Why does it take five Irishmen to change a lightbulb? One to change the globe, the other four to say how Grand the bulb is!

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April 17th 2012
Published: May 26th 2012
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Ireland day 2

Day two of tour and we headed off to the county of Dingle which is a gaeltacht region, meaning the primary language is their traditional gaelic - pronounced gaylick which is now only spoken by about 30 000 people. The town's official name is Dingle on Daingean ui chis, or Dingle Dingle by the sea. The town is famous for having a friendly dolphin who prefers the company of humans, his name is Fungi and they proudly have a bronze statue of him in the centre of town.

I was blown away - almost literally at Slayhead drive where we visited Ventry beach for a photo opportunity before moving onto the traditional bee hive huts which are 1500 years old called cloch on's where the monks used to live. We didn't get out of the bus as the woman who now lives on the property charges an entry fee and instead looked at us crankily out her window.

A picture stop at Clogher head, the Dingle peninsular was pretty but very very cold so I jumped out, took my photo and hopped back on the bus. Carol had told the others they could walk to the edge of the cliffs for better photos but in true Irish style 2 minutes later the weather did a 360 and poured like cats and dogs. This was bad enough as it was a 5 minute trip from the cliffs to the bus, but then the hail started. About 25 sopping wet people got back on, and then 5 minutes down the road we had sunshine again. Irish weather?!?

Our second port of call was to lose our souls to the Irish sea at Coumenoule beach. It is said if you dip your toes in the water here you will lose your soul to Ireland, only to get it back if you return in years to come. It was still insanely cold mind you, not good weather for loosing your soul, or your toes. Haha A few sand castles later we headed back to dingle for lunch with Shannon, Candra, myself and our only couple of tour, Neil and Claire. Soup and a toastie was a good antidote for the cold as was the dessert Shannon and I had - delicious waffles!

Carol also taught us some Irish words to use in conversation so we sounded more like locals:

Grand - meaning great or awesome. Used in every second sentence.

Craic - pronounced crack. Used to describe good times...the Craic was grand, the craic was 90 (really good), the craic was 91 (OMG it was so good, you are stupid for not being with me)

Feck - used in every context and commonly used infront of even your grandma... Oh feck = oh dear. Feck it = oh bugger. Fecking hot today = really hot today.

Coolios - that's awesome

Deelios - "this is the dealios my lovelies" this is the plan, my fellow shamrockers.

Lads - anyone or everyone

Coola Boola - meaning wow in a good context or used simply to fit more words into her sentences....Carol def has the gift of the gab.

Spotty dog - used same as above but in a less positive context.

Sine - pronounced shinay meaning 'that's it!'

Ceart go leoir - can't pronounce this one myself but it means well done.

A typical sentence "Coola Boola my lovelies, the dealio for today is...oh feck I forgot what I was saying, spotty dog, *pause* sine! lads, the craic is grand at our next stop Dingle an Daingean uichuis or Dingle Dingle by the sea where we stop for lunch, so is verybody coolios with that?"

Carol is also good at spinning tales.... For example today it was sheep sleeping bags. Apparently the sheep get so cold here the farmers have to put sleeping bags on them to keep them warm, but during the day they roll them up on the hillsides. They look surprisingly like haybales with plastic coverings...

Carol also found 2 new varieties of animals. The first is the cowanda, the cow cross panda, pictured below because of its colouring. The second was my favourite, the Gireep. That is the sheep crossed with a giraffe, long neck, wooly fleece....looks uncommonly like an alpacca, but hey, Carol reckons they are Gireeps here in Scotland! ;-)

Our last stop before our hostel was the town of Adare in Limerick county, with its quaint thatched roof cottages. We drove under the river Shannon and saw Bunrassy castle from the bus before bedding down at the best hostel in Ireland, The Rowan Tree at Ennis in Claire county. This hostel was supposedly haunted, but we didn't see anything odd, but the people here are very supersticious. Luckily it is also the home of traditional music so after our scrumtious dinner at the hostel resteraunt we headed into town to hear banjo's (yay Shannon, our banjo player), flutes, recorders, tin whistles (I was super excited), bodhran, the. Irish traditional hand held drum, and fiddle! I was in music heaven! I also tasted an Irish hot whisky for the first time and was hooked! Hot water, whisky, slice of lemon with cloves in it and disolved spoonful of sugar. Excellent!


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