Day 11: Today, I had a 12 hour bus tour booked. Every fiber of my body said, “SKIP IT!”. I had spent much of the night coughing, and even my airbnb host mentioned he heard me and felt bad for me. I felt bad that I had disturbed him. šŸ™ But I couldn’t bear the idea of missing out. So I got up and got myself together to be at the office at 730. The half mile walk was downhill and flat. My coughing was echoing off the stone buildings in the narrow streets. Ugh.
Got there for my Paddywagon tour to the Cliffs of Mohr! I ended up in the front seat behind the driver (best seat!). Sat by the window and put my bag in the other seat. A couple of people who boarded in between my coughing fits asked if anyone was sitting there. I said no, but I have a really bad cold. They scurried down the aisle.
Our guide was green- and not in a good Irish way! I could quickly tell that she wasn’t very confident and didn’t have her “shtick” down pat. I think it takes a certain personality to keep 40 people entertained for 12 hours… But she was friendly and trying, so I was rooting for her! The roads were crazy narrow. Like I have no idea how two buses going opposite directions got past each other!! And the hedges were so close to the road that they were like walls on either side. Seriously, there was zero room for error. If you’re renting a car here, get full insurance!!
It was a damn long bus ride to our first stop, the Cliffs of Moher. I had read about everyone RAVING about this natural phenomenon, so I was excited to see it! Unfortunately, we had to climb a bit of a hill to get to the view point, and my lungs were not in the mood to cooperate. But, I made it! When an elderly man with a cane is passing you on a hill…well, it’s embarrassing. OK. I’m all about honesty here, and while the cliffs were nice, I was kinda like “meh” about them. There were tourists everywhere, and it just seemed really over-hyped to me. The views were lovely, I don’t deny that, but not 12 hour bus ride lovely…

For size perspective, look at the tiny seagulls flying around. šŸ™‚

Next stop was pretty close to the Cliffs. The Burrens. I was interested in it for my earth science class, as it’s an excellent example of a glaciokarst landscape. However, for general tourism purposes, if I thought the cliffs were “meh”, well, you don’t want to know what I thought of this place. If you don’t understand what it is, the place where the bus drops you off really isn’t that exciting.
And then we headed back. Yep, that was basically the entire trip. I napped a bit, and thought about how I should have skipped this. Next stop, Dingle for lunch. Where we stopped, there was really only one sit down restaurant, Fitzpatrick’s. I really hate that kind of thing, because you’re trapped and you know the company is getting a kickback. For the record, that never happened in Scotland. We always had a ton of choices and never felt like one place was given favor. Fitzpatrick’s was cafeteria style. I got a seafood chowder (yes, another meal out!) and I’ll admit, it was a lot tastier than I was expecting!
Back on the bus for a couple of hours, then we stopped for a photo stop at castle. I was in need of vitamin c, and bought a blood orange lemonade in a to go coffee cup for 3 euros….
Me: Doctor, I’m not feeling well at all.
Doctor:Ā  What are your symptoms?
Me: Well, I’ve spent about $50 in taxis because I’m too tired to walk, about the same in restaurant meals in the past 2 days because I’m too tired to deal with making anything, I spent 3 euros on a freaking lemonade, and I’ve been to the pharmacy.
Doctor: Nurse, get a toe tag for this woman. She’s not going to make it.
Our tour ended up being about 11.5 hours. To see 2 things. The countryside was beautiful, but none of it to me was worth the bus ride. Here’s my advice. If you’re going to be in that direction, go see the cliffs. Unless you’re a serious fan of cliffs, don’t drive out of your way to see them. Honestly, on the bus ride from Dublin to Cork, we passed thru a little picturesque town called Kilkenny. I mean, this place looked like something from a fantasy idea of what an Irish town looks like! Colorful shops, a little river, and a castle. I would have rather gone there… Plus, the town of Cork itself is worth a day of exploring! Not having the time /energy to explore more of Cobh and Cork are definitely regrets.
Day 12: Speaking of regrets, I had definitely pushed myself too hard yesterday. Last night was hell. My body was punishing me for not listening to it and running around all day yesterday. I woke up super hot and sweaty in the middle of the night, and kicked my leg out from under the comforter. Wrong move! I was immediately racked with chills, forcing a retreat under the sauna comforter again. Full on fever. I literally sweated so much I had dreams/ visions /hallucinations of sweat soaking through this nice man’s mattress and on to the floor…sigh. Got up and packed, and called a cab to take me to the bus. I highly recommend the AirBNB where I stayed!
Met the GoBe bus that I had booked after being so disappointed with Dublin Coach, and they were right on time with a nice bus. Three hours later (much of which I napped), we were in Dublin. I knew the bus to my airbnb was going to require a 10 minute walk. With this pack, in this heat, with this sickness, not happening. Got a mytaxi for 9 euros. Worth every penny. I told the host that I wasn’t being rude, but I was going to put myself in quarantine in my room to not spread germs. Because now, my sinuses were in full blown (no pun intended) crisis mode. I dropped the pack off and headed out for a level 1 mile roundtrip walk to the pharmacy and grocery store. Got sinus meds, a huge bottle of orange juice, and some deli chicken and chips. Went to look for Dr. Pepper and was met with the most heart breaking scenario possible…

I was in a 100% residential area. Not a tourist in sight. Who says locals don’t drink Dr. Pepper???

Went back, ate, and took a 3 hour nap. Woke up, wallowed in my misery, tried to work, and went to bed at 10. Not a very exciting ending to my Ireland trip. It kinda went out with a whimper (literally). šŸ™
So, a recap. I saw things and learned things in Ireland that were amazing. Would I come back? Never say never, but probably not. I’m not much of a scenery for the sake of scenery person, and I think that’s most of what I missed out on in this trip. I will say that the people I met were LOVELY! So friendly and open. I’m not sorry at all that I came and had the experiences I did. Tomorrow, I’m off to the French Riviera, where I can finally slow down a bit and hopefully get rid of this cold.

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