This blog is not an informative anecdote, but rather, a call to action. I need your help, regular readers…that I obviously have (- Hi mom!). I am embarking on my FIRST EVER trip to the glorious, green land of sexy accents—I mean to IRELAND—this weekend.
Joy! Guinness! Colin Farrell!
My friend Angela and I have decided to spend the majority of our trip in County Kerry; I have thus empowered myself with the ultimate, coy conversational tactic: “no, no it’s Carrie, spelled like Sex and the City…yes, with a ‘C’—that’s right!” (batting of eyelashes), “tee hee!”
We have also heard that Kerry is one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland; since we only have a weekend to travel, we thought it would be better to really immerse ourselves in one region instead of doing the typical “glimpse and go” bus tour of the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, Ring of Kerry, Guinness Storehouse, etc..
As we were giddily searching all of the key websites (hostelworld.com, hostels.com, discoverireland.ie, etc.) on Saturday night (I know, lame) for a cheap hostel in Killarney, I saw something that triggered a funny pang in my stomach…
You know when you are in a venue full of strangers, and you think you’ve heard your name called out by a familiar voice? Or when you spot your name on a road sign in a rural town? Or in a random obituary? (You hopefully don’t read lots of random obituaries?)
Well, I could have sworn that I saw, on a regional tourism website, an ad for…the Carriedaniel Hostel.
The Carriedaniel Hostel…in County Kerry…really? Is this for real?
A second glance: no, no it’s a tiny coastal village called Caherdaniel, located on the Ring of Kerry trail, and the hostel is called the Traveller’s Rest.
Caher Daniel…pretty damn close. That’s basically how they say my name in Kentucky: “Ca-her-eh Dahn-yawl.” (Seriously.)
We were amused. Angela even suggested that we forget Killarney and stay there—at the Travellers Rest in Caherdaniel—she really wants to see the coast.
But is the village even nice? There is minimal information posted on the Internet. One tourism website read something like: “Caherdaniel, a great place to stop and stretch your legs on the Ring of Kerry tour…” and “the village has two pubs where you can usually get hot meals…” (usually?).
And my favorite, which came up on an Irish astronomy website after a few random Google searches:
“…the darkest skies I have ever seen are down near a place called Caherdaniel on the Kenmare Peninsula in County Kerry…”
But does the daytime scenery of Caherdaniel counterbalance the dearth of food, electricity and human activity? Do we need to pack our own peanut butter sandwiches, bottled water, flashlights, etc.?
This is where I need your advice, Ireland-savvy readers: should we stick to the high roads or venture into obscurity?
Who knows Caherdaniel?
Insight + local knowledge much appreciated.
Carrie (and Angela)