Three crazy weeks in West Cork – Travel Diary, Nr. 3

Greetings from Ireland & a Happy New Year to wherever you are! It’s time for a new travel diary entry and, oh well, I have a lot to tell. That’s also why I decided to seperate everything into two blogposts. This one is going to be about our 3 weeks in West Cork and the next one about our Christmas & New Years Eve. But long talk short sense, let’s talk about our very unique experience in West Cork.

After spending a whole month in Sligo (end of October until the end of November), we headed off to our next host, who has a Bed & Breakfast on the complete other side of the country – in Skibbereen. So we had to drive from the North West to the South West by bus. And altogether, it took us about 10 hours to get from Sligo to Galway, from Galway to Cork and finally from Cork to Skibb. Oh, what a long ride it was and how exhausted and tired we were. But also so happy, that we finally arrived and could see something new. Skibbereen itself is called the ‘capital city’ of West Cork and is known as a modern & artistic town (that’s at least what our host told us). It’s way smaller than Sligo, but still very cozy with its few pubs, cute boutiques & the Art centre.

Skibbereen by day.

Immediatly after nine hours of sleep, we had to work. Right from the beginning we realized how different it is compared to our work in the hostel. Of course, there are some similarities when it comes to cleaning and stuff, but all in all it was way stricter and there was always something to do. You should know that the B&B itself is, I would say, a very unique place. The house, which is a very old one placed in the centre, is like a little museum. There are lots of vintage, antique objects & furniture but also lots of crazy things, f.e. mannequins standing in the bathroom and the hallway. For a short trip, it’s definitely a nice place to stay, but I for myself could never live with so many stuff in my house. It’s a huge effort to keep everything clean and perfect, which was our task, and after 3 weeks of working I’m sure to say that I wouldn’t have the nerves for that πŸ˜€

But all in all, was the work ok (not always but most of the time) and during these 3 weeks we experienced crazy stuff, f.e. how loud a tin of beans can explode in the oven. But we also learned a lot of new things for life. Especially that you shouldn’t take everything so seriously and that a lot of humor can save your day πŸ˜‰ The only ‘annoying’ thing was that we always had to work separated, so we didn’t have as much time for eachother as in Sligo. But since we only had to work 25h per week for our 3 meals and accommodation, we still had some free days to explore West Cork together.

And with that said, I’m going to tell you something about our trips to Clonakilty, Tragumna Beach and Baltimore.

Skibbereen by night.

The trip to Clonakilty was on our first free day and really nothing spectacular, except from the random old lady who was so kind to show us around πŸ˜› Our actual plan was to go to the ocean because Clonakilty is very close to the coast. But after 1 hour running through the cold windy rain, we only found a bay full of slick but no beautiful beach or cliffs. Very disappointing.. While looking on Google Maps we realized that the “real” coast was still one and a half hour away by foot. Not a very long journey if you really want to see the ocean but since the irish buses come only every 3 hours (we wouldn’t have make it in time), we had to go with plan B. And plan B consisted of a walk through the city, which is by the way not very big, well, at least for us. Our host told us that it’s way bigger than Skibb, but except for a few more shops it was nearly the same.

Now that I’m talking about it, trough the last few weeks I realized that the ratio is so different between Ireland and Germany. What the irish people call a town, would be a small village in Germany. And if you’re telling the irish people that you’re living in a village, they think you life in the middle of nowhere. It’s so interesting to see how different these two countries are but still so similiar. But oh well, I drifted off again πŸ˜€

The rest of our day we spent with walking around and exploring cemeteries and cute little shops, f.e. the Aunty Nellie’s Sweet Shop. It reminded me of the Honeydukes from Harry Potter and I could’ve spend hours in there even though it’s so small, but the sweets just make me happy πŸ˜€ Anyway, that was everything mentionable from our short trip, so here are a few pictures to finish this chapter.

Some photographs from our day trip to Clonakilty. Cute houses & shops, an old library and a very mystic cemetery.

For our second free day, we spontaneously decided to make a hiking day. To be honest, I’ve never been a big hiking person. Of course I love long walks through the nature but that’s a different thing in my opinion πŸ˜› Our route was from Skibb to Tragumna Beach, altogether ca. 15km. I know, it’s not a long way. Some people walk this distance every day but it was still a little adventure for us and at the end of the day we were exhausted as hell πŸ˜€

The way there was pretty smooth – no rain, lots of sun, pretty landscapes and a goal that you could look forward to. The way back however, was rainy, cold and a bit annoying because we just wanted to lay in our bed again. But it was a fantastic day no matter what and we had the chance to see another lovely beach – which was extremly small compared to the ones in Sligo but I think that’s why it was so amazing and special – plus we saw some beautiful nature during our hiking session. So at the end of the day we didn’t care about our wet clothes or our hurting legs because it was so worth it (I know I use this phrase so often but it’s just the truth :D). Now convince yourself!

A small impression from our hiking day. But to be honest, everything was even more stunning in real life!

Last but not least, we’re coming to our third trip. Only a few days before we left Skibb, we had the chance to go to a place called Baltimore. But this time, we didn’t take the bus – we hitchiked. It was for both of us the very first time, so we didn’t knew what to expect. But we just gave it a go and to be honest, it’s something you have to try out when you’re in Ireland. It’s like a must for every traveler πŸ˜€ And at the end, everything went out very well for us. We only had to wait for 10 – 15 minutes and the people were so extremly friendly. I mean it was still a weird feeling to sit in the car of a complete stranger but I’m glad that we did it anway. When we arrived in Baltimore we immediately headed off to the Baltimore Beacon. Unfortunately, it was a very foggy day, as you can see on the pictures below, and when we arrived at the cliffs we couldn’t see the ocean at all (only a few metres). So again we had bad luck with the weather but the cliffs and the whole area were absolutely incredible anyway. Maybe we have the chance to go there again on a better day. But enough said, here are a few impressions.

The foggy but amazing Baltimore Beacon.

As you can see, I had a lot to tell and I’m still not finished yet. But I’m trying to come to an end for now. We had a very crazy time in Skibbereen/West Cork and even though it wasn’t always easy for us, we had a great experience. But after these 3 weeks, we desperately wanted to see a new part of Ireland and so we went to Galway for Christmas, where we spent an unforgettable time. But more on this in my next blog post πŸ˜‰ So stay tuned and see you soon!

Your Shirinatra xx