Backpacking Ireland Reviews
A wet adventure. Jun 09, 2011
Last summer (2010) I flew to Ireland to meet a new friend and travel the country together for a month. Neither of us saved much money or planned much of anything but the plan was to just both fly in on the same day meet at the airport and see where the wind would take us...and that's exactly what we did.
We both arrived at the Dublin airport around 11:30pm with no idea where we were going to stay (of course we told the border officials otherwise). We did plan on doing a fair amount of camping as we knew we couldn't afford a month of lodging so we did come prepared with some gear. After spending a little time at the airport we decided to head out into the night and try to find a place to sleep. With no real direction but to stick to the coastal areas I asked "So should we go north or south first?" "South."
We caught one of the last city busses as far south as it went, got off a started wondering. After a long tired 3 hours we found a slightly wooded area, set up the tent and got some very needed sleep. Not many great places to hide a tent in Dublin, who would have thought?
The next mourning was where the real adventure began. We decided to give hitchhiking a try as we also weren't sure we could afford to bus around the country. Right away we got a lift and it set the pace in a way for the rest of the trip. We'd catch a lift give them the general direction we wanted to go (generally being no more specific than north, south, east or west,) and then ask them to bring us to wherever they thought best. Sometimes it was an entrance to the next big highway so we could catch another ride. Sometimes to some beautiful ocean village. Sometimes we get dropped in the middle of nowhere to walk into the hills looking for a place to set up camp. We trusted those who picked us up to drop us off in a good place and they never did us wrong. Actually the people there were some of the nicest I've ever met. People were constantly going out of their way to help in anyway they could, driving us miles out of their way, having us over for tea and to meet their families and giving us food picked straight out of their own gardens. One guy even let us use his fully furnished house while he stayed at his gf for the night so we could shower and sleep in a comfy clean warm bed.
As for the countryside it's beautiful. So lush and green with rolling hills that seem to go on forever. The coast was quite incredible too, going from a calm sandy beach in one county to a raging swell crashing against a cliff face in the next.
The month went well and we circled from Dublin to Dublin (Northern Ireland too). The only real downside was how much it rained as nothing seems to dry out in that country. Wet gear weighs more and smells bad after a few days ;) Would I do it again? Absolutely.
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