In the past two weeks I have been wandering across Ireland with my family in a camper van (that’s mum + dad + brother + dog + me). I was a little apprehensive at first considering we had camped the way up to the Orkney Islands 3 years previously and while I loved the Orkney Islands I absolutely hated the camping.
First stop: Warwickshire – and yes I do realise that isn’t Ireland but we live in Suffolk and if you’ve ever looked at a map you’ll see that we live a bloody long way so stops were needed!
Second stop: Camac valley park in Dublin – very lovely place and only a bus ride away from Dublin city centre. Only complaint was the showers was diabolical. Thank god for the camper van.
Third stop: Lough Key Forest Park Co Roscommon – very beautiful and lovely walks. In the evening there were people relaxing with their boats blasting Abba out of the speakers and I was jealous.
Fourth stop: Conways Bar in Ramelton Co Donegal – on our last trip in Donegal we met tons of new family. One of our relatives owns a pub in Ramelton and the updates on Facebook made it impossible for us to not go there on the next Donegal trip. It was a chilled Friday night and a really cosy place.
I had my half pint of Guinness and I still don’t like it.
I will keep trying.
Fifth stop: Brinlack Co Donegal – we stayed here for a week and what a lovely stay it was. The view was outstanding (particularly when the weather was actually good) and the house we were staying in was a godsend after a week in a camper van.
Last time we came to Donegal we stayed near Dunfanaghy and so it was good to see a different part of Donegal this time. The last trip we didn’t move about a lot, there was 8 of us and getting out of the house everyday was a struggle to say the least. What I did treasure from the last trip was family. We met a lot of Gallaghers which was fantastic and it was a superb trip to have had with my Grandad Peter who sadly passed away 6 months today and I have thought about him a lot on this trip.
He loved Donegal so much.
So this time Angela, Terry, Kieran, Molly and Nobby the dog went on walks. That’s right, I did some form of exercise. Up a hill, down a hill, along the beach, you named it we walked it. Meanwhile, my parents seemed to be on a week long show of ‘Location, Location Location’ as every house they spotted was received with “Ooh hasn’t that house got a lovely view” or “Wouldn’t it be so nice to have that house”. Kieran thoroughly enjoyed the fresh air and spent most evenings sitting on the grass waiting for the sun to go down. Nobby the dog liked the outside but being in unfamiliar territory spent most of the time being very needy with my mum or just eating whatever the hell was in the grass which was mostly sheep poo.
Me? Well I’m don’t really want to buy a house in the middle of nowhere having been a townie all my life, I’m not really outdoorsy and I don’t like sheep poo. For me it was just relaxing. Getting away to somewhere where nobody else is around, where wifi was not at my beck and call and I could just sit, be snug, drink tea and eat a thousand biscuits.
For all of us meeting up with the Donegallaghers (and yes I am proud of the word amalgamation) was probably the highlight. We spent a few days with relatives during the week. But the last night of the holiday was the best by far. We went to a hotel pub in Gortahork (where my great-grandfather was from) and had the best time even though I knew none of the ceilidh dances!
Thanks Donegal for probably making this the best family holiday we’ve had yet. None of us wanted to go home because you’re all so bloody friendly and live in such a beautiful place even if all the name places sound like villages from a JRR Tolkein novel which I have severe difficulty reading never mind saying.
Seriously, we will be back again.