Monday, February 4, 2013

Ireland 2010 - the first time backpacking

Maria and me as typical tourists
I am in love with Ireland as long as I remember. The green, the music, the pubs, the Irish accent...all this makes me feel like home. I don't know why, it is just there. So I decided to travel to Ireland for 3 month after I finished school in summer 2010. The plan was a mix between travelling and wwoofing (world wide working on organic farms, I will write a separate article about that later). My first problem was, that none of my friends wanted to come with me, not even for a couple of weeks and I was too insecure to travel around on my own at this time. So I started to look for a potential travel partner on the internet. After a few weeks, I "met" Maria. We had approximately the same ideas of travelling around: we didn't want to make too many plans in advance, wanted to travel on a low budget, meeting people etc.
Finally, we both booked our flights and met at Dublin airport on the 14th July. I was excited and a bit nervous, because I never met her before and didn't know how we would getting on with each other. But everything worked and I'd say we became really good friends.
We had only booked a hostel for the first 3 nights in Dublin, everything else we wanted to do spontaneously. We had also booked a bus ticket for traveling for 3 weeks on every Bus Eireann bus "for free"  and had a rough idea where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see.

Ring of Kerry

Hiking in Connemara National Park
For three weeks we traveled together around Ireland, taking the bus from one place to the next and stayed in hostels most of the time (only once we booked a B&B). One of the best things to do in Ireland is, of course, go into a pub,drink a Guinness and listen to good Irish life music. We met an unbelievable lot of people there, locals and other travelers, and talking to them and having a pint together is something you can only find in Ireland. After three weeks, Maria had to go home to Germany, and I was on my own. Before I left Germany, i had already contact to two farm where I wanted to work for a few weeks. One was in County Sligo and the other one in County Meath, just 1 hour north of Dublin. 
I arrived on the first farm, and was really pleased: I had my own room and the people (a couple in his 50ties) seemed to be really nice. They had a few sheep, chickens, ducks, geese, a dog, a cat, and the best: 4 horses. The work I did on the farm was mainly "boys" work: helping to build a trailer, driving the tractor and the quad, fixing fences,...but I also had to feed the animals and I could go for a ride every evening. As I have a horse home myself, I really enjoyed it. One of the highlights on this farm was visiting a sheep mart and a horse show.
The place I stayed near Drogheda
After 2 weeks, I was finished on this farm and started to work on a smallholding near Drogheda. My host picked me up from the bus station, and we arrived after a half an hour drive. I was surprised when we arrived; that was amazing. A big house with an even bigger garden and I had my own flat in the house with kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living room! I hardly couldn't believe it. I spent 3 awesome weeks with so nice people there, that I decided to stay for even 3 more weeks. My main tasks were feeding the animals (they had pigs, chicken, horses,dogs and cats). After 3 month of traveling and working, I had to go back to Germany. I was so sad to leave, and I will never forget all the people I met on this trip. I am still friends with some of them, and now, as I am back in Ireland for 9 month, I couldn't be more happy. But this is another story...

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    My name is KC Owens, I’m a college student and I love to travel! While cruising the Internet, I found your site and really enjoyed reading your posts. I have been to countries all over Europe with just my backpack and a camera. Since I am a college student and I have significant bills, it can be difficult to find ways to travel the world. However, I have done this several times, with less than ten pounds of luggage and while on a college dime!

    I was hoping that you would allow me to write a post for your site to share my tips and tricks with your readers. I put a lot of time into my traveling, it is my biggest passion and I would love to inspire others by sharing my stories, mistakes and triumphs. I look forward to hearing from you!


    KC Owens