Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Ring around Kerry is so very merry...

There is a lot of hype surrounding the Ring of Kerry—and it is well-deserved.  We traveled from Killarney, along the N70, through the villages of Killorgolin, Cahersiveen, Waterville, Caherdaniel, and Sneem, just to name a few. Mountains, valleys, forests, and beaches all vied for the title of “Most Scenic Place”.  You can give yourself whiplash trying to look on both sides of the road to catch all the marvelous vistas that are presented for your consideration. 

Our driver, Eddie, was a wonderful character, full of stories and a wonderful sense of humor. He made several extra stops for our group to give us ample opportunity for taking photos of all the marvelous landscapes. He was very entertaining and full of the history and folklore of the area.

beach at Waterville
Stopping in Waterville, we strolled down to the beach on Dingle Bay, where it was very cool and windy! Snapped some great photos of the beach and then Anne and I decided that it was time to go indoors for some lunch. We stepped into the wonderful Fisherman’s Bar, where Anne had the best seafood chowder ever!  I know it was because she let me try some of hers and it was amazing. I opted for a half-pint of Guinness, which was all the lunch I needed. (Eddie and I are fellow Guinness stockholders.)

Atlantic Ocean at Coomakesta Pass
After lunch we continued round the ring and up to Coomakesta Pass where there is a marvelous view of the Atlantic Ocean on one side, and the valley of Lough Currane on the other.  I was going to have Anne take a picture of me there, but she was busy with her ice cream cone.  You know you are in the presence of an ice cream addict when they are enjoying one on the top of a mountain with the wind blowing at 30 miles and hour and it’s 50 degrees outside. I’m just saying….

Lough Currane valley
We ran into bad weather up around Moll’s Gap and down to Lady’s View, but for most of the trip we had pretty good weather. By the time we got back to the big lake at Killarney, the weather had cleared and the sun was out. Eddie made an unscheduled stop at Torc Waterfall, which was flowing well due to some recent heavy rains.

Torc Waterfall

A lovely supper of beef and Guinness pie, at the Crock of Gold, completed our outing and we took our time walking back to the hotel.  Walking down the colorful streets, past the cathedral, and the wonderful old chestnut tree that flanks the city center, it seemed as if we had been there for years, instead of just days.  The weather had cleared and we stopped at a picturesque little park situated on the banks of the River Flesk. The 2-mile walk was a perfect ending to another perfect day in Ireland.  Tomorrow is a local tour of Killarney National Park, Ross Castle, and surrounds.   

We’re hoping Eddie is our driver.