So after two happy and windblown days in Dingle, (which you can read about here and here), it was finally time to leave the peninsula to fly back home. The only problem was I wasn't sure how to get off of the peninsula, considering most options were fairly pricey.
Luckily, the night before I left, I met a local Irish guy named Ross and his group of friends at the pub. Meeting them was as they say, good craic, and after a boozy night out Ross offered to give me a ride across the peninsula. And who am I to turn down a free road trip with an Irish stranger?
Our mini road trip in Ireland involved driving across Conor Pass, the highest mountain pass in Ireland and the most scenic road of the peninsula.
As usual in Ireland, the weather was misty, rainy and cloudy. (When family and friends back home ask what it's like in Ireland I tell them it's basically like sitting on the side of a boat; there's always drizzle flying in your face.)
We then pulled over to hike up to some pools at the top of the mountain. This waterfall was right next to the parking area – seriously, Ireland? How picturesque can you be?
You know how some people look effortlessly awesome no matter what they wear? I'm not one of those people. Even my little brother pointed out how homeless I look in the picture below. (In all fairness, I am technically homeless.) I literally had no clothes for cold weather so I just threw on everything I had. Please don't judge me.
The climb up was slippery, rocky and absolutely beautiful.
When we got to the top, Ross pointed out some peat to me (or “turf” as they say in Ireland), which I had assumed was just mud. “They use it a lot as fuel in the old houses, and the smell is lovely,” he said.
I think “smelling the scent of burning peat” is now on my bucket list, and yet another reason why I'll have to return to Ireland.
The descent was decidedly more difficult than the way up; I slipped so many times in my flat, useless shoes (and yes, I'm blaming my clumsiness on my footwear!) that Ross practically had to carry me down the hill. Poor guy.
Our final stop on the road trip was the harbor in Tralee, Ross' hometown. This is where the famine ships left for the U.S. It seems sad, doesn't it?
So while it was probably the shortest road trip I've ever taken, it was also one of the most beautiful. And craic-filled.
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