Saturday, May 26, 2018

four more sleeps...

until Ireland! I didn't count Tuesday night because we will be in flight and I don't really do well sleeping on a plane.
Dublin here we come! Getting pretty excited now. My  sister Janet and I are heading to Ireland for a couple of weeks. We have four days in Dublin on our own then we travel by train to Killarney and join up with Comfortable Hiking Holidays, a Canadian tour company. Spend 10 days with them total, ending back in Dublin. Then we have another five days to do whatever before returning to Toronto on the 20th of June. We booked this  last year just after returning from Australia. This hiking tour company is based in Toronto and is a much smaller scale outfit than Backroads which was the American company doing the New Zealand package. It is less pricey and it will be interesting to see the differences in experiences. Backroads was first class all the way and they had lots of extras but there was not a lot of free time.

I bought some new luggage for this trip - last year’s LLBean duffel bag that I took to Oz was not to my liking - it was like putting everything into a black hole and to find one thing was tedious. I wanted to keep it as small as possible. I got a Heys bag as a Christmas present and though I had specified 24 inch, it was actually 26 inch - a really nice bag but too big for my specs for travelling on my own. I did try it out and it’s great if someone else is around to take charge of toting and hoisting but way too big for me to be lifting here and there on my own. My next purchase was too small, a really nice carryon that would be perfect for an extra long weekend but not for 3 weeks worth. I had a hard time finding something in between and ended up with a bargain 24 incher, that weighed eight pounds empty. When it’s loaded up, the wheels don’t seem that great, on carpet anyway...I’ll keep you posted. I did a dry run the other day and I was at 32 pounds with still a bit of space left, which is pretty good. I’ll work on paring down my toiletries and not taking a hair blower or flatiron - I’ll stick with curly hair the whole time - the weather will likely help with that!
We’ve been advised about rain gear (which we have but never have had to use) and CCH also recommended a waterproof cover for backpacks. I pondered this and decided that mine might just be waterproof already as it is made of ripstop nylon. It was raining the other night so I put a couple of things - a hoodie, a book and an envelope  - in and left it out on the deck overnight - ha! I’m good - everything inside was all dry and perfect still, in the morning! 
Did a drugstore run for my first aid kit - Voltaren, wild oil of oregano, cough drops, Advil, digestive aids, bandaids, foot powder, cold stuff, etc. It always seems difficult to find in a foreign country and if you need something, always good to have.
Hit the used bookstore for a couple of books that will cover me for at least the flight to Dublin and can be left behind. 
Broke my own rules already! The Airbnb we booked in Dublin for 4 nights is just under $300 CAD - less than half the price of the next promises a private twin room with ensuite and separate entrance - fingers crossed!

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