Ireland

img_8769Cork is an interesting place but you get the feeling that being mugged will be a when, not an if. There are a lot of bad signs, smashed windows, graffiti, yobs hanging about and so forth but I could well be wrong. Let's hope so. The evening restaurant, 14A is a great choice however, good dinner and nice ambiance.

The highlight that we saw is the English Market (breakfast upstairs is superb) and the produce looks excellent not to mention the chocolate store, try the chocolate dipped cherries, a taste explosion.

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Read more: Arrival

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Our guide, Peter from Wonderful Ireland has visited and provided maps, tour guide sheets, water and information. So far we have awarded the a 4 to 4.5 stars for his efforts. Very good.

Breakfast at the Sea View is also good and Joanna our host is a very affable woman. Altogether a first rate place to stay apart from the rooms being a bit warm, probably a very good thing on most occasions.

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Read more: 2nd July 2010

img_8821A very long walk (at least 20km but I've lost my new pedometer so can't be certain. If you find one between Anascaul and Dingle it's mine). The last couple of km through the town and out the other side was a killer.

The walk is almost totally rural and really pretty. You'll need to not be scared of dogs, there are approximately 2 million farm dogs who want to have a sniff as you go by. Other than this is was uneventful but not quite enough comestibles for the length of walk.

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Read more: 3rd July 2010

img_8847None of us can speak highly enough of Heaton's Guesthouse (www.heatonsdingle.com). Nuala made us so welcome and her breakfasts are truly incredible. Bread pudding, kippers, cheese soufflé's can you believe plus all the normal stuff. Wow. They only have four stars, what do you have to do in Ireland to get five so you suppose?

Half the party hit the road while the remainder went back to Dingle for medications. There we were met by driver Martin, who barely stops for breath and kept up a running commentary all the way to our next B&B at Ventry where we meet the advance party.

The rest of the walk is charming although we speculate as to why the farmers paint their sheep blue and some of the ancient stone beehives. Clearly stone is not in short supply.

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Read more: 4th July 2010

img_8874Cracker day today, Martin picked us up and took us to our various start points. The young ones are up for the 28km walk and the older contingent have decided to cut this down to a more rational 14km.

A couple of modest showers (it's Ireland after all) but the day is otherwise very pleasant. It's warm then cold then windy by turns. Very hard to keep wearing the same cloths without wanting to change every 10 minutes.

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Read more: 5th July 2010

img_8890Beds are not so comfortable at the An Bóthar but we managed a reasonable night. They ran out of hot water by morning too, must have been too many hot baths last night.

The weather in the morning however is well packed up. High wind and rain, quite a contrast from sitting outside last night, or even the evening sun sining in the window as we lay bed.

Peter Galvin of Wonderfulireland.com rose once more to the occasion and arranged transport for us to visit Dingle (even the keenest of our walkers have wisely decided against crossing the mountain). Startlingly several other groups set out into driving rain, gale force winds and uncertain visibility, personally I'd have said this was madness.

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Read more: 6th July 2010