Beara Peninsula

Trip Start Jun 13, 2011
Trip End Jun 22, 2011

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Where I stayed
Dromcloc House Bantry
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Ireland  , County Cork,
Friday, June 17, 2011

One of us had her usual Full Irish Breakfast, one bravely opted for porridge (which she found to be suspiciously like oatmeal) and one even tried salmon with her scrambled eggs. One French toast.

Motored into Bantry, this being a Friday the market on the Quay was in full sway. We checked out Anchoress' stall and some others,  and after a few purchases headed north and west toward the Beara Peninsula.

We had plans to take the cable car to Dursey Island but as luck and bad timing would have it, we got there just in time for lunch break. Since we didn't have an hour and a half to wait, we pottered around for a bit and then backtracked up the Bantry Bay side of the peninsula looking for a market which one member of our party was sure she had seen on the way down. Perhaps the leprechauns hid it, but we never located it. We did find a lovely little art gallery/gift shop where we left a few more euros behind. Looking for lunch, we went to a restaurant out on a pier in the harbor (perhaps this was in Castletownbere?) but the soup of the day (and they seemed to have little else) didn't appeal to Granny, and since she was paying we went elsewhere. Now where that was didn't make it into my journal, but suffice it to say we didn't miss any meals on this trip so we must have eaten somewhere!

From Adrigole we braved the Healy Pass. Takes some concentration driving but worth every bit. Most spectacular and the statuary and explanatory plaque at the top of the Pass are interesting. Don't miss the "1931" in the cliff face.

From Lauragh we drove north until we found the sign for Gleninchaquin Park. Down a looooong boreen to the point that I was sure I had missed a turnoff and would end up in some farmer's yard, but all of a sudden there was the most unbelievable waterfall I have ever seen (granted, I'm not a world traveler and grew up in the Little House on the Prairie). The park is privately owned. In the car park we were met by the Wife (sorry, didn't get their names) although there is the beginnings of a visitor centre there. She collected a few euros from us and sent us through a gate into a sheep pasture."Just close the gates behind yourselves and enjoy!). The resident sheep were quite friendly, not skittish as many Irish sheep we have encountered. Through the gate, over two stiles and there we were, at the foot of the waterfall. Absolutely wonderful.

Back to the car park where the Wife asked if we would like to go up to the top of the valley with her husband in his car. Of course we accepted and were treated to amazing views of the entire valley clear out to the Kenmare River in the distance (it looked more like a bay at this point but who am I to argue with the atlas). Then on the way back down he dropped us off and we followed a little burn coming down the mountain over rugged rocks. They have handholds and steps for those of us who aren't hikers.

Down at the bottom of the burn walk is their water garden. Many, many different plants including one with leaves that must have been 6 feet or more across. Unfortunately I had no camera batteries at this point but the girls have pix of that area.

On the way out we played chicken with a big recreational vehicle that was not going to budge an inch so discretion being the better part of valor I backed up with my heart in my mouth as I heard the sound of hedge on my rental car side. Mr. RV was finally able to squeeze past. Somehow we didn't have a scratch on the car from that misadventure.

Back to Bantry via Caha Pass, just great with scenery and tunnels, and I'm astounded that I have never come across mention of it in travel books and forums.

Dinner back on the Quay in Bantry (four restaurants right in a row so if you are there long enough you can eat your way down the street). This time it was The Brick Oven. We went international with one Chicken with Linguini, one Quesadilla, one Pizza and one order of Prawns. Cheesecake for dessert.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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