Day 6 - (August 27th, 2014)
Jason and I both experienced a sleepless night, worrying about our new German friend. However, once we found out everything was ok, we ate a quick full Irish breakfast and decided to head out to experience the Irish countryside.
Both of us share the same mindset that enjoyable travel is predicated upon not having too much of an agenda. Rather, it is way more rewarding to figure out what interests you along the way and gravitate towards that. In this vein, we only had a rough idea of where we wanted to go, and zero details were fully worked out.
After some research, we found that the cheapest and easiest way to see the country was to rent a car at the airport. For only 13 euros a day, we rented this beautiful yet severely underpowered Skoda:
Driving stick with your left hand on the wrong side of the road was a trip, and I immediately knew I’d have fun whipping this little car around. In no time, we made the drive from Dublin to Adare Manor and were floored by how gorgeous the setting for TJ and Kelly’s wedding would be:
TJ had requested that I put together a bunch of pictures from my computer for the wedding slideshow so Jason and I sat down in the castle drawing room and got to work. What a ridiculous dichotomy! We were belly laughing over all the crazy and inappropriate photos from college in this room where heads of state and dignitaries meet to discuss world events. Quickly, we realize that I have more photos of TJ than anyone else. Mostly because he was typically the center of the party or was doing something absolutely ridiculous. Sadly, we had to cut over 90% of the photos as they were NSFW (not safe for wedding).
When we finished, our cheeks and abs hurt from laughing so hard for so long. We dropped off the memory stick and took off to make our way to the Ring of Kerry (Ireland’s most scenic coastal drive).
We stopped in Killarney to eat and do some tourist stuff as we heard it was beautiful, but just after I park I hear Jason scream. I imagined such a vile shriek was the result of a car hitting him. However, when I looked over, I saw him running for a Bolts fan in full baby blue, old school Chargers regalia. We were both floored that this far from San Diego, we ran into an English Super Chargers super fan:
After touring the sites of tiny Killarney in under 2 hours, we hit the road to drive through what is billed as one of the most scenic drives in all Ireland through Killarney National Park and onto the Ring of Kerry. The narrow, winding roads were a blast and the scenery absolutely as beautiful as all the guidebooks had described. Below is a slideshow of some of the sites:
Since we were running out of daylight and battery to navigate us, we departed the park in the direction of our bed and breakfast in Kenmare, known as the base of the Ring of Kerry. As in Dublin, I used the Booking.com app to find our accommodations and would lean heavily on this app in the many days to come during my adventure. Exhausted, we passed out immediately and did not even check out the small town. We knew what was ahead of us and therefore sleep would be a precious commodity over the next few days of the wedding.