we found our B&B soon.  After getting into our room we decided to take a walk along the bay.  This is a pretty spectacular spot and we can see the beach where we will be walking tomorrow.

Beautiful view from patio


Just love the animals.  This group of rams were sure we had food, when they realized we didn’t they continued with their day

Dingle Way Day 5, 6 Change of plans

October 16th, 2017

We were hoping to ride with our luggage and do another backwards walk but I have a tummy ache and didn’t get much sleep and our luggage driver can’t take us till noon!  Guess we will get two days off.  I’m thinking that’s a great idea.

So we move with our luggage to Ballyfreitter and along the way our driver tells us that StarWars movie was filmed on the hill above our B&B.  That’s pretty cool. So when we arrive, Cindy says she wants to walk to the top.  I tried to go with her but a nap was calling so I stayed warm while she walked to the top.  I saw pictures. It’s beautiful.

Note:  Hiking alone is not a good idea.  She made it back but she ducked under a string and got a shock.  The farmers like to keep their sheep in their fields so they have electric fences everywhere.  I had seen them, knew what they were and stayed very far away. Cindy didn’t know that those little thing strings are actually very strong electric wires.  Ouch.

Dingle Way Day 4, Walking backwards

October 14th, 2017

Today was supposed to be a day of rest and Pub crawling BUT….  Ophelia is coming!  So Cindy talks to the Innkeeper and he gives a ride to a vista point between Sleahead and Dunquin and we can do tomorrows walk backwards!  Yeah!

Dunquin! Ok that’s pretty amazing

But then he drives off!  We are about 18 miles from Dingle and that is where my suitcase will be spending the night.  Ok then!  Looking for the little man

These are our markers

We find the marker right across the road and immediately we have to cross a stile.

This one is pretty fancy.

We climb over and head up the trail, soon we are looking for our next marker because the trail disappears which has happened as we are on a mountain in a goat field!  Cindy reaches into her pocket and only has instructions to yesterday’s B&B!  Great!  So what do we do now?

Ok that’s pretty amazing so we continue along the rock wall keeping the ocean in sight.  We had just drove up the coast so we knew that was where we needed to be.

Goats everywhere

The day was beautiful and the mountain wasn’t too wet so everything is good. Cindy is forging the way and I’m blindly following with a few “I don’t see the yellow walking man!”  Every time I say it he shows up.  It’s amazing we never see anyone on the trail but there is always a slight impression that someone was just here.  Today was our first time passing someone, a large group going the right direction!

Not moving!!!!

They were laying right where I thought the path should be and it was way dryer than Cindy’s chosen path but these guys just stayed there so I had to follow my leader!  What’s a little more gunk on the feet?

We pass a farm below where the farmer and his herding dog were giving a demo to a tourist bus.  The dog was running so fast and barking.  I think it was his passion.  The sheep seemed annoyed cause he kept moving them to the fence and then away.

Then we come to a very nice waterfall and the little man marker is right there on the other side!  Yep, we crawled across the rocks, they were huge with big gaps and lots of fast moving water. And, yes the boots got the muck washed away!  Cold feet though.

Finally we come close to the road and the ocean. Today’s walk promised walking on the beach but the beach was way down there. So we walked and followed the markers across the road and down a dirt path. Remember yesterday it rained?  The trail was for ATV use and they love mud.

This is what parts of it looked like

This is what boots look like after walking for only a few minutes on the trails

We finally found the beach and walked for an eternity.  We have about 7 miles to home.  The next town is only a mile away.  We could call a taxi. Nope! We came to walk and walk we did.

Ophilia isn’t due until Monday so we will be walking tomorrow🙃



Dingle Way Day 3, 20 km and rain

October 13th, 2017

Yesterday when we checked in, our innkeeper Brian says tomorrow is going to be awful and he suggests stopping in Lispole which is 1/2 way and hoping on the bus to Dingle.  The first half is mostly on paved country roads and the second 1/2 is through farms!  And the forecast is for rain with 30-40 mile an hour winds.  I’m thinking this sounds good but when I wake up today I’m thinking I feel pretty good, yesterday was fun and my boots did dry out, plus we are taking a day off in Dingle so we should be ok.

Cindy and I talk during breakfast and decide we will take the info about rides and put the rain gear on and head out.

Looks like yesterday!

Right away we have the rain pants and raincoats on but have to put the ponchos on.  The drizzle is very heavy.

Air conditioning

These guys were too cute, the mom would let us pet her but she was definitely looking for a treat.  Cindy gives her a hard butterscotch candy.


Another castle over looking storm beach.

Things are going ok. It’s raining and we can’t see much but the ground is pretty solid. But then the rain is getting heavy and my back begins to hurt!  Great, just when I’m thinking I can do this for real.  By the time we hit Luspole which is our 1/2 way point I’m in pain, and it really wasn’t that much fun Cindy says we are getting the bus to Dingle.  We check with the lady running the store (the only business in Lispole) and she says there isn’t anywhere to really wait and the bus doesn’t show up for two hours.  I’ll call the cab for you.  He will be here soon and charge 12 euros!  Perfect.

We arrive at our B & B just after our luggage arrives!  We meet a couple of ladies that were at our last place.  We didn’t know but they walked the day before and chose to ride with the luggage!

A nap, rest my back and we are off to have a drink.  They are having a folk festival here this weekend so we will get out for some nightlife!  Good thing I took a nap cause the music doesn’t start till 9:30 pm.

Irish coffee, mybefore dinner cocktail today!  Perfect for the weather because now they say we have a hurricane heading for us on Monday!


Dingle Way day 2, That’s amazing!

October 12th, 2017

Night 2 B & B


We wake up, dress, check the weather and our route and head downstairs for breakfast.  You can have as much food as you like at these places.  They all have cereal, fruit, bread, yogurt and then you can order what you want.

I’m still a bit tired but the day looks beautiful and the walk is supposed to be easier but those wet boots!  I am not excited to put those on.  Valerie our host says, your boots are in the hallway, there is a brush to remove the dried mud!  And I’m thinking the cow poop too!  Gross.  Much to my surprise I pick up my boots and they are dry!  That is a very welcome surprise.  I knew it would be somewhat muddy here but I have no idea were would be walking miles through 6-10 inches of muck.

So with dry boots we head off to the trail.  It isn’t bad enough we are supposed to walk 18km today we have to walk 1km just to reach the start!


A much better day

Todays hike was beautiful and only a couple areas of muck.  We saw so many sheep, cows, a few horses and a beautiful beach for a cooked meal.


Just like home, you can learn to surf! Not like home you can drive onto the beach

Nice view they have


We see lots of falling down structures

At our half way point I’m realizing I can do this!  We arrived at our B&B about 2:30 and that included a 1km walk down to the beach in Inch, and lunch.  Yep, we walked about 20 km today and I’m good to go!


After checking in we clean up and head out for dinner.  We are in Annaschual and it looks like it has 6 pubs, 4-5 B & Bs, a tiny store that has a bit of food and an ice cream counter .  So we go to South Pole Inn where one of their residents is a famous explorer in Antarctica.  No food though so we have our beer, and head to Patcheens pub for dinner.  When we arrive about 5:30, there is one guy at the bar and the bartender.  We ask to eat, the bartender takes our order and soon our beef stew is here!  The bartender is also the waiter.  Soon the place starts filling up with both people wanting dinner and a few that just want a pint!  The bartender is doing everything!  We finally ask and he says yes he is the bartender, waiter, chef, busboy, dishwasher but help is on the way!

So day two is done!

Dingle Way Day 1,Tralee to Camp, 18 km, or a hundred miles!!!!

October 11th, 2017

This was before things got exciting!  The morning started out on town streets with a bit of drizzle about 9:00 am.  After a nice walk along the canal we came to our first and only town today and then headed to the mountains.  The mountains were beautiful, full of low brush and sheep. Lots of sheep.


Soon we were shedding our rain gear and enjoying the hike.  It was a bit difficult as they actually have mountains here so today we went up about 300 meters.  It was a little cold but the views were spectacular.


We had a wonderful lunch sitting on our ponchos looking out to sea.  It was really quite nice eating power bars, yogurt and nuts, very outdoorsy!  Soon we were on our way and entered a whole new experience!  We were walking among farms, actually between farms were they would move cattle, the mud was very deep, mixed in with cow shit and sheep shit!  Not liking this very much, hoping we were getting close to our final destination.  Cindy, how much farther?  Not far!  Right, she could tell I was loosing interest!  We walked thru this type of area for what seemed like miles, thru gates, over stiles, thru more mud, over streams. It was quite tiring and then very near the end we see a sign, go right if the river is flooded!  I’m thinking, that means a detour and more mileage!  No way we are checking the river!

Forging the river

Finally we meet the end of the trail where our instructions say, exit the trail and walk 1 km to Ashes Pub and have them call your B&B for a pick up.  It’s 4:30 when we arrive, I am hurting everywhere and a nice cold pint sounds very good!  Cindy pulls on the door and it’s locked!  Nooooo.  There is a cute couple sitting outside and they explain it doesn’t open till 5!  We are waiting!  I’m tired and hungry.  The couple were very cute and were just finishing the walk!  They did it in 8 days and camped out!!!  Apparently we just did the hardest section.  I’m thinking they are just saying that so I won’t bail out.

Finally the pub opens but only the bartender is here and the chef will be in shortly!  I finished my bag of trail mix, had a beer and finally about 5:45 the bartender hands us a menu, takes our order.  The burgers were really good.  Finally fed, we call up our host and she comes and retrieves us.

Yeah, day one is done but I have muddy wet boots and I’m expected to walk another 28 km in the morning.  Valerie takes our boots and says she can put them on the boiler to dry out.  I’m not optimistic but I’m exhausted. So upstairs we go, a shower and my head hits the pillow at 7:30 pm!


Cork Ireland!

October 10th, 2017

Our hosts were very kind at the Belvedere.  Breakfast will be served from 7:30-10:00 am.  Our room was very cozy and this place was really cool.

Double room with an ensuite

We arrived for breakfast to a mostly empty room but soon other guest arrived.  I met a couple women that were just finishing their Ireland holiday and were returning to New Jersey.

For breakfast we chose the full Irish breakfast.  When it arrived it was a huge plate of a lot of things I had never seen.  Before our breakfast arrived we had already enjoyed fruit, breads, and cheeses.  The full Irish breakfast is:  eggs, bacon, black & white pudding, sausage, potatoes, tomatoes and mushrooms!  The meat left a bit to be desired!  The bacon was actually two slices of ham. The pudding was some kind of sausage but was very pungent. (We won’t be getting that again.) The sausage was what I expected, breakfast links with very little flavor.  The eggs we good and the half tomato was pretty regular!  Tomorrow at our new B&B I ordered oatmeal!

After breakfast was done we loaded up the car, punched an ATM in the GPS and headed out.  Getting phone service here is going to be costly at $10 a day but we needed it the past two days to navigate.  It’s just money anyway and Paul is out working so I can live in the style to which I’m accustomed.

We got Euros!

It took us two try’s and several wrong turns but we finally found city center, got money and found the Site Seeing bus.  For €13.00 euros they will drive us around and for an additional €15.00 our car is safely parked in a garage, which at the end of the day we found the garage but forgot where the entrance was!  Oops,  just 1,000 extra steps around the block and we remembered!

Now for the tour!

Cork City Tours


Ringing the bells






Blarney Castle


Then is always the cool personnel art

A great tour and yes we kissed the Blarney Stone!


The wagons below were on display at the Blarney Castle but then we saw some real life ( I think) Gypses!

Gypse wagons

Real gypsys


Now time to get to our next B & B that is 70 miles away!  The roads are too narrow here and several times I have had to remind Cindy to move to the center but today she stayed on the left side and made many turns to the right side of the road!

We made it to Ard Na Coille B&B by about 7:00 and got settled in. We are preparing for tomorrow which will be our first day on the Dingle Trail.



Customs, and more customs

October 9th, 2017

Much to our amazement we had to go through security and customs again in London.  They are quite choosy here, you know when they tell you to put your liquids in a quart bag!  They mean it. And that meant that bottle of wine that I was saving for later is sitting on a table near security in London!

We had a two hour layover to get to our gate for Dublin and made it to the gate just as they were beginning to board.

I showed my passport more today than I have ever done in the 10 years I have owned it.  The exciting part is after all this I have two stamps in my book.

Once we finally got to Dublin, retrieved our luggage we headed for the car rental counter.  We finally got our car, started my GPS and headed for Cork.  A long drive of 150 miles after a long day.  The most exciting part was it is stick shift, and you have to drive on the wrong side of the road, and I’m in the passenger seat where the driver should be in normal cars! In normal places.

Cindy did a great job and Google maps and Yelp both work here pretty well so we will be able to get around.  Or at least I thought we were good!  After a great meal in a local restaurant we continued to the Belvedere B& B in Cork!  Well google maps showed it but it wasn’t where the directions showed.

After several back and forth trips down the street, in the dark, in the rain, Cindy found somewhere to pull over.  It was in a parking lot and we flagged down a dad waiting for his daughter to retrieve him.  First thing he says to us is you just made a very illegal crossing and very dangerous!  Last week an American tourist got hurt very badly by crossing traffic!!!! Great, if they would mark things we would know.  He was very kind, he called up our B&B and got us proper directions and sent us on our way with a reminder to not do those turns!

Belvedere B & B
Cork, Ireland



My first out of the country flight

October 8th, 2017

The trip started from DIA at about 5 pm.  Security was a bit long and Cindy got the special wand treatment but we were soon in the airport and on our way to our gate.  Being it is an overnight and it’s close to dinner we find a nice spot and have a bite to eat.  All full up we proceed to our gate and soon it is time to board British Airways flight to London.

I get settled in to my seat, find the headphones, get my pillow out and we are in the air.  Just as I’m thinking a nice movie and then bed here comes the refreshment tray.  ” would you like a glass of wine with dinner?”  What?  We are in coach and it is pretty cramped and besides we got a long flight and sleep sounds good but sure I’ll take a glass of wine.  He gives me a bottle of white that was at least two glasses and soon the meal is arriving!  I pass but he insists I might like to at least look it over.  The cheesecake was pretty good, not as good as mine but on an airplane with barely enough room to lower my tray I’d say it was quite enjoyable.  He also gives me another bottle of wine!  That one goes into my bag for later.

Finally everyone is fed and then the guy across the aisle from me pukes!  His wife and her friend didn’t seem too  but he was an old guy.  The attendants were quick to whisk the guy in front of him to another seat and took the guy to the restroom to wash up!  Great!  I may not get any sleep on this plane.  Next time may be first class!

Finally about 10:30 I finish up my movie and close my eyes.  I slept pretty well and then the lights are on, I check my clock.  It’s 2:30 am and they are serving breakfast and coffee!  And then it’s time to raise your seat to its upright position and stow your electronics, we will be landing shortly.  Oh yes, we are almost to London and it is actually 11 am!  Tell my body that because it still thinks it is 4 am.


Stay tuned…

Ireland So you think you want to travel abroad?

October 8th, 2017

That’s how it all started.  My sister in law from Golden CO who travels and does these amazing trips asked me way back last winter if I would like to go to Ireland and walk the Dingle Peninsula.  She invited Paul too but he couldn’t figure out how he would drive there and then Duke can’t possibly get a sitter like most dogs so I decided I could do it with her.  The Dingle Walk is a tour that will be over 100 miles and we will walk it in 8 days!  Yikes!  When I signed up I was getting plenty of exercise and then life got in the way.  Finally in August while in Maine I tried to get serious but I guess I’m just too confident.  We will see in about 10 days because we are actually here and will begin walking on Wednesday.

Denver Airport, 5 pm on Sunday

Denver Airport, 5 pm on Sunday