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An Rinn, County Waterford’s Gaeltacht Community

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I need to start this post by saying this is the best Winter I’ve ever experienced.

OK, maybe second best. The best was when Patrick and I spent three months backpacking through Southeast Asia. The worst of the Korean Winter was spent on the beach and when we got back it was June. We timed it very well.

But this Winter has been nothing short of amazing for a Canadian gal like me. Today was chilly, but not too cold and it was absolutely, stunningly gorgeous. The temperatures have been pretty mild (in my opinion) and haven’t warranted more than a light jacket. We’ve gotten some pretty terrible rain and wind storms, but I’ll take those over snowstorms any day of the week!

(To my Canadian people: I hope I don’t sound like I’m gloating. OK, I’m kind of gloating. Love you.)

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Today, as I mentioned, was gorgeously sunny. Tomorrow, we are told, will not be. So we decided to make the most of our day and drive out to County Waterford’s gaeltacht region (meaning the residents only speak Irish – no English allowed!), located just West of Dungarvan.

Our first pit stop was at the Butlerstown Farmer’s Market for a latte, some venison and a loaf of brown bread (for next week’s cheat day). If you haven’t been, this market takes place every Saturday outside the Harvey Norman in Waterford City. Fab vendors, lovely food and crafts. We got back in the car and headed to An Rinn, one of the Gealtacht communities.

True to form, everything was in Irish once we arrived. The community is beautiful – lovely, big houses overlooking the sea, a well-kept playground and the water sparkling away in the foreground. We made our way to the wharf, where some fishing boats were just coming in, and took some photos.

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A friendly dalmatian found us and followed us around for a bit. We thought there was a café at one end of the wharf, but it turned out to be a seaweed spa! I had no idea there was such a spa in Waterford. It’s called Sólás na Mara. I will definitely be back – I’m in need of a spa day and I’ve heard these seaweed baths are beyond rejuvenating.

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The guy working at the spa told us we could follow a small footpath to a nearby cove. On the way there, we passed an old man and his dog. The man had clearly been foraging for seaweed as his Tesco bag was bulging with different varieties. I was a little jealous (wishing I had brought my own Tesco bag). The cove itself was very pretty. We were glad we came.

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On the way home, since it’s our cheat day, we stopped at Merry’s Bar in Dungarvan and each had a “Fungarvan” Burger with a side of skin-on chips (extra yum). I washed mine down with a Franciscan Well Red Rebel beer from Cork. We felt right at home since there were three other babies crawling around the floor – Maeve had a great auld time.

It’s days like this that I feel grateful to be living in such a gorgeous place with such friendly people. No Winter blues here.

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