Final expenses for 89 nights in Ireland...Highlights of our stay in Connemara...One day until departure...Last favorite photos...


It was fantastic to have friends Lisa and Barry and friend Chuck visit us in Connemara for a few days!  We met Lisa and Barry on a cruise in November 2017.
Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland 
"There are around 82,600 speakers of Irish who use the language at home on a daily basis. Contrast this with Polish, where 119,526 speak the language at home, making it the second most spoken language on the island!"

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Unfortunately, we weren't able to do everything we'd planned while in Connemara, Ireland.  Perhaps someday we'll return and stay in another area with a better opportunity to explore and see the sites.

What an adorable sheep with his budding horns.
But overall, we felt our time here was enjoyable and worthwhile as we came to understand the culture, the terrain, and the unique personality of this special location.  
The views across the bay were stunning, even on cloudy days.
Also, we experienced visits to a few museums, a history center, a castle, a famous fish shop, a world-renowned food truck, an interesting visit to the quaint town of Oughterard, a famous craft shop, and a tour of the popular Roundstone area.

We spent endless hours driving through the countryside reveling in the stunning views including seeing a vast number of adorable barnyard animals including sheep, goats, donkeys, cattle, horses.  
Various ruins of homes, barns, and castles pepper the landscape.
Each evening we took time to relax while gazing out the big picture window to scan the sea for boats, people, birds, and wildlife.  A few days ago, we spotted two otters close to the shore.  
We visited a museum in Clifden, the Station House Museum.
On many evenings we giggled over the cattle in our side yard.  For those growing up in this area, none of this would be exciting.  But for us, we loved every moment.

We dined in only a few restaurants but thoroughly enjoyed cooking our meals at "home" with the vast array of foodstuffs we hadn't had access to in a long time.  Even a trip to the supermarket was a delightful experience.
The museum has a wide array of well-preserved antiques indigenous to the area.
This stay provided the best access we ever had to outrageously good fish and seafood, most of which we purchased at our front door from dear friend and fish guy, John.  Tom had a chance to have the finest fish and chips he'd ever had by a short drive to John and wife Theresa's takeaway seafood shop in Carna, Flaherty's Seafood.
A Connemara pony, unique to the area.
We ate authentic scallops sauteed with butter, olive oil and garlic for a taste-tempting treat like non-other.   I sauteed the finest calamari rings I've ever had in the same manner as the scallops.

We met wonderful people everywhere we went, including Eileen, our property owner, Ann, our house cleaner, and the fine people at every shop, restaurant and stop along the way.

We couldn't help but love this pretty cow's horns.
We lived in a comfortable house which may be found here that provided every amenity we required and then some.  When I asked about a blender for my daily protein smoothies, it was waiting for us when we arrived.  It couldn't have been more perfect.

Yes, I've struggled with the steep spiral staircase to the bedroom level which ultimately proved to be a good exercise for me.  Although I still push myself to get upstairs, once there, my heart rate recovers quickly.
Cute little rabbit stopping by on a sunny morning.
Tomorrow morning, at 10:00 am we're leaving the house to drive to Dublin where we'll spend the night.  Once we arrived and get settled into our hotel, I'll prepare a short post, the last from Ireland.  

The next post from there will be prepared in Amsterdam where we'll stay for two nights awaiting the 12-night Baltic cruise.  From there, we're off to England to fulfill a dream of living in the English countryside, in this case in four different locations over two months. 
At the bar in the restaurant Tigh Mheach.  (I dare you to pronounce this!)
From there, we're off to the US for a two-plus months stay in several locations in three states; Minnesota, Nevada, and Arizona.

Watch for a post tomorrow, a few hours later then usual allowing us ample time to drive to Dublin.

Below is the total expenses for the three months we spent in Connemara with one night in Dublin:

Final Expenses - 89 nights*
Ireland 5/11/19 to 8/8/19 
                                       US Dollar             Euro   
Rent + Hotel                   $ 7500.36           6700.70
Air, Train, Ferry                  3853.17           3442.56
Taxi, Car Rental, Fuel         2967.03            2650.37
Entertainment                     275.00              245.68
Dining Out                          378.35              338.01
Groceries                          3434.90            3068.68
Misc., Tips, Cleaning           1046.81             935.20

TOTAL                             $19955.62         17381.00
Monthly Average                  6651.87           5967.95
Daily Average                        224.22             200.27

*In this particular case, the expenses were higher than originally budgeted due to the cost of the business class airfare for me for the long flight from South Africa to Ireland.  In the majority of cases, we both fly coach.

Enjoy the day and evening!
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Photo from one year ago today, August 7, 2018:

Four hornbills loving our birdfeeder.  For more photos, please click here.

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