2020 sucked as far as travel went. We did do a six-week RV trip across the United States, but we didn’t get to go anywhere internationally, and we always try to fit at least one of those trips in every year. Our RV trip was still great though despite COVID and I’ll include our itinerary for that trip on the site as well. I’ll also tell you about the year before when we had to buy a new camper mid-trip. Unfortunately, all of those original stories were lost when the site crashed during that particular trip.
Anyhow, so in January 2021, we were pretty certain that travel would be opened back up by the summer. Surely, it would, right?! And instead of hauling a fifth wheel all over the country, we were looking for a more laid-back trip and just explore Ireland as we desired. Really dig into a few different spots.
- One night in Dubin to recover from jet lag
- 2 weeks on the Beara Peninsula in Ardgroom
- 2 weeks in Connemara in Letterard
- Short trip out to Murano, Italy for about 5 days
- Spend the rest of the trip in the Dublin area
Of course, this plan was sort of created after having multiple VRBOs and AirBnBs cancel on us and combing those sites for houses with amazing views that we wouldn’t mind hanging out at for a couple of weeks at a time. The short trip to Italy was just a little getaway because we were so close. But, plans change and mostly thanks to COVID.
Getting to Ireland
After booking houses and plane tickets in February/March, we had to start preparing for actually getting into the country. At the start, it was a little concerning with talks of 10 to 14-day quarantines, no unessential travel, etc.
Then we got vaccinated hoping that it would make entry easier because we were still thinking that come July surely things would get easier. And they did get a little better, especially for the vaccinated. But, you still had to have a negative RT-PCR test within 72 hours of arriving. That proved to be rather difficult to locate in East Texas.
The good thing was that if you were vaccinated, then you didn’t have to do the mandatory hotel quarantine – which had to be booked before your travel. Before you left the US, you also had to have a passenger locator form filled out and on file.
But, we managed to pull it off! And the Irish government made a few rule changes for travel right after we arrived as well. They opened regular travel up on July 19th and we arrived July 16th. So, we were a little early, but it all worked out.
Changes to the Plan
So, just a few days into our trip, we realized that the Italy aspect of our trip was not going to happen. Italy was one of the hardest-hit countries during COVID, but they were acting like they were going to have travel opened up come summer. Something changed along the way, and it was likely the Delta variant. Their entry restrictions were very difficult – more negative COVID tests and also a 10-day quarantine whether you were vaccinated or not. So, we decided to drop the Italy aspect of our trip and stay in Ireland.
2 Weeks on the Beara Peninsula
The house we selected for our first two weeks was in a tiny village named Ardgroom. We were originally looking for a house on the Ring of Kerry, but simply could not get one in our budget, and the two that we tried to get the host wouldn’t accept our reservation. One said they were using the house for a family event and the other was a B&B that they were renting out the whole thing due to COVID, but we suspect they thought things would change in July as well and that’s probably why they wouldn’t accept it.
When looking at houses, we figured we would be hanging out at the house quite a bit so we wanted countryside (like at home) and also a fantastic view – which we definitely got. The house’s name is Faunleave. It’s a two-bedroom, two-story house with a decent-sized kitchen, living area, and dining area. The outside has a little orchard garden with a clothesline and a patio area with an amazing view. It is surrounded by farmland and sheep.
2 Weeks in Connemara
After Ardgroom, we moved to another rather remote location in Connemara. The house is called Curlews and it’s located on a small peninsula near Carna and Glynsk Cottages. It is a small three bedroom with an amazing view of the bay. It was rather tricky to find as well. The one downside is that the furnishings are certainly from another era with six wing back chairs and no sofa. But that view…
Since canceling Italy, at this point, we don’t know. We did plan to spend a few days near Dublin, but we have nothing reserved at this time for about 10 days after Connemara. Maybe we’ll go up to Sligo and Donegal? Maybe we will go back down south of Dublin to Wicklow? We just haven’t figured it out yet.