It's Saturday morning here, 11am. I'm still at home, on the daybed, uploading photos and blogging, waiting for my camera battery to charge. Note to self - for the next trip, bring an extra one.
Yesterday I did make it to Dingle, out on the Dingle Peninsula. Another place I want to come back to when the weather is better. I'm pretty sure I would come back in May if I can swing it. I've been able to see and do a lot of things, but I could see and do more with better weather and more daylight.
The peninsula is as beautiful as I imagined, maybe even more so. The road to Dingle cuts through the mountains, gorgeous views around every bend. I might have stopped every 10 minutes on the way back to take a photo. The mountains sweep up from the ground, barely dusted with a light frosting of snow. I stopped to take one photo and looked back as a curtain of rain descended over the mountain. The mist trailed the cloud like the hem of a garment, moving gently across the valley to the next set of mountains. It happened in about 2 minutes.
You think the weather in Oregon is crazy, it is mild compared to Ireland. Right now I'm looking at sunshine. But we have already had several small snow flurries. I think today I'm going to go back and explore Adare village, just West of Limerick. About a 45-minute drive. I don't think I'm up for traipsing around much further than that. I was on the road for probably 6-7 hours yesterday, but it was worth it! I'm so glad I went. I took a turn to get out to a beach on the way back from Dingle, and ended up finding this little cove instead. And I caught the last of the light. Just beautiful and serene, nobody out there but me. I find that happening often, I'll have a lot of places to myself, just poking around and taking pictures. Following my nose to the next adventure.
My trip is winding down, but I'm not thinking about it, because I know I'll be back. Ireland is that place for me. The place I'll want to come back to and explore year after year. If you like golf, come to Ireland. If you like water, come to Ireland. If you like beer and whiskey, come to Ireland. If you like music, come to Ireland. If you like horses, come to Ireland. If you want to fish, come to Ireland. If you like history, come to Ireland. The list goes on and on and on. The country is magical and beautiful, and now it owns a piece of my heart. Of all my ancestry, I resonate most with this land, at least of the places I have been.
Oh! Speaking of horses, on my way to Dingle yesterday I saw two "trotters" and their jockeys practicing in a village not too far from where I am staying, Killkullen, I think. I wished I could have got my camera out in time, they were beautiful! Brown and white, like a paint pony. Manes and tails flowing in the wind as they trotted around the bend and out of sight. I love seeing unexpected things like that, and all the animals, everywhere. I suppose that's what I don't like about the Eastern side of Ireland. You lose the wide open spaces because there are more cities and it's more populated.
While I was in Dingle, I stopped in for a bowl of seafood chowder and some tea at Murphy's B&B. Delish! Then, as I was walking through town I saw Murphy's ice cream shop and stopped in. I had a tiny cup of Sea Salt Ice Cream, made from the salt extracted out of Dingle Bay, and Butterscotch ice cream. Though it was cold, something seemed so right about eating ice cream at the beach. I wandered up the hill, looking for the Dingle Bookshop. I found it, decided to buy a book from a local author, and the shopkeeper found an autographed copy for me. Another tiny treasure.
I have loved every minute of this adventure, and I still have four full days left, so I'll see what I can make of it. My host, Steph, has now turned into a friend. And I would highly recommend anyone coming to stay at this cottage, or with her in the room she rents in her house. She is simply an amazing human being. I was on my way out yesterday, and she asked me in for tea and we talked for 45 minutes. She kept the fire going all day for me so the cottage was warm when I got home. She is just wonderful. I will miss her too, and the cats. Everything.
I know this experience has deepened and broadened my soul in ways I cannot imagine and will not know right away. Traveling always changes me, expands my view of the world, helps me grow with the challenges it presents. I have done a lot, and on my own. And for that, I am quite proud of myself. Let's see what adventures I can find today.