Yesterday we got up in a leisurely way. The hostel lady had arranged for Mountain View (the horseback riding place) to pick us up, which was a huge relief. We’d signed up for the two hour experienced rider trek, which would have views of the Cliffs of Moher and a lot of Burren country.
We had a fantastic, amazing breakfast at a recommended place in Kinsale. Pancakes to die for. The bite I traded for of Mary Cate’s bacon was amazing, too. Then we caught the bus to Cork, and managed to catch the bus to Galway with no problems. These were both pretty nice (and surprisingly fast) rides. I’m in the depths of Mrs. Mike now, so I hardly noticed time passing. In Limerick, we were planning to just stay on the bus, but our driver pointed us in the direction of a direct bus that was about to leave. We caught this one with no problems, and arrived an hour earlier than expected.
After a few mishaps (and a breakfast of grocery donuts), Mary Cate and I boarded the Road Rail for a tour of Kinsale and trip to Charles Fort. Cheesy Celtic music played while we waited to take off (some of which sounded suspiciously like Gardens of Time). As Mary Cate said, “This is probably the most touristy thing we’ve done the entire trip.” I replied, “That’s not that bad, actually.”
This morning we went to Desmond Castle, the not-so-secret reason we came to Kinsale. While reading through Rick Steve’s Ireland travel book, my imagination was caught by a random fact about this particular castle. During the Revolutionary War, American sailors captured as prisoners of war were taken to the castle (then a prison). Some were chained to the walls as an example for Irish rebels.
Mary Cate: Wait, you dragged us all the way out here for this castle?
Me: But think of the potential stories! What if there was an American sailor who escaped? And what if he happened to meet a nice Irish lass? And what if they had to run away to America together??
Mary Cate: …
We awoke, got to the bus station, and boarded the right bus all with relative ease this morning. It was a pretty straight forward journey–about four hours to Cork. We did go through Cashel, which was a stop I’d scratched off after the online site said you couldn’t get to it by bus. So that’s special. But it was pretty relaxing. I listened to a good chunk of Mrs. Mike on Audible (which is an ADORABLE story). We got into Cork a little later than expected, but still managed to find the Kinsale bus in good time. Then it was another hour in.
What’s this? A blog entry the same day as the events therein?? That’s right, folks.
The night in the hostel went pretty well, though most of our roommates were up quite early. I ended up getting out of bed at eight to go downstairs and work on internet stuff (and drink water–I was really dehydrated). We were hoping to take a tour outside of Dublin today. I’d made inquiries about a month ago, and been in contact with a fellow from Over the Top Tours up until about two weeks back. I emailed him earlier in the trip with Mary Cate’s phone number, since I’d left my phone in Reading. Anyway. Everything’s clearer in hindsight, and I should have called yesterday or the day before to confirm and figure out how to meet up with the tour. But I didn’t. In the last email I had from the dude, it sounded like he was going to contact me. So the combined him not answering my emails and me being paranoid of phone conversations (especially with someone with another accent) meant this morning, after unsuccessfully hinting at the front desk to call for me, I emailed him one last time. I didn’t hear back in time, so that got scratched off the day plan.
We were worried about not having enough time to see Conwy castle and visit some shops on this morning, so we got up earlier and were down for breakfast the moment they started serving. Classic oldies were playing from the radio. We were the only ones down, and we sat by the window. It was completely peaceful. The host and hostess were really chill and relaxed. I got teased a bit for just ordering bacon and was told several times to ask for more if I was still hungry (I also was having toast and cereal). Even though we had a crazy day ahead, it was the perfect start to the morning. We both never wanted to leave.