WAW: Cork to Black Valley

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Here is my first post written for An Óige about our roadtrip on the Wild Atlantic Way. This part is about a route we took from Cork to Blackvalley which was absolutely amazing!

A detour from Cork to Blackvalley hostel: Stunning mountain roads, seaside villages and calm rivers.

 

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With my head tilted back to the sky

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Those who know me well, know that I have this ever lasting obsession with the sky. No matter where I will be, I will often have my head tilted back to the sky.

There’s something about the sky that makes me want to sit down and just take it all in. Especially when it’s around dawn or dusk, I adore those parts of the day. The early brisk mornings, where the light has just barely started to touch the trees and the world around you is still asleep or those early sunsets in winter; where everyone in the train commuting home is sitting with their heads bent down reading the newspaper or focused on their phone and I feel like I’m the only one in the whole train who is seeing the beautiful sunset that is happing just outside of the carriage window. I like to look around in those moments sometimes, wondering how noone can see the beauty of nature right there. How there is noone else in the train going “oh wow that’s beautiful” and put their phone down for a while to just watch the outside world bask in the last rays of sunlight. Then I’ll shrug and go back to dreamingly watching how the sun paints the sky in many different hues. I also love that time when the sun is already down and you can see the sky becoming different hues of blue.

DSCN1047Imke got us a small but very good camera for my birthday. The pictures are amazing but what made me especially giddy is how well the pictures of the sky taken with it turn out!

So today, I’ll share with you some of the skies I’ve seen and photographed here in Ireland. Some are not high-quality because they were taken with my phone, but I wanted to show you the different faces of the Irish sky 🙂 Personally I enjoy sunny weather but the sky lacks depth without any clouds in it whatsoever, the same way a completely grey sky lacks depth too. It’s the contrast and different hues that catch my attention most.

WAW: Waymont viewpoint

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So all the Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) posts will be posted here over the next few weeks. they’ll be posted in no particular order, but I will make a seperate blog post at the end with an overview of everything 🙂

Here’s Imke’s post about a viewpoint on the Dingle peninsula!

 

 

The Wild Atlantic Way

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As I had mentioned a loooong time ago; Imke and I went on an amazing roadtrip all across the west coast of Ireland. Following the Wild Atlantic Way. An amazing route along the coastal roads of the west coast, offering amazing and scenic views, from ragged cliffs to high mountains and rolling hills. Ireland really has everything! I had never imagined it to be as beautiful as it is! I always imagined Ireland as green rolling hills, some cliffs here and there but that was about it. The landscape was so much more varied and with so much more raw mountains than I expected(I don’t know about you, but I didn’t really expect high mountains atall!) Our trip was quite extensive as you can see on the map of our route;

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This was roughly our route; we ended up taking a slightly different route from Cork to Blackvalley, but I’ll be sharing a post on that soon!:), stayed at hostel 12 (Dún Chaoin) as well and saw a bit more of the coastal roads than we planned. At one point I will get around to making a detailed map of how we ended up driving!

I fell even more in love with this country during that roadtrip!

I’ll be posting more about the things we saw and experienced during our time on the road. But for now I just want to share Imke’s blog posts of tips for those wishing to drive the Wild Atlantic Way!

 

 

Howth:Irish nature in the capital

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Howth is one of my “you must see this” spots when friends or family are over for a couple of days. It’s incredibly easy to get to yet you still get a taste of real Irish Nature on the Cliff walk.

Imke recently wrote a blog for An Óige about our trip to Howth, which we did in the first weekend we were here way back in February. Despite the cold we had a lovely day to be outside.

Have a look at it here 🙂

Cycling in Ireland vs Cycling in the Netherlands

So my first blogpost for An Óige has been published! It’s on my first hand experience of the differences between cycling in Dublin compared to cycling back home in the Netherlands.

Have a look at it here on the An Óige blog🙂

Me and Imke in Temple bar, complete with reflective safety vests

Me and Imke with our bikes in Temple bar, complete with reflective safety vests!

A more personal blog

As some of you might know, I have worked in two outdoor stores so far and the one thing that has struck me is the amount of plastic that come with each shipment of new stock. Tons and tons of plastic are thrown away and I can’t help but wonder; Why, of ALL the companies, are the Outdoor companies and manufacturers not doing something about this?! So far Patagonia and Vaude are the only ones really standing up for the environment and ethic ways of producing. Sometimes I wish I had more experience with these issues. That I was super smart and could invent a new type of packaging that isn’t plastic and harmful to nature. Or a way that packaging would become completely needless. Why is it that all the stores in the Netherlands are charging customers for plastic bags now, while every day millions of plastic packagings are covering the same goods that we buy and then pay extra for a plastic bag?! It seems so weird and unreasonable. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a good law. Yet I wish the behind-the-scenes part of production would do something to produce less plastic waste too.

I wish the government would step up more. Like how in France throwing away food has become illegal. “FINALLY!”was my first thought when I read that! When I worked in the Efteling(a Dutch Themepark) at the end of each day we would have to throw away the food that we didn’t sell and couldn’t sell the next day. Tons of good food just to waste. I can’t wait for this law to pass in the Netherlands too. People are too careless with their food, we should be far more aware on what we have in our fridge and making sure that we eat what we bought before it expires. And there are so many people that would pay to get their hands on the food companies throw away!

It just makes me a bit sad. That there’s so much that would be so easy to change, yet hardly anyone is bothered to do it unless laws are passed(and those are taking way too long! There’s a need for things to change fast, yet governments are reacting slow.