A day off on Tim’s birthday

We celebrated Tim’s birthday by traveling by bus to the start of our next walk. Again it would have been helpful to read a little more about what we were getting into. Gaiters were highly recommended. Don’t we know it. We wash the mud off our pant cuffs daily. And I think this next walk along the Dingle way covers 100 miles or so over 6 days, yep that’s a lot of miles. The highlight is the last day when we will walk 16.2 miles and climb 2644 feet.  What was I thinking?!

Rather than carry a gift all this way, I brought a photo of one of Tim’s gifts. I am weaving a wool rug for the cabin and left it set up on the loom at home. This next gift makes me giggle when I think of it. We keep a toilet seat hanging on the wall of the cabin to keep it warm and ready for use outside. It looks like a toilet seat hanging on the wall.  No longer. I stained it and then stenciled ivy leaves around it. This photo doesn’t show the last inspired touch. Finally, I wove a kumihimo braid to hang it up and to also work as a handle. I thought of mounting it in front of a mirror (mirror, mirror on the wall) but thought that might be over the top.

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We went to a bird of prey exhibit outside Ballyvaughan, ( a sleeper day covering only six and a half miles) and it was fantastic. The birds soared overhead while the handlers talked about them. We met one of the handlers on the bus to Galway and she hunts with falcons! I may have to rethink my archery plans.

Here’s Jesse, an adorable owl.

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Our walks have covered much ground that looks like this.

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Photos don’t do it any justice.

I had my first soft boiled egg, because it had its own knit hat. I have now sunk down to taking photos of my food.

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Today’s a light day in Tralee while we gear up for the Dingle walk. I hope the weather is half as nice as the first leg. Much of our walk is along the Wild Atlantic Way. I finally figured out their logo. First I thought it meant river crossings, then electric lines.

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But it is the WAW! Ha.

The key to Ireland

Every B & B and lodge we have stayed in uses the same style key, I wonder if it’s actually the same key. Some work easier than others. For this one, I have to get on one knee and look into the keyhole.

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Spring is the perfect time to visit Ireland. There are lambs, calves and foals in every field. I saw a drama where a lamb couldn’t find its mother until she let out a bleat of her own. They are in the background of this video clip.

Here are a few that are more content.

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Look at this heart!

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Some of the animals are faring poorly because they had a winter that lasted 8 months and  culminated with a blizzard in March – the first snow here in decades. I am not posting the photo of the skinniest cow and hungriest calf I have seen on the walk.

We are about halfway through our walks and have covered 51.4 miles mostly on untraveled country roads, through fields, muddy paths and small forests. We have climbed over a lot of stone walls. My worst day was when we rode bikes on Inishmor, the largest of the Aran Islands. My bike didn’t fit and it wrecked havoc with my body. Nuff said.

But we got to a natural pool carved into the cliffs, recently used for a cliff diving competition, with dramatic seas washing over the wall.

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Today was a half day and tomorrow is a travel day on 3 buses. Time to rest my tootsies.

Read the fine print

We’re enjoying a lovely holiday in Ireland where I am literally walking my butt off.  This is the trip we booked instead of the one Tim wanted to do where we would have climbed 3000 to 5000 feet elevation gain every day for 10 days or so. We are sauntering through Ireland, first through the Burren and then the Dingle peninsula.

In my mind we were walking 6-12 miles every day. I didn’t look close enough. We are walking 12-14 miles every day, which turns out to be fine. Especially when we can finish the day with delicious food, a pint of Guiness and/or a shot of  Jamieson’s whiskey.

People we met early in the week kept telling us how excited they were about the weather. At first it merely looked like it wasn’t going to rain all day but indeed it has been glorious for the past couple of days.

Leaving the Adirondacks in the spring that is winter is never easy. Our flight to Boston was cancelled and we drove to a bus in Concord, NH. Turned out to be much better than I expected.

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Lovely state capitol.

We walked along the Cliffs of Moher in drizzle and 35 mph winds, along 500? foot cliffs above the sea. Even Tim had the willies a few times. It did not stop this intrepid bride and groom who posed for the photographer and may have even staged their wedding atop the cliff. They look like small dots in white.

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Looks a little precarious to me.

We are walking on our own with only day packs and our tour operator, Mac’s Adventures booked all the inns AND transports our bags from inn to inn. At least I read that fine print.