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Discovering Ireland’s INCREDIBLE #WildAtlanticWay

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mr and mrs adventure ireland, wild atlantic way honeymoon, couple travel wild atlantic way, romantic ireland trip, irish honeymoon, ireland van life, ireland in a campervan, driving across ireland, wild atlantic way guideLook at that nose squish! That’s us, happy in Ireland… I miss it (+ the soda bread + the Barry’s Tea) already! But one thing we don’t miss is being cold… why? Because WE ARE STILL COLD! Which is why we have decided to reformulate our plans and head South…we’re thinking as far South as we can go… like Sicily! Next week we have plans to be in Holland for the tulips (SO excited!! post here), but we’ve been cold since February and for these Californians that’s ENTIRELY too long. Here’s our latest Vlog which will fill you in on our upcoming (tentative) #vanlife plans!:

We’ll see what happens and we’ll see where our #vanwithoutaplan decides to take us, but for now, let’s take you back to the Wild Atlantic Way, where the Spirit of Ireland roams free! (This post is a bit longer than most, but we promise, IT’S WORTH IT!)

Wild Atlantic Way sign, wild atlantic way symbol, irish street signs, road signs in ireland, wild atlantic way guideThe #WildAtlanticWay is to Ireland what the PCH is to Cali… but think rolling hills dotted with curious farm animals, mountainsides lined with ancient stone walls and hidden treasures so glorious you just might think you’ve found the end of the rainbow…

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Lehinch waves

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animals in road ireland, sheep in road, wild atlantic way, sheep in road, best way to drive the wild atlantic way,Based off the weather, we decided to start our journey along the WAW in the South, and headed North up the rustic coastline. We bounced all around, and while we couldn’t explore every nook and cranny, the sites we did see we will never forget.

Wild Atlantic Way MapOur colorful journey began in the tiny seaport town of Cobh (down near Kinsale), the last place the Titanic was seen before setting out to sea:

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titanic experience cobh, titanic museum, see the titanic, titanic museum ireland, titanic museum belfast, where was the last port for titanicOur next stop was Killarneyhome to Carrauntoohil (the highest mountain in Ireland!) which we managed to summit on a beautiful day (full post here):

Carrauntoohil, hiking carruantoohil, highest peak in ireland, highest peaks in the world, adventure couple, vanlife couple, fit couple hiking, couple at top of peak, giant cross, giant cross carrauntoohil,There was so much to see and do in Killarney that the very next day we decided to rent bikes and rode 20 miles all over the National Park exploring Muckross Abbey, Torc Waterfall and Ross Castle, finally making it up to the top of Ladies’ View. Having nothing but the downhill ride back had this little leprechaun jumping for joy!:

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Pink house + royal blue door + farm animals = I think I’ve seen this before in a dream.ring of kerry, ireland must see, discover ireland, wild atlantic way ireland, wild atlantic way map guide ring of kerry, ireland must see, discover ireland, wild atlantic way ireland, wild atlantic way map guideA day of driving around the Ring of Kerry brought us to the next amazing place, the little town of Dingle! We parked on Inch Beach for a night (free + GREAT surf) and woke up to discover that we were actually stuck in the sand! Video of Drew and a new friend digging us out using a “hurler” here. Once we were set lose, we headed out on what ended up being one of our favorite roads in Ireland! Slea Head Drive:

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slea head drive, dingle ireland, things to do in dingle ireland, ireland animals, wild atlantic way, best drives in ireland20160320-IMG_4165 wild atlantic way sheep, ireland sheep, mama sheep, lamp and sheep, baby sheepThis cat, named Chester (written on his collar), joined us for an hour hike! One of the coolest cats we have yet to meet.20160320-IMG_4137To the endlessly rugged sea side views, walks and hikes:

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gallarus oratory, free gallarus oratory dingle, dingle way, slea head drive, must see irelandOh and we can’t forget about Dingle’s famous resident Fungie, the adored dolphin who has called this picturesque seaside town “home” since 1983! There are a ton of boat tours that can take you out to meet him, but we were lucky enough to see him along one of our cliff-side hikes! The townspeople even built a statue in his honor:

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20160331-IMG_5907We actually enjoyed one of our fave Irish date nights in Galway! After a hearty serving of harmonicas and Uilleann pipes at Tig Cóilí, we headed over to Vina Mara for a beautiful 3-course meal + wine pairing. It was a bit hard to find traditional restaurants that served much other than fish and chips or mushy peas (though we do love them), but here we were treated to a whole new level of Irish class:

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Vina Mara vegetarian, vegetarian restaurant galway, vina mara menu, best restaurant in galway, best dessert ireland, romantic restaurant ireland, romantic galway, where to celebrate in galway, where to celebrate in irelandAND THEN WE HAD DESSERT: A Baked Alaska aka. a tower of toasted marshmallow fluff cascading over a warm sponge cake topped with vanilla ice cream + The Triple Chocolate Plate aka. WATCH BELOW:

And THIS was the Baked Alaska:

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connemara national park, national park ireland, ireland galway trips, must see ireland, diamond hill connemaraWildly undiscovered, we fell in love with the feeling of this place. The hike up and views atop Diamond Hill were definitely an added bonus:

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the giants causeway, giants causeway ireland, derry ireland, derry wild atlantic way, best of the wild atlantic wayThe tops of the columns form stepping stones, otherwise called “biscuits,” that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. We hiked all around this incredible place, regardless of the rain, exploring and getting to know these unique, GIANT rocks. Be sure to watch our video below for the full effect!

Tip: To avoid car park fees, go early in the morning for sunrise and leave before the visitor’s center opens, OR leave after it closes 🙂

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