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After getting my first passport in 2006 and traveling to climb Kilimanjaro in Tanzania my life changed. I began the process of getting rid of all my possessions and traveling the world. Traveling to over 110 countries and all 7 continents, hostels have been my home. This "new life" has taught me what is important and it was NOT accumulating money or possessions. Traveling is the best education. I hope my blog will encourage others to travel. My World Tattoo was a way for me to express my PASSION FOR TRAVEL.

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IRELAND, Hiking , Kerry Way {KIllarney to Glencar)

Friday August 31, 2007

Started walking from Killarney to Black Valley {22 km. or 14 miles}. I left at 7:30 am and got to the Black Valley hostel at 3:00 pm but they were closed until 5:00. The path goes by Muckross House and the Torc Waterfall. I decided to keep on walking to the next town. Not the smartest of moves. I arrived in Glencar at 9:00 pm. That is a total of 13.5 hrs walking my first day with only a 10 minutes break for a ham sandwich. The hostel/pub/restaurant was a welcome site. I sat at a table with a people from South Africa, Germany, Australia and Irish. Also, the two girls bartending were from Poland. Ate some Irish stew, had a few beers and crashed in the dorm.

IRELAND, Dingle Peninsula

Wednesday thru Friday August 29- 31, 2007

I have been in Killarney for the past 2 days. Yesterday I went on a tour bus to the Dingle Peninsula and got some great pictures of the coast and the Blasket Islands, which is the nearest European land mass to the US. Unfortunately, this computer is locked and I cannot download the pictures. I will try again at my next hostel.

Today I start a 9 day trek around the Ring of Kerry Way. The walking path is 135 miles and hopefully well marked. This part of the trip is supposed to be the most beautiful.

On another note, I finally got the courage to use the hostels kitchen to store food in the refrigerator. Something about leaving food in there when everyone has access but everything is marked and there doesn't seem to be a problem.

IRELAND, Rock of Cashel

Sunday August 26, 2007

The pictures are the Rock of Cashel in Cashel, Ireland. Legend says that St. Patrick arrived here in AD 432 and baptized King Aengus, who became the Ireland' s first christian ruler. This is also where he plucked the shamrock to explain the mystery of the Trinity and is how it became Ireland's symbol. This was the home to the kings of Munster from 370 AD until 1101.

IRELAND, Kilkenny Castle and hostel accomodations

Saturday August 25, 2007

Another day, another pub. Took it easy today and just walked around. Went to bed early but sometimes a hostel's great location is also a detriment which I learned as I tried to sleep with drunken party-goers rambling the streets till 2 am. Lesson learned, don't go to sleep early. When in Ireland. This is a typical hostel everywhere. The other picture is the Kilkenny Castle.

Note: I thought that understanding the language in Ireland would be easier than South America but not so much. I understand every 3rd word of the Irish speaking English and a lot of young and old speak Gaelic which sounds a little like German.

"Those who wander are not necessarily lost."
J.R.R. Tolkien

IRELAND, Kilkenny

Friday August 24, 2007

Caught the 11:30 bus to Kilkenny {Ireland's medieval city}. In Ireland the bus ticket does not reserve you a seat, it only means that you have a ticket to that destination for that day. To make sure you have a seat for a certain time you have to wait in line for the bus for 30-45 minutes before it leaves. The bus ride was 2 hrs. Kilkenny has about 20,000 people and all the sites to see are within 15 minutes of my hostel. The most famous of the sites is the Kilkenny Castle. I hope to post pictures as soon as I figure how. I am still trying to adjust to the cost of everything here. After Peru everything is going to seem expensive. I figured out that everything is about 10 times more expensive than Peru. A McDonalds happy meal is almost $8.00. So far the hostel has been fine. Having 7 roommates takes a little getting used to especially if a lot of them are girls. Waiting for the bathroom can take a while,  especially if there a lot of girls.

IRELAND, Dublin, Trinity College, Temple Bar District

Thursday August 23, 2007

Well I finally made it to Dublin after my flight was rerouted to Atlanta from Cincinatti. I arrived about 9:30 a.m. and caught the 41 bus which went straight to my hostel. Unfortunately, check-in was not until 2:00 p.m. so I walked around until then.

First I went to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. This book was written by Scottish monks in the 8th century. It is in latin and represents the 1st 4 books of the new testament. The pictures and artistic writing are unbelievable and I cannot imagine how much time it took to create that much detail. Google the Book of Kells if you get a chance. I then went to the Long Room which is their library and home to over 700,000 books. Most of them are over 400 years old and in latin.

By this time it was well after 2:00 so I checked into the hostel and caught a few hours sleep. When I woke up I went to the Temple Bar which is Dublin's equivalent of the French Quarter. With over 1000 pubs in Dublin, I do not see how they get any work done. I found a nice pub with original Irish fok music and ordered my first Guinness. It is very dark and takes several minutes for it to settle so that you can drink it. It was quite bitter but by the second pint I could see that this could become an acquired taste.

I met two girls from England and we tried several other Irish beers and Jameson whiskey. One of the English girls was drinking Jameson and lemonade. Tasted pretty good. I was told by an Irish woman on the plane that I would probably spend a lot of my time in the pubs while in Ireland because that is where the Irish spend their time. I can see that now.

The Irish like to go to the pubs and have craic. The first time I heard that I was a little surprised and then I learned that craic is good conversation and a good time.