An Bothar – Caus, Ireland

My last night was at the An Bothar guesthouse in Cuas Ireland. I honestly thought it was Ballydavid the entire trip, but I know little about Irish geography¬† so it isn’t surprising I had it wrong. Regardless the pub and guesthouse sits at the foot of Mt. Brandon. It is the last stop on Slea Head Drive and the Wild Atlantic Way. It is lovely and well worth the stop if you are in the area.

It was much larger and much more modern than most of our accommodations. Overlooking the farms we have walked through earlier in the day on one side and the mountains on the other. We ate our dinner here as it was really the only option but it was as expected quite good. We also got to meet the owner of Wonderful Ireland Walking tours and a few of the local sheep dogs while we ate.
I was sad it was my last night. But I had to get up so early I retired from the group so I could shower and pack for the flight. I left the window open all night and heard the lambs bleating from time to time. I woke up to them at 4am and ran out to meet my car which was right on time. The drive out was lovely, we drove over roads I had walked and some roads I hadn’t. My driver was kindness itself, as was everyone I met in Ireland. I got information about history, living there, his family (his wife had already driven me a couple of times), kids etc. It was a great way to end my trip, I nearly gave him a hug when he dropped me off. It felt like leaving an old friend.

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Gleann Dearg – Dunquin, Ireland

The second to last night of my trip was spent in the Dunquin settlement, at a guest house by the name of Gleann Dearg. Dunquin is the most westerly settlement in Ireland, but not a terribly formal settlement near as I could tell. More a rural cluster of houses and business, without¬† much of a city center. When I was dropped off at the guesthouse to wait for my group I was advised there wasn’t really anything to walk around and see other than the museum which was closed and the harbor which was a bit away.

I was again dropped much earlier than my group was set to arrive. And without anything to go out and explore I chose to stick around the property. The guesthouse is a part of a working farm. The owner of the guesthouse when I arrived was out in the fields. I was shown to my room a sweet little attic type room with an a-line ceiling and the most comfortable twin beads I have ever sat on.

In the absence of much to do I showered, organized by bags for the next day. Made some tea and sat in this little window box to read Northinger Abbey which I found in the downstairs sitting room. My group showed up a couple of hours later just in time for dinner. Given there wasn’t much of a town, there weren’t restaurants their so the lovely ladies at Gleann Dearg made up a three course meal. We were served a zucchini soup, a chicken and eggplant main course and a meringue desert in a lovely summer room complete with grape-vine ceiling.
We were served again for breakfast in a similar warm style in the summer room. I was going to brave the walk for the day. In my eagerness I was ready to go earlier than the rest of my group. So I spent some time wandering around this lovely property.

In doing so I met one of the sheep dogs, who was VERY eager to heard me around the property. He herded me to the stick pile and we played fetch until my group was ready.

All in all I think this was my favorite place we stayed. Not that I disliked any of the others. But there was something incredibly warm and inviting about this guesthouse and the wonderful owner. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to feel like a true guest and a member of the house hold with the in-house meal and the homelike feel of the house itself.

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Finglas House – Camp, Ireland

As I mentioned, the second we would get to our rooms after each day our bags would explode. The hiking bootes would come off, clean clothes found and often a quick lay down was needed before dinner. Hence the horrendous picture of our room. Aside from the thrown aside bedding and the opened bags, the point however is to point out that while our accommodations along the way were not always fancy, they were clean and comfortable. Which is exactly what we needed given the type of trip we were on.

Day two ended in Camp and as previously mentioned this is in fact the name of a town. This was also the first day we had experienced the baggage transfer done by our touring company and as promised our bags were awaiting our arrival in the lobby of our guesthouse. We were greeted by a very lovely woman named Kathleen who owns the Finglas Guesthouse. She showed up to our rooms and then the exploding of the bags happened. Then off to the Ashes Pub for dinner which I talked about in a previous post.

After dinner and a shower I set myself up in the lovely second floor lounge. There was tea and cookies provided by Kathleen, which I took full advantage of. The rest of the group congregated after their respective adulations and we spent a lovely evening planning our next day.

Thanks to jet lag I was up bright and early. Dressed, repacked and ready to eat breakfast approximately and hour before it was ready. C’est la vie. Breakfast was severed on time in the downstairs dining room that overlooks the bay. There were a variety of options, I of course chose the “Full Irish” plus coffee, toast and a little more coffee. It was perfection as expected from the quaint little place. We were also given a sack lunch again, this time a suspect sandwich and chips. My chips were cheese and onion, though there was a chicken flavor floating around in one of my groups sack lunches as well. Turns out the suspect sandwich was cheese and tomato which was quite good. Chips weren’t bad either.

 

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