Hello again! Just a quick update to let you know what we’ve been doing on Day 5 and 6 of our trip to Ireland.
Day 5 (Killarney) Thursday morning we checked out of our accommodation near Dungarvan/Helvick Head and travelled west to Killarney. There’s a national park near the town of Killarney, and the highest mountain peaks in Ireland are located near the park (MacGillycuddy’s Reeks). We arrived in Killarney around mid-day, and, even though it was a little early, we decided to check and see if we could get into our B&B, so we’d have less in the car. They were very kind and did let us check in before 2 p.m., as our rooms were already cleaned from the previous night’s guests. We got back in the car and decided to drive out to Killarney National Park, mainly to see Torc Waterfall. It was very beautiful (see the photo).
We then headed further up the road to Ladies’ View, said to be named by the ladies-in-waiting of Queen Victoria as the most beautiful view they experienced on their visit to Ireland in 1861. It is a very spectacular view, and a very scenic drive to get to. (I almost said it was a “lovely” drive; however, because the road is quite narrow and busy with bus traffic, I can’t really claim that it was a lovely drive. The drive was quite frightening, actually, but we made it without actually scraping off either of the side-view mirrors!) On our way back to the town of Killarney, we stopped at a couple of spots to take photos of the lakes. At one stop, there was a gentleman named Michael who asked us if we wanted to take a boat ride for 15 Euro each. We respectfully declined his offer as it was getting late, we were hungry, and 15 Eur. seemed a lot for a boat ride.
Upon returning to town, we parked back at the B&B and walked to the town center to find something for dinner. We passed a lot of restaurants on High Street, but most of the prices were well out of our range (in the $30-50 equivalent range). We settled on the bar service at a place called O’Meara’s. Travis and Lisa had a lovely chicken curry with rice for 10.75 Eur, and Mom and I had the salmon salad for 11 Eur. I got to have my first Guinness of the trip, Lisa got her Smithwick’s, and Mom finally got to taste her Irish coffee (she wasn’t all that impressed, but now she can say she did it). The food was actually very good, and we were all quite hungry from all the walking we did at the park.
Day 6 (Dingle) After a tasty breakfast at the B&B, we headed out to take the tour of Ross Castle on Lough Leane. Ross Castle has been very well restored, and the tour is very informative. We enjoyed the 1/2 hour tour of the tower portion of the castle (you can’t go into the rest of it). We were a little sad that we were not allowed to take any photographs inside the castle, but we liked the tour and our guide, Maureen, anyway!
At the conclusion of the castle tour, we made our way to the Dingle Peninsula. We stopped at Inch Strand (beach) to have our picnic lunch – we have a picnic lunch every day to save money. Inch is a very long, beautiful stretch of beach. If you’ve ever seen the film “Ryan’s Daughter,” part of that movie was filmed on the beach there. It’s a beach where many people ride horses (I’ve heard there are actually races there…), and there were a few there when we first arrived, but they left shortly after our arrival. We walked up to the sea edge for a bit and then headed on to Dingle Town and our B&B for the evening. After a brief chat with our hostess, Angela, and checking in to our comfy rooms, we went back into town (the B&B is about 1 km past the town center) to check out the shops. Lisa was able to cross several hard-to-find items off her shopping list and was a very happy girl!
We were going to drive up Connor Pass – since the last time Travis and I visited Dingle Peninsula, it was totally foggy and rainy and we couldn’t see a thing – but we decided we would take a chance that the weather would hold, and we’ll go over it tomorrow on our way to Tipperary. Today, we went to visit Gallarus Oratory – a very small stone church that was built in the 7th or 8th century (they’re not exactly sure). The church was built using a corbelling technique that still keeps the church bone dry on the inside, even in the heaviest of rainstorms! Upon leaving that site, we went to Kilmalkedar, where there’s an old church, an ogham stone, an ancient sun dial, and a cemetery.
The weather was very cloudy for a good part of the day, but the clouds broke and the sun came out and the day was another beautiful, sunny day! What a blessing! We’re ready for some rain about now, though, oddly enough…
Again, the restaurants were really quite expensive, so we decided to have a picnic supper as well. We bought a few items at the local grocery store and returned to our B&B to sit on the balcony that overlooks Dingle Harbor. After we finished our cheese and brown bread and an interesting little dessert we found that was supposed to be cheesecake (but had more of a consistency of a thick pudding), we retired to our rooms for the evening.
Tomorrow, we finish our tour of the Dingle Peninsula and head for our self-catering accommodation in Tipperary. Until then…Slan!