Here's my hostel in Cork. My 3rd hostel. Real neat place.
So after I was in Cork (and it poured and I had my debit card stolenish), I grabbed a bus over to a little town called Caherciveen (which was a ways from my next stop, but it was as far as the bus went) - I'm getting pretty proficient with the public transportation and finding my way around by this point in time. Once in Caherciveen, I rented a bike and headed out to a place about 15 miles away called The Ballinskelligs (and to a hostel called The Skelligs Hostel)- a very remote little coastal village quite far away from any type of city. It was a pretty grand adventure as I arrived in this tiny town, hopped on a bicycle, and headed out down the (very narrow and curvy, 100km/hr speed limit- so a bit scary) road to my next destination. There were a number of moments where I just stopped and had to out loud remind myself that this was for real- here I am on a bike by myself in the absolutely georgeous countrysides of Ireland with my pack on my back, traveling right beside the ocean and through mountains... I just giggled with glee a few times (or heartily laughed, to sound a bit tougher and rugged), unable to contain the joy, beauty, freedom, and surrealness of the whole thing. Here's some videos from the adventure:
I ended up staying around this area for 4 days (I was planning on heading further up the West coast, but it was just so fantastic here that I had to stay a bit longer). So I spent the next couple of days biking around, doing a couple hikes, and exploring the countryside.
Here's my new Swiss friends Andrew, Nadine, and their kid Gavin. I met them right away as I arrived and then they invited me to join them for some dinner- very kind folks. We spoke mostly in French cause their English was pretty weak.
And here's some other backpacking friends that I met- they were from Milwaukee.
And some other pics from my exploring...
I also went for a pretty epic hike while I was there, but I'll describe that and put up a few pictures and videos sometime soon. Gotta go...