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Expect Scattered Showers of Sleet and Snow – Chapter 2

Mar 6, 2023 | Road Trips, The Grand Adventure | 4 comments

As you will know if you read Chapter 1 of this post, it was February 2023. We were in Ireland enjoying the unseasonally sunny weather despite the forecast for scattered showers of sleet and snow.

But maybe we were heading straight for it. Maybe the second part of our Irish adventure was a disaster waiting to happen.

In the meantime, we were revelling in the beauty of the Dingle Peninsula and delighting in the quirky characters that lived there. And we still had Limerick and Dublin to look forward to.

So, on with the road trip:

Monday: Get-to-Know-the-Locals Day

We spent two nights at The Haven Guest House in Dingle, which meant we had time to meet a few of the locals, like the fella in this picture – we called him the Dingle Dog.

We met him outside a farm and stopped for a chat before he waved us goodbye – literally.

Then there was the bloke in the street who gave us directions to Dick Macks, a famous pub recommended to us by our friend, Malcolm, from The Dennington Queen.

Malcolm said Dick Macks sold beer and whiskey on one side of the pub, and leather goods on the other. This we had to see.

So we asked the bloke in the street in Dingle how we might get to Dick Macks, and the conversation went something like this:

‘‘You’ll find Dick Macks opposite the church,” he said.  “And where’s the church?” I asked. “Opposite Dick Macks,” he said.

Of course it is.

Luckily, Dingle isn’t that big, so the church wasn’t hard to find. And Dick Macks did indeed sell a combination of leather goods, beer and whiskey. We bought a couple of beers.

I got chatting to the barman (that’s him in the photo) and asked how long he’d worked there. “We’ve been running Dick Macks for 120 years,” was his unexpected reply.

“We?” “120 years?”

Turns out, the pub (and leather goods business) was started by his great-great-grandfather in 1899, and has been handed down the generations ever since. That’s what you call a family business.

On our way back from Dick Macks, strolling in the sunshine, we met Damian (“Call me Damo, everyone round here does”), who told us he was a musician and he was playing at a craic at Bob Griffins Bar later that evening, and we should come along.

So we did.

We arrived early, before the musicians, and found ourselves a cosy corner of the bar with a good viewing position. We told ourselves we’d listen to a couple of songs before heading back to our digs, but ended up staying for two hours.

Damo and his mate from Dublin, whose name escapes me, were the two main players, but over the course of the evening, they were joined by three or four others, who brought guitars, mouth organs or fiddles, and played mainly traditional Irish songs.

That’s Damo in the middle of the picture below with the piano accordion and his mate from Dublin on his right.

The Guinness was flowing, spirits were high and the musicians kept playing. One musician, in particular, was so drunk I didn’t think he was going to make it across the room with his beer intact. But you would never have known once he started playing.

He reminded me of the joke about the four Irish friends leaving the pub after a night of drinking and one of them says, “Paddy, you drive, you’re far too drunk to sing.” Our guy wasn’t quite drunk enough. He sang brilliantly.

It was a very entertaining night.

Tuesday: Loved Connor Pass, But Pass On Limerick

This is Connor Pass, a 12km mountain road and one of the highest in Ireland. Turns out, it was the road we had to take from Dingle to Limerick. And guess what? The sun was still shining!

At its steepest part, it winds its way around the mountain with just enough space for one car. We passed a local on his way back to Dingle who was oblivious to this snippet of information. I pulled over to the left as far as I could without falling off the side of the mountain, and stopped.

He didn’t.

I closed my eyes and held my breath.

He didn’t.

He passed so close I could feel our car quiver in the wake of his, but somehow, he left us physically unscathed. Mentally battered, but otherwise unharmed. 

The rest of the journey was uneventful, except for the breathtaking views across the lakes and mountain ranges.

Two hours later we found ourselves in Limerick.

It had a couple of saving graces, but after the charm of Dingle and the drama of Connor Pass, it was a pass from us.

Wednesday: 24 Hours To Do Dublin

Our last night was spent in Dublin. What a great city. We only had 24 hours, so we had to pack it in. We randomly walked the streets, dropped into pubs when we heard live Irish music, enjoyed the architecture – old and new – and wandered through the park in the sunshine. I wish we’d had more time.

Thursday: Farewell, Ireland. And the Sunshine.

It was the day of our departure and we had one last thing to do. Drop the hire car off at the airport. We found Hertz without any problems and we were greeted by two cheery young Irish lads who came to inspect the car, one carrying a clipboard. “Wick!” he announced, reading our name on the booking form. “Like John Wick?”

Now, I had no idea what they were talking about, but it turned out Russell did. ‘John Wick’ is a shoot-em-up movie about a hitman who comes out of retirement to seek revenge against the men who killed his dog. Yeah, really high-brow stuff.

So, while I was getting our luggage out of the boot, Russell decided to humour these two John Wick enthusiasts by a) pretending that his name really was John Wick, and b) showing off his John Wick gun-toting moves in the middle of the Hertz parking bay.

I was left holding two backpacks, two cabin bags, and the car keys, while Russell was prancing around the car park with his newly-formed Irish fan club.  As he blew the smoke from the barrel of his imaginary gun, one of the Hertz lads turned to me and said. “Married to John Wick! You’re one lucky woman!

I rolled my eyes and headed for the airport.

Several hours later, we pulled up outside our cottage in Dennington. The Irish sun that had served us so well over the last eight days had set at last, and the forecast of scattered sleet and snow finally caught up with us in England.

4 Comments

  1. I wish you were, Suzie

  2. How wonderful-am loving the way we feel like we are on this journey with you!

  3. Thanks, Dubsie!

  4. Love hearing about your travels Mels xx

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