. Besides he was a famous athlete back “In the day, dontcha know?” All the more reason to claim his as our kin.After miles of rocky, sheep covered hillsides….with a few tunnels thrown in… we arrived in Kenmare. This was the start of the Ring of Kerry or the end, depending on how you look at it. After booking in to a B&B Sane insisted on driving on (see how good weather was getting to him?) towards Killarney and back. Now that is a narrow nasty road, especially with tour busses trying to negotiate the tiny tunnels. Windy and cold (no rain though) it was worth the drive. We wound around the unforgiving countryside with peat bogs evident in the valleys towards Moll’s Gap where we stopped to view the Killarney lakes in the distance.This is not an area I would like to live in! I have no idea how you could make a living in the rocky hills let alone how you could find topsoil. Even digging for an outhouse would make a strong man weak1 Now those valleys of peat bogs would be habitable but up in the mountains it is nothing but rocks and sheep. Needless to say the building material of choice here is, yes, rocks!The town of Killarney is way too touristy probably because of it’s lovely location on Lough Leane.After a (very) quick tour of the town we turned back along the nail biting roads to Kenmare where all three of us had a nap before heading out to the pub for (yet another) Guinness and an evening of Irish music.The theme of the music was like our country back home
. You know…. |”my baby’s gonna leave me but I’m gonna be ok, I think?!”… but with an Irish lilt. Most of the crowd were locals enoying their usual Sunday night ‘Three Step” (not a typo… it is like our two step dance except it has a little hic up to make it a three step).Next day we headed west around the ¾ Ring of Kerry, ¼ of which we completed on our drive to Killarney).Rain, un, wind, sun, showers and brilliant views. There’s less traffic heading around the Ring from Kenmore and you are on the right (left) side of the road for photo ops of which there are many.We drove past all the well known sites and threw in a few of our own as suggested by the many guide books in our possession. The road from Ballinskellig’s Bay and St. Finians Bay to Portmagee (where we bought a well deserved cappacino and a scone) took us along a road that is advertised as “narrow & dangerous”. Yep… that description fit! The views were stunning and the weather went from bad to good to worse then better as we wound our way along the cliff top. So glad we went that way, and so glad we survived.From there it was more photo ops on cliff side pull outs but nothing like we had just lived through.Took a side trip to Glenbeigh, the Kerry Bog Village, to find out more about how our ancestors lived. Can’t imagine what they would have thought about the size of our homes in Canada and the amenities we have.Then it was on to Dingle where our family roots are
. Of course anyone that knows my sister will understand that we just had to find a quilt shop along the way. The one we found was somewhere between Castlemaine and Inch above a grocery store. We climbed the stairs to see the ‘fat quarters’ only to find the door open and no one there. Dorth found a couple of fridge magnets and left the money on the table. The honour system is alive and well in Ireland. In Dingle we encountered a very helpful tourist info office that found us a self catering unit for a very good price within walking distance to town. Doesn’t have internet but I can live with that.Before I sign off I have to tell you….. Dorth asked if there was a quilt shop in Dingle. One of the ladies directed us to her sister-in-law’s shop which is just down the road between Castlemaine and Inch. When we told her we had just been there we all laughed. At least we know the left money will be discovered.Dingle is a delightful village. Looking forward to spend a few nights here and touring the peninsula as well as searching out a little family history.
Left all the Blarney behind us and headed south west to the Drombeg Stone Circle. Set on a hillside overlooking the ocean the kelly green rural setting added to the mystique of the holy rocks.The beautiful sunny skies encouraged us to take a side trip (and a windy hike) to the lighthouse south of Baltimore. Very busy little spit of land with good reason. This wild piece of coastline is rugged and beautiful as well as being one of the most southerly points in \Ireland. The sun followed us throughout the day. From Blarney to Drombeg to Baltimore, Skibbereen, Bantry, Glengarriff and finally Kenmore we had mostly blue skies as the scenery rolled out before us. Breath taking views meant hundreds of pictures and a good feeling at the end of the day.As a side bar…. We enjoyed a hearty Irish stew at O’Callaghan’s Carvery in Bantry. Now Mom and Grandma made a mean Irish stew and Grandma was a Callaghan so we’ve decided that in some way we must be related to the owner