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Post Info TOPIC: The Wonderful West


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The Wonderful West

Blessed with a hiatus in the volcanic ash problem, we arrived in Ireland May 1st and left on the 15th. We decided to go the self-catering route and found a wonderful place to stay in Annascaul (about 15 minutes from Dingle) for an incredible "two weeks for the price of one" deal at The fourplex unit was lovely with enough beds for 9, a comfortable living room  (TV, DVD player, and peat-sized fireplace), a full kitchen, small washer and dryer, and a little enclosed backyard. 

We saved a mint of money by buying things at the local stores and fixing most of our own meals. It was also a savings to have the washer and dryer---and much more convenient than having to find a laundromat. 

Annascaul is a nice little village, the highlight of which is the South Pole Inn, a pub owned previously by a South Pole explorer with lots of photos commemorating his expeditions. The pureed vegetable soup was especially good, as was the "traditional" music (a blend of county western and Irish) we enjoyed on a Saturday night.

The real fun was the horse fair, a celebration for Beltaine,  the first weekend of May. Folks lined the main street with horses, mules, sheep, chickens, and flea market type items for sale. There was even an ice cream truck that also had soup available in case of inclement weather.

In the nearby village of Camp, there was a sheepdog trial demonstration for the holiday. It was fascinating to watch those dogs controlled by the shepherd using different whistles! It was a little tricky to find this event however. Although it was listed in the free weekly brochure found in the markets, it didn't specify where it was to be held. In Ireland, things are more than a bit laid back. We stopped to ask a bunch of kids playing soccer across the roadway and they steered us to the right general area where we eventually found a tiny sign propped up beside a car alongside the driveway into the field where the event was held.

Since we were so close to Dingle we spent a good deal of time there. Murphy's Pub served up deliciously wonderful bowls of seafood chowder. The burgers weren't bad at all at the Diner. And we returned to the internet cafe by the store often to check email or to call home (only 15 cents a minute!). We also enjoyed a terrific concert of Irish music one evening at the Church of Ireland. These are given on a regular basis during the "summer" season. Tickets are available at several locations around town including Murphy's Ice Cream Shop (wonderful coffee and mochas in addition to tasty ice cream there by the way).

We traveled around quite a bit----Connemara, ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher. Cork (Middleton actually to go to the Jamison Distillery and see the whisky making process), Kenmare, Killarney National Park. However, we repeatedly commented that the Dingle penisula outshone them all. The drive around to Slea Head is so beautiful. One of the highlights of the entire trip was walking around a stone fort there built around 400 B.C. 

I would definitely recommend trying to catch a farmer's market or two. We bought delicious apples in Ballaghadereen, crepes in Listowel, and wonderful pot pies in Dingle. 

Roads less traveled led us to Annascaul Lake, ancient burial grounds, and a peat bog where they were actually forming it into "bricks". Although we certainly appreciated the major roadways (marked blue and green on the map), and though the narrow roads were a challenge, I would recommend you give them a try too.  

A wonderful, wonderful trip full of never to be forgotten memories!!



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Welcome back!

It seems that you had a most wonderful Dingle adventure! It would also seem that you have succumbed to the spell of Dingle! It is easy to do and one never truly recovers from it.

Thank you for sharing your adventure. The roads less traveled are where you often find your best memories. On our trip in 2005, we followed small cardboard signs that simply said "Gymkhana". We had an amazing afternoon of Hunter & Jumper competition as a reward.

My only question: When is your next trip?  biggrin

Slan Beo,




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What a lovely vacation. We very much appreciate your sharing your trip report here. It is nice to hear back and learn all the details. smile

It sounds like you got a great deal for your self-catering. I enjoy doing that too. I generally break up the B&B/hotel stays with a week self-catering here and there. As you say, you can save a lot of money by eating at your cottage instead of having to eat at a restaurant every day. Only downside is you have to cook your own breakfast. I must admit I enjoy having someone else do that at B&Bs. 

Isn't it amazing how those sheepdogs work? If you want to see a hillarious video of a "useless" Irish dog go over to the Irish Fireside. I don't know how Corey finds such gems!



"Ireland Expert"  Michele Erdvig

Click links for Michele's Book or Custom Ireland Itinerary

Visit Michele's Irish Shop for unique Irish gifts and beautiful photos of Ireland.


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Thanks for the video link. It was adorable!!! Seeing the dog trial demonstration there in Ireland was so wonderful. My wife, who absolutely loved watching the dogs, enjoyed the video of the "useless" one too.

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