Deaf, Travel

Ireland – 7 April to 17 April 2017

This is only a general blog as the tour itself – I could not get where we were or the history of the place due to the lack of transcript or key notes from the company as per request.   Places that we visited – Star Wars references or Games of Thrones references – why they choose that area – I have no idea. This is beyond my control. I wouldn’t recommend Paddywagon Tours to the deaf people. Maybe English speaking people, but certainly not Deaf or different spoken language.

Also not recommended for people who have dietary requirements – I request for gluten-free breakfast and I didn’t have any breakfast all the way through the tour – I only had the GF breakfast biscuits.

6 Days Southern Ireland Tour – https://www.paddywagontours.com/6-day-tour-of-southern-ireland

Also Bus Eireann was on union strike as of 25th March and it was only lifted on 15th April, while I was in Ireland which means that I couldn’t get the hop-on hop-off travel pass to travel through Ireland of my choice. This is why I chose to go on Paddywagon Tour as it was close to where I would like to go.

Lancaster to Dublin and return

I have chosen the the long route to get to Dublin on day 1 and day 12 to allow me to enjoy the scenery more. For instance going from Warrington Qauy where I have to change train to Holyhead – the train travels along the coast with some inner country scenery – it was beautiful to sit by the window to enjoy the scenery. I am glad that I didn’t just “book” a flight to Dublin.

Day 1: Travel to Dublin

When I arrived at the Dublin port – I was very disappointed that there wasn’t going to be any stamp in my passport – I like my stamps! To prove that I have been! Republic of Ireland is not UK so … Oh well. 🙂

I booked into MEC hostel near the hospital for 20 Euros a night – I only stayed one night. The hostel is clean, nice and simple. They do have a strict rule – maximum 7 nights within 12 months. Understandable because there was a lot of Irish people staying in the hostel and the hospital is nearby. It was a fair bit of a walk from Connell Station to MEC hostel and this hostel is situated in a culturally diverse community which I like very much.

After checking into the hostel, I walked around the north side of the river seeing main landmarks before getting dinner and rest for the tour the next day.

Day 2: Paddywagon 6 Days Southern Ireland Tour – Dublin to Annascaul

9am call for the Paddywagon 6 days and 9 days Ireland Tour so we boarded a 19 seat bus. Only 13 of us including myself on this bus. The tour started with pointing out the main landmarks in Dublin on our way to Guinness Factory I got an international sign language guide and it was interesting how this beer came about however I didn’t get to try the Guinness Beer as I am Gluten Intolerant and wheat itself is not dissolve like the hard liquor.

Then we were on our merry way to Dunamase to see Rock of the Castle and the lovely agriculture surrounding the landmark.

We stopped at a servo for lunch before driving to Annascaul for our overnight stay. We stayed at Paddywagon Annascaul Hostel – I wouldn’t recommend staying at this hostel as they have serious mold problem and quite damp room – I am allergic to mold so this wasn’t an ideal for me. Also no lockers.

Got my complimentary Irish Bulimers (Magners) and Irish Rib for dinner next door before turning in for the night.

Day 3: Paddywagon 6 Days Southern Ireland Tour – Annascaul to Killarney

I got up early to walk to Annascaul Lake – didn’t make it as I didn’t know where the turn off into the walking track is – it wasn’t clearly marked so I ended up walking back to Annascaul town to wait for 10am bus leave time. We drove through Dingle and onto the Slea Head Drive to explore the Dingle Peninsula.

We first stopped at Dunbeg Fort for 10 minutes before proceeding onto our next destination.

We stopped Slea Head Cross where we walk from that point down to the next safe bay to get back on the bus. It was a lovely walk looking out to the bay to the Great Blasket Island.

We made few stops along the way and eventually we arrived at Blasket Island Ferry where they used to ship the sheep from the Ireland to Great Blasket Island.

The last stop was at the Cloger Head on the Slea Head Drive, where Star Wars was filmed.

We drove onto Dingle for lunch before heading to Inch Beach and onto Killarney.

Inch Beach – wow, beautiful and people were either swimming or surfing – this is crazy! But then again, I am just an Aussie who is used to swimming in hot weather, and not in a cool temperature of 16 to 20 degrees.

We drove onto Killarney for our two nights stay. We stayed at Paddy Palace Hostel in Killarney. It was lovely, comfortable and quite clean. No lockers.

Day 4: Paddywagon 6 Days Southern Ireland Tour – Killarney to Killarney

I decided to do a morning walk through Killarney National Park to Ross Castle and I encountered a deer on my walk – quite cute!

Then we boarded the bus for Ring of Kerry day. Our first stop was at the Red Fox Inn to try Irish Coffee and it was quite delicious! Yes I can have whiskey as the gluten is dissolved by the end of the cycle therefore very low to no gluten in the hard liquor.

It was quite a lovely drive we stopped off for a photo shoot or a walk through some areas – I can’t say where we stopped off because I have no clue.

We had lunch at Sneem before continue driving along the Ring of Kerry. We stopped at the Torc Waterfall for a spectacular photoshoot and short walk through the national park. Our last stop was the Muckross House where I got a photo of me taken looking out to the Killarney National Park.

Few of us decided to have a picnic in Killarney National Park before we turn in for the night.

Day 5: Paddywagon 6 Days Southern Ireland Tour – Killarney to Cork

Early start today to Blarney Castle where we can kiss the Blarney stone! I took a walk through the park and took lots of photos of the plants. Which means I totally missed out exploring the Blarney Woollen Mills. Oh well.

We then drove to Cork for lunch. I explored Cork for lunch, as I didn’t have access to Wifi to find GF food. At least I had food with me.

We then drove onto Cobh where it was the last port of the Titanic before it sunk in the ocean.  It was a quite afternoon in Cobh.

We headed back to Cork for an overnight stay at Kinlay House Hostel. This hostel is simple. No issues whatsoever.

Day 6: Paddywagon 6 Days Southern Ireland Tour – Cork to Galway

Today is the day we visit Cliff of Moher – when we arrived, due to horrible weather it quickly became Cloud of Moher.   I walked along the coast in this misty weather and I enjoyed the walk.

We then drove along the coast toward Galway where we had few photo stops.

We stopped at the Holy Well to toss a coin over the shoulder before our last stop Corcomroe Abbey to Galway.

We then drove into Galway for our overnight stay – we stayed at SleepZone Hostel. This is a nice hostel – simple.

Day 7: Paddyagon 6 Days Southern Ireland Tour – Galway to Dublin

The group was split into two as half of the group was doing the full 9 days Ireland Tour. Our first stop was at the Cong Abbey. I took a nice walk through the national park.

After Cong Abbey, we were on our merry way to Dublin with a stopover in Mullinger for lunch.

Upon arriving in Dublin. I checked in at St Jacob’s Inn – this is a posh hostel, which I like very much. Oh and it have fruit and eggs as an option for breakfast beside cereals and bread.

I choose to visit the south side of the river so I visited the Trinity University, Temple Bars, Dublin Castle and few other places in the area before meeting with a friend and her friend for dinner.

Day 8: Dublin

I was planning on visiting the Deaf Village today, upon realising it was Good Friday – most places are closed including anything to do with alcohol – I don’t care about alcohol however it limited where I can go or do today. Museums were closed. Most attractions were closed. I ended up going to a bookstore and bought some books to read.

Day 9: Dublin to Belfast

Luckily, I was able to leave my suitcase at St Jacob’s Inn as I was only staying in Belfast for one night so I only packed a backpack for Belfast.

I boarded the bus to Beflast and I had the afternoon to explore Belfast. I walked to Titanic Museum first and eventually explored the city of Belfast.

I stayed at Belfast Youth Hostel International. Very simple hostel and catered for. I had GF breakfast in the café next door. There is a lot of GF options in Belfast.

Day 10: Belfast to Dublin

I bought a Paddywagon Day Trip to visit the Dark Hedge where Games of Throne was filmed, Carrick-a-rede rope bridge and the Giants Causeway.   At least I visited those place to tick off my bucket list however very touristy and didn’t quite enjoy the landmarks.

Also I put in a feedback to Giants Causeway about the Sign Language Guide as everyone else gets an audio guide and I didn’t. I was offered a transcript – imagine walking with a transcript book in the wind … no thank you!

I boarded the bus back to Dublin for my last night stay.

Day 11: Dublin to Lancaster

I got up early to catch the bus to Irish Ferries for a full day of travel.

 

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