Tep portable WiFi hotspot ordered for tour

A Tep wireless portable WiFi hotspot device has been ordered for the tour.  MikeG will pick it up at the Camden Court Hotel in Dublin when we arrive on September 11th.tep-wireless-hotspot in hand

We had one of these portable WiFi units in Scotland in 2011 and they work great.  The key features are:

  • Connects to Vodaphone 3G network in Ireland
  • 5 devices can be connected simultaneously (smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc…)
  • 15 metre range wireless hotspot
  • Unlimited data upload/download
    • however, when we use more than 300MB in a 24 hour period the connection speed is throttled down to 512 kbs

This portable WiFi does NOT enable regular voice calls via cellular networks, however it does allow VOIP calls with Skype, GoogleVoice, etc.. over the data network.

All of the hotel websites claim to have free WiFi.  So what will we use this for?

  • we will be in lots of places where free WiFi will not be available:  the coach on the road, clubhouses, pubs and restaurants, out on the course, etc…
  • to upload pictures, videos and blog posts to the tour website
  • to make VOIP phone calls with Skype within Ireland or to home

vodophone 3G indoors

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Matt Ginella’s Journey to Ireland

On August 12th this year I was sitting in the Oakfield clubhouse, while Graham was out on the course, and saw the Golf Channel broadcast an interview with Matt Ginella about his recent trip to southwest Ireland.  Ginella is a travel writer for the Golf Channel, Golf Digest and Golf World.  Sounds like a tough gig!

The interview segment was about his “Top 5” courses in SW Ireland.  All 5 courses are on our Itinerary.

The “Top 5” in order from 1 to 5, in his opinion, are:  Waterville, Lahinch, Ballybunion Old, Tralee, and Old Head.

The remarkable thing about Matt Ginella’s trip was that he played the exact same six courses that we are going to play (barring any changes), in the same order!

Here is the video of Matt’s trip to Ireland.  If this doesn’t get you pumped for the trip, well……

About that Golf Channel broadcast, click here.

Ireland weather on same dates this year

accuweather

So what would the weather have been if our trip was this year instead of next year?

Date Where High Low Precipitation
9/11/14 Dublin 20 7 0 mm
9/12/14 Lahinch 20 11 0 mm
9/13/14 Lahinch 22 13 0 mm
9/14/14 Doonbeg 20 9 0 mm
9/15/14 Doonbeg 18 8 0 mm
9/16/14 Killarney 20 10 0 mm
9/17/14 Tralee 22 12 0 mm
9/18/14 Waterville 22 13 0 mm
9/19/14 Kinsale 17 9 0 mm
9/20/14 Kinsale 17 9 3 mm
9/21/14 Dublin 17 7 0 mm

Source:  http://www.accuweather.com/en/ie/ireland-weather

1 Year Until Departure !

Ireland Flag + WestJet

According to the Itinerary and the Countdown we have 1 year until departure to Ireland on September 10, 2015.  Flights from Canada to Europe are usually overnight with arrivals in the morning which will get us into Dublin on September 11th.

Over the coming weeks we will need to keep checking to see when the airlines open up the bookings for both the arrival and departure dates.

Ring of Kerry

Chatting last night with my brother-in-law, and Ashburn member, Bruce Smith about his golfing trip to Ireland.  He strongly recommended taking our time to travel around the Ring of Kerry on the day that we play the Waterville Golf Links.

Ring of Kerry

Click map to jump to Google Maps for Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is a 180km driving route around the Iveragh Peninsula.  There is a recommendation in Trip Advisor to make the drive counter-clockwise.

The towns along the route include Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Sneem and Kenmare.

There are many sights to see along the route, more than we could cover in one trip to and from the Waterville Golf Links and our home base at Murphys Hotel in Killarney.

Bruce said there are lots of great pubs along the route so we should consider finding a nice Irish pub in Waterville or in one of the other towns along the route back to Killarney for some Guiness and dinner after the golf.

Here is a list of some recommended pubs along the Ring of Kerry.

 

Kissing the Blarney Stone

So who’s up for climbing up to the parapet at the top of a castle, in Ireland, where you will lay down on your back, hanging your head backwards and down through a hole that is 20m above the ground, while being held by a stranger, and then planting your lips on a chunk of rock where unknown thousands have gone before you?  Volunteers?

The Blarney Stone is one of the more famous tourist attractions in Ireland.  Legend has it that once you kiss the Blarney Stone you will then have the gift of eloquence and persuasiveness.  It’s unclear if that is going to occur before or after a pint of Guinness at the pub.

 

The only opportunity we would have to fit this into the Itinerary would be following Round 8 at Old Head and on the return trip to Murphys of Killarney. Blarney Castle is not exactly on the road between Killarney and the Old Head Golf Links. But its not too far off the route.  Here is a comparison.

Old Head – Murphys of Killarney = 1hr 45min

Old Head – Blarney Castle – Murphys of Killarney = 2hr 23min