Just some random discoveries / reflections after a couple of weeks in Ireland…
# glad we didn’t do it in a motorhome as we had considered… The very narrow roads and tight parking would have been hard, but it would also have been hard to justify the cost. A motorhome was around $250/night Aus and then there would have been site costs as well.
# family B&B rooms are good value. $150-180 Aus for a night. We went for the budget end of the market and ‘won’ a few and ‘lost ‘ a few.
# public toilets! Not enough of em! Seriously, all over Ireland they are hard to find and while us blokes can solve things easily it’s a bit trickier for the ladies. If you work for Irish tourism then this one needs urgent attention 🙂
# be prepared to get warm if you go in summer. It stays light till late and the sun can be warm until around 9pm. I was prepared for an Aussie winter in the Southern Hemisphere but reality is overnight it gets down to around 13/14 deg rather than the 5-6 deg we have. So you don’t need to worry about warmth at night.
# Irish bakeries are the best! Sensational cakes, scones and breads. I wont be here long enough to really make the most of it.
# coffee is served VERY hot. Perhaps it’s a legacy of being tea drinkers, but even the good coffees I have had have been close to boiling.
# a ‘double’ bed in Ireland is most likely just that – a ‘double ‘. We usually expect a queen size in Oz so be prepared to snuggle up a bit more.
# top spots to visit? – obviously this is subjective but we loved the Ring of Kerry, The Famine road area in Connemara, The Antrim coastline, Malin head and Inishowen.
# don’t expect to get anywhere fast. Today we left our B&B on a small narrow road and got stuck behind a funeral procession for 20ks. No chance of overtaking… when we left Kildare for Killarney the GPS said 45kms in 45 mins… a long time for a country drive, BUT that didn’t allow for the tractors, cyclists and roadworks which made it a 95 min drive!
# I downloaded the sygic GPS which worked well for a week and then seemed to struggle to find a signal. Every other app could, so it wasn’t the phone at fault. That said, in Aussie mode the GPS voice calls me ‘cobber ‘, cause we do that a lot back home I guess…
# lemon lime and bitters is an Aussie drink. I have seen some puzzled looks when we asked for it. A couple of people tried to pass off bitter lemon as the same thing, but it’s obviously not drunk in Ireland.
# the degree to which we enjoyed things seemed to be in relation to the mood we approached them with. When tired everything is boring and lame. When energetic its amazing how good things are.
# the kids need more company their own age… so they told us…
# we need the kids to have more company their own age…
# it’s $300 cheaper over ten days to have just one driver registered to drive the hire car. Being that driver means you don’t see as much.
# it would have been around $80 cheaper to hire a car on arrival rather than book ahead like we did… Weird…
# www.booking.com was our best source of accommodation. We usually booked ahead just one night and always found a reasonably priced family room.
# trip advisor is really useful, but be kind to people… Most are doing their best and we all have bad days. I had a few bad experiences but as a business owner I would hate to be crucified online as some folks seem to do.
# don’t let your son buy a 600 page joke book to read while everyone else is reading… It usually lasts five minutes before he just HAS to tell you his joke…
# I found Irish food a bit bland. There were more than a few fairly disappointing evening meals. It seemed there was a lack of imagination in a lot of the meals we had. We spent around $100/day Aus on food on average.
# we hired a Toyota Auris for around $30/day Aus and that was a great little car getting 22k/l on diesel. While fuel is expensive in Ireland we used very little of it.
# we found this trip different to our camping holidays in that we didn’t really connect much with other people, and we all missed that. We ended up talking to one another a lot… there is only so much to talk about…
# the Irish aren’t really set up for warm weather. Few places have air conditioning or even fans, and windows often have a small opening angle so warm rooms can be very warm at night – and stuffy. Cafes without air con become saunas on hot days. I never thought we would have to consider ‘heat’ in Ireland but there have been a few quite warm days.
# British / Irish internet speed is far superior to ours – certainly ours in Yanchep! But seriously… what is going on in Oz?
OK that’s it for now…
I’ll do a trip round up next time and then we will be home.