Ireland – Wild Atlantic Way Part 2: Addicted to Craic


Craic” (/kræk/ KRAK) or “crack” is a term for news, gossip, fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation, particularly prominent in Ireland.

We are addicts and fully admit it. I don’t think we are ready for a twelve step program, and they’d probably consider us a lost cause anyway. Talking about travel, planning travel, traveling, meeting new people, and seeing new places; that’s our crack.

We’ve been away from home for just about seven months now and are winding down our travels abroad. You’d think we’d be bored by now or longing for home. I do miss my parents and brother and wish they could be traveling with us, but other than that, I’m feeling melancholy when I realize our flight is just two weeks away. But, enough of the gloom. We have two weeks to explore, meet people, and see, eat, and drink new things!

Homemade bread and preserves

Where the Locals Go

We arrived at our Airbnb in Moyard and were welcomed with a fire in the peat-burning stove, a loaf of homemade bread, and preserves. It was wet and cold so the fire was very much appreciated and the bread smelled wonderful. There was no sense trying to get a hike in since it was raining cats and dogs, so off to the pub we went.

Our host gave us the run-down on the nearby pubs. We opted for Molly’s which she had described as a quirky locals’ place. She was right. The locals were a bit quirky but thoroughly entertaining. They occupied every stool at the bar, so we took a seat at a table, sipped on our Guinnesses (Guinneess? Guinnii?), and watched, and listened.

Hiking up Diamond Hill in Connemara National Park

Guinnesses? Guinnees? Guinnii?

Tourists are Flammable

Some young foreign hikers had been caught in the rain up on top of Diamond Hill in the nearby Connemara National Park and were drying themselves and their clothes out in front of the fire at Molly’s. One of them caught fire… not seriously en fuego, just a little bit. The owner was kind enough to put him out, though not too happy about it.

After the hiker was doused, one of the locals from a stool at the bar came over, introduced himself to us, and told a long sad story about how he was dying and his wife didn’t know. She was sitting within earshot, so I’m not quite sure how she couldn’t know. Maybe it was because his accent was very thick, but you’d think she’d be used to it by now.

It was definitely a quirky place and it became our base camp for the next few days. We sat at the same table every time as the bar stools were always full with the same bottoms. If a seat was empty it was only moments before it was filled by the same local as the day before. On about the third visit, the owner warmed up to us and came over for a chat. Maybe we were deemed alright because we hadn’t caught fire.

I wasn’t lying. It looks like a French fry.

Follow the French Fry

After our lovely stay in Moyard, it was time for us to follow the “French fry” southward toward Galway. Ok, it’s not really a French fry, but the symbol used for the Wild Atlantic Way looks like a crinkle cut fry or a resistor come to think of it. But, what path are you more likely to follow? The path of the French fry or the path of resistance? We took the path of least resistance and followed the fry southward along the battered coast past castles, green pastures, and even an island that you could walk to at low tide (don’t dally). It was a fabulous drive.

Our first day in Galway was rain-free and mostly sunny. We jumped at the opportunity to walk all around the city and through a park. The next day was a soaker. It was wetter than a Labrador Retriever in the vicinity of a kiddie pool. We were a bit bummed but weren’t going to sit around our room all day, so we took a drive out to a tiny town called Lettermullan, hoping the weather would break.

A Boat Might Have Been A Better Idea

We picked up some snacks and a bottle of wine for our lunch, then set off for a tiny chunk of land that by all rights should only be accessible by boat. At first, we were second-guessing our decision, but it turned out to be a very interesting day. The rain and low clouds gave the scenery an eerily softened complexion. Pat had a field day taking photos when we caught breaks from the rain. We crossed single-lane stone bridges from island to island until we ran out of islands. The last in the chain was Lettermullan.

Single-lane, stone bridge connecting tiny islands Photo: PK

There wasn’t a soul to be seen. It was difficult to tell if the houses were concealing people or if they were abandoned. We drove by the few buildings that made up the town of Lettermullan then down a dirt path that the Google Bitch insisted was a road. We came upon a small beach with a couple of horses standing guard in the rain. They seemed curious. Maybe we were the first dry people they had ever seen in their lives. We parked just above the beach where we had a nice view between the squalls and ate/drank our lunch. Not a soul.

This little horse must think it queer, for us to stop and park right here

Like Sand in an Hourglass

Our days in Ireland were rapidly dwindling. We headed southward again following the French fry. The Cliffs of Moher made their appearance so we made the obligatory stop. They were monstrous. It was too bad we didn’t have time for a hike.

Catching up with friends in Tralee

We met up with friends in Tralee. The one grew up there and had a nephew who owned a hotel/spa/restaurant. We spent a few very rainy days then set off toward Dublin; le fin du tour. We dropped off the rental car the day before our flight and spent the night at a chain hotel with an airport shuttle. No more driving on the left for Pat… intentionally anyway. We caught our flights the next day, over-nighted in Boston then, boom, we were back in Arizona, happy to see family and happy to finally take off the money belt.

It was one heck of a trip; Around the world in seven months and one week, stopping on two continents (Asia and Europe) to visit 13 different countries. There were so many new and delicious foods and drinks, and amazingly friendly people. The natural beauty and the man-made wonders that exist seem endless at times. It’s a wonderful world. Explore it while you are young and able. We plan on taking care of a few things while we are in the States and then take off again in a few months for our next fix. We hope to see you out there.

Hike Drink Live Laugh

Where to next?

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