The Best Part of Ireland

Trip Start Sep 06, 2008
Trip End Oct 29, 2008

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Flag of Ireland  , County Kerry,
Saturday, September 13, 2008

Killarney :)
Killarney was by far my favorite part of Ireland.  It has about 15,000 people but is so busy and lifely with beautiful scenery around it.  The background of Killarney is tall mountains that are almost all green, and the town is very colourful and tidy. 
On the 14th, we took a bus tour of the Ring of Kerry.  First we stopped at an outdoor museum that showcased a special breed of Pony only in the Kerry region.  Next, we stopped at a local shepherd's site, and he showed us all his 200 breeds of sheep and gave us a demonstration how he uses dogs to heard his sheep.  The dogs are black and white border collies and they will heard the sheep right, left, up, or down based on wistle commands.  They were brilliant!  Our third stop was at an isolated shop for lunch and the fourth stop was at a small town with many tourist shops, where I bought my Ireland polo shirt.  I think the bus driver had business deals based on the places he stopped because he picked places that were isolated and cost lots of money for admission.  I personally think he had at least a 10% comission.  The next few stops were much better at natural beaches and peaks to breath in the mountain air and take pictures.  There are many beautiful places here, and apparently many celebrities have vacation homes.  They were actually very affordable too. 
That night we went to a local pub with some french friends we met at the hostel.  The pub had live celtic rock music and was so fun to dance to.  Talking with the french people made me realize how terrible my french is...but I tried.  There were so many nice locals at the pub that were so welcoming and interesting...I got proposed to three times that night!
The next day, I rented a bike and biked alone throughout the national park.  I saw an old abbey where the monks gathered and the beautiful Torc waterfalls.  I left my bike tied to a tree and then climbed up Torc mountain, which was 1200 m tall.  The top was much different than the canadian rockies.  Eventhough the mountains are rock, they are green either with mosses or with botanicals somehow finding cracks to shoot their roots.  The top of Torc mountain was covered with yellow and purple wild flowers, but they were prickley.  After the climb up, I had an hour and a half to make it to the bottom to return my bike.  Unfortunately, I took a wrong turn, and had to re-climb up half the mountain to get back on track.  Good thing Ireland doesn't have predators (they don't have bears, wolves or cougers - so the sheep (and myself) are safe to graze the mountains all they want.  I was too late to return my bike, so I left him a note with the key for the bike lock and locked it to a pole and left him some money to mail my drivers liscence back to my house (which I had to leave with him in order to get the rental).  We will see if he returns it :)

Love you, Miss you

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