Ireland Part 4: More Stories from the Road

This spring will mark two years since our trip to Ireland. It’s taken me that long to sort though the images and tell the story of our trip. I know this is way overdue/not relevant—but it’s fun looking back on our adventure! Finishing this blog series is getting me excited for our next big trip! 

If you haven’t yet, check out my other posts on Ireland here: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Ireland Part 4: More Stories from the Road

The Dingle Peninsula: Slea Head Drive

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With the red, yellow, and purple buildings of Dingle in our rearview, we set our sights on the historic scenery of Slea Head Drive; a road just west of Dingle that follows the tip of the peninsula along the coast. We had no idea what to expect. The one thing we wanted to see, the one thing we had to see, was the infamous “Sheep Road”.

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Back when we were first planning our trip, we were mesmerized by the iconic photo of shuffling sheep, marching their way up the winding road. Back in the day, the road was used to herd sheep onto boats, which would then carry the animals out to various islands where people lived. The islands are no longer inhabited—however, when we were there, Star Wars: The Last Jedi was filmed on the remote island Skellig Michael.

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We drove along the coastline in search of Sheep Road. I wanted to recreate the photo that inspired this trip. As we drove along the ancient, mountainside villages, our expectations where greatly exceeded. It was that moment we realized, one could fly to ireland, rent a room for a week, and spend the entire trip exploring this peninsula. It was absolutely amazing. While the photos can’t begin to show the beauty we experienced, its the only proof we have to share.

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It was normal for cars to park along the road as their drivers explored the countryside.

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Some of the stone buildings along the drive are pre-historic…ie very old.

We would drive for several hundred feet then stop, get out, stand in aw, then get back in the car only to be greeted by more beauty. The mountains grew. Islands began to appear off in the distance. Beaches—ancient buildings and farm houses dotted the countryside. Beauty was all around us. The only drawback from our trek west was that soon, we had to turn back and head to our next B&B. We drove along Slea Head for as far as we possibly could before mapping our next town and realizing we were several hours away, it was getting dark, and we had check in.

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Sheep Road — Sans Sheep

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Our B&B was in walking distance from two pubs. We made our way down a tiny rural road flanked by green overgrowth. The first pub was very busy with a woman and her teenage daughter serving as the only two bar keeps. I imagine the husband was back in the kitchen. We waited nearly an hour before receiving our first drinks—then ordered Irish Nachos—tortilla chips with melted cheese.

By the time we worked up a good buzz and an appetite—the kitchen closed (Ireland has a notoriously early dinner time). We made our way to the pub next pub which was luckily still serving pizza. We had a few more beers, ate the strangest pub pizza & watched a group of young kids play pool before heading back to our inn.

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Creepy old farmhouse converted into a B&B—reminiscent of the shining. Thankfully, sans insane writer/murderer/ghost twins.

The Gap of Dunloe

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Irish people have the strangest breakfast foods — fish & beans.

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Murphy’s Farmhouse — A pleasant stay.

The next day we headed east, following the thin winding country roads to The Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass that’s part of the scenic Ring of Kerry. On our way there we passed a giant motorcycle parade of some sort—full of crazy people presumably riding across Ireland. It was actually quite neat.

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The first site that we saw when entering the area was a group of mountain climbers.

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The gap in the distance—sheep grazing in the foreground.

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The road leading into the gap was extremely narrow. At one point we had to wait for a man guiding his horse and buggy—providing rides and tours down the zig-zag path.

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The area is full of large rocks, ancient stone buildings, & picturesque lakes. As was normal in Ireland—there was nothing official—just stop wherever and take in the sights.

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The gap was definitely worth the trip—if you find yourself in Ireland—it’s a must see! We drove up, down, and around; jaws gaping at the scenery that, for a few hours, seemed to encapsulate our little foreign white rental.

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Black Valley is at the bottom of the gap—a small village in the middle of Nowhere Ireland.

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As with most of the stops on our trip—it was time for us to move on further down the road.

The next destination on our road trip would be one that, despite our hopes of avoiding, drew us in with mystical Irish magic—The Blarney Stone.

Next the conclusion of our trip—Ireland Part 5: Blarney Castle, Dublin, The Irish Sea

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