Our first time staying on the west coast of Ireland, and our first Airbnb! Rob and I were keen to see what the west coast had to offer, but were not so keen on staying in a busy city. Since we rented a car specifically for this trip, we thought it would be the best time to explore a smaller town, and really get a feel for Irish countryside. Kinvara did not disappoint.
Because we were traveling in winter, Kinvara as little country town, was very quiet – a lot of the restaurants were closed in the evenings. If you want to travel around Ireland in winter, it is important to remember that a lot of tourist spots are closed or have winter opening times. Read this post I wrote about the benefits of visiting the west coast of Ireland in winter.
We really just wanted to get away (with our dog) and just road trip around Ireland a little bit. We didn’t have much in the way of a bucket list of things we wanted to see, but rather the main goal was to unwind and relax. For us, Kinvara is the perfect place to just chill out. We did a few walks as a little family (Jack included) and took some time to just sit and read and drink wine too. It was the perfect amount of explore and recharge.
We found a great little Airbnb that has gone almost 100% off-grid, with a wood burning stove, solar powered lighting, and composting toilet. The cabin is small, 6m x 3m so it really gave us a real taste for tiny living – something both Rob and I are very keen to do long term. The cabin had a little cooker and we cooked our meals at home to save a bit of money, but also it gave us a lot more one on one time. Time to just hang out as a little family.
One of the best parts of this cabin, apart from the tiny living feel, was that it was pet friendly! Jack absolutely loved his stay here, the cabin shared a little outside area with the cabin next door. There was no one staying in the second cabin which meant Jack had free reign to explore the garden – which he absolutely loved.
The nights were cooler, but the stove inside honestly worked such a treat. Rob accidently put several logs on the stove at one time on the first night we were there, and it ended up bringing the temperature inside the cabin to almost hotter than a summer’s day in South Africa. We were sweating that first night, but it made for a good laugh, and we just hydrated with extra wine. It will always be a fond memory of our time in Kinvara.
Tiny living is definitely something I want for us as a family. Since we have moved overseas to Ireland, we have learnt to scale back what we have in our own home. This tiny cabin experience in Kinvara really brought home the fact that we don’t need a lot to survive. And if organised cleverly, you can have the right amount of storage areas to hide away the things you do need. The cabin was fitted with a lot of cool features like a little kitchen nook where we ate our meals; shelves under the bed for storage; and a drying rack that could be hung up on the wall when we had finished using it.
The only real challenge was the compost toilet. I think this is something you have to wrap your head around if you ever plan on going off the grid (or in this case, renting this particular Airbnb). I won’t go into graphic detail about it, but it did take some getting used to. A composting toilet means that there is no water or drainage to flush things away. It basically stores it, and you then have to remove it once it fills up. The mechanics are a bit like a porta-potty, but it doesn’t smell or stink up the place. We thankfully didn’t have to remove or replace the unit while we were there. I am just not sure that sort of contraption is for me, I could handle visiting there, but not for the long term. So maybe going off grid entirely is not for me, but I do think I would love to live in tiny home.
All in all, our time in Kinvara was lovely, if not for being very low-key. That is part of slow travel that I enjoy the most. You don’t need to always be going to still enjoy being away. We had a great time, all three of us, and it was the perfect time away we all needed.
HAVE YOU BEEN TO KINVARA? WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT A WEEKEND AWAY?
Live Simply & Travel Slow,
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