So with a cheerio to work and college, we finally set of on Friday, 29/May.
We made a quick pitstop in Arklow to drink some bubbly to celebrate the eventual start of the trip before heading to Waterford to visit Daithi and wee Ailbhe and Manus.
Having got those nice people's seal of approval on the van (and leaving Jess to mind the kids while Dathi and Dunk make some van modifications) we set off for Co Clare to meet various other climber types. Poor Dathi had to stay home playing happy families.
Co Clare was fantastic. Beautiful weather (Dunk even got his shirt off), good company, beer and a van to keep the midges out! Bloody midges! There was climbing at Aillidee, Murroughkilly and swimming at Fanore and it was all topped off with the first cup of tea in the van.
After wearing our very unfit arms out on the good Clare limestone, we caught the ferry to Kerry.
We pottered about Kerry for a few days. The Beara Peninsula was nice. Fantastic weather again and lots of rock although our tired arms did not allow climbing that day.
From there we went on to the Gap of Dunloe to pull on a little sandstone. Met lots of local climbers on our first evening out who kept showing up again over the next few days. For any climbers who have not gone to the Gap yet,it's definitely worth a visit. Unfortunately we did not take many pictures while there.
After Jess drained her arms pulling her first E1 of the season (Fat Boys Don't Fall at Brennan's Leap), we decided to tire the legs out on Howling Ridge, Carrantuohill. Luck was with us as all the showers missed us while actually on the ridge. However, there was a bowsy of a hail shower waiting for us on the summit.
Fuelled by sugar we took the long way down along Knockbrinnea Ridge with views back over the now sunny Carrantuohill. The descent saw Jess' legs become jellified and there was a fabulous cold shower 10 minutes out from the van. All in all, it was a great day.
That evening we headed for Dingle/ An Daingean for a fish and chip supper and to take advantage of the bizarre free wifi on the pier.
After a morning trip to Play At Height (climbing wall) in An Daingean Sunday saw the end of our time in Kerry, now Jess' new favourite county.
Back to Dublin to visit Ross and a v.pregnant Izzy for a bit of dinner so Dunk can go to the tax office on Monday.
Probably heading to Scotland around the middle of this week (probably taking a wee trip to The Mountains of Mourne and Fairhead on the way to the ferry...)