OK, got up this morning and after our breakfast…pro tip…when in Ireland never order the meat and cheese plate for breakfast unless you like those cheeses with all the green and blue mold on them and those gooey, smelly French cheeses. Suffice it to say that we had the meat part but skipped the cheese part. Luckily there was toast and muffins and we survived.
With that we were off. After a last stop out front to grab an early morning picture of our view and the horse in the pasture we set off.
We headed of for Killarney…after some discussion last evening we decided to skip Mizen Head lighthouse as it was pretty far west and also skip the Bantry House and Garden complex and instead decided to stop by the Drombeg Stone Circle which dates from the late Bronze Age or about 1100 BC. There’s a kitchen facility, the bases of a couple of huts, and a stone circle that was used to honor their dead. The remains of a young boy were recovered during an earlier archeological dig here. You can see from the stones that there is a recumbent stone and two tall portal stones opposite it with the other stones reducing in height as they go around from the portals to the recumbent. In addition; a line drawn from between the portals through the center of the recumbent faces southwest…in the precise direction that the sun sets on the winter solstice on December 21. In addition to the photos below…Neil took a couple of 360 degree panorama shots and uploaded them for you to see…the links to those (they won’t post in the blog right) are http:360.io/NHGpUR, http//360.io/G6Svzc and http://360.io/EM2jwH. This was actually one of the coolest places and had the best views of just about any place we’ve been so far.
Our next stop was in the little coast town of Glandore…a quite picturesque little place that maybe had a couple of hundred residents and a really nice little harbor. We just happened to drive through here…it was on the way but we had no idea about it…and we both really liked it. It looks a great deal like the little towns up on the coast of Main in New England back in the US.
Next up was the town of Balleydehob…where we tried to eat lunch but nothing was open yet…so we moved on after getting a couple nice shots of their 12 Arch Bridge over the river.
Next up was the town of Bantry…and although we skipped the House and Gardens we ddi have lunch…a couple of sandwiches and a couple pints of Bulmers Cider at a pub right on the main square. We grabbed a few pictures of the waterfront as well…and found a statue of TV Timeout Jesus to go along with First Down Jesus from yesterday.
We then headed north into the national park through the little tunnel you see here looking back at it once we went through…it’s only 11 feet tall or so.
Speaking of roads…you probably don’t believe me about how narrow they are so Neil snapped a picture of one today. This is the main highway leading into the most popular vacation spot in the country…and believe it or not the speed limit on this road is 100 kilometers or 62 miles an hour. We never got that high. As you can see…there is no center line painted on the road…this is because it isn’t wide enough for tow lanes. Whenever you pass another car (or God forbid a truck or tour bus) you have to squeeze all the way almost into the rocks or vegetation and then inch by them. Even cars don’t really have enough room to easily pass.
Traveling through the park we stopped at a variety of overlooks for vistas, waterfalls, lakes, the local wildlife (animal and human), centuries old ruins, and other beautiful scenery…this is really a pretty impressive park. The mountains aren’t as high as the Canadian Rockies are…but there are a lot of more of abrupt up and downs so that you get pretty steep and deep valleys between them…very similar to what we saw up in Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada except the valleys are not as wide.
While at the waterfall we met a couple of folks from Neil’s home state of Alabama…Mr. Billy J. Poss and his wife who hale from Muscle Shoals. Not quite down to Mobile but still fellow Alabamans so we were glad to chat with them for a few minutes.
Shortly after this last view of Torc Waterfall we got to our stopping place for the evening…the Carriglea Farmhoue B&B here right outside of Killarney. This is a really, really nice place…a view out the front to the lake, great rooms, great wife, friendly proprietors, and generally just a pretty upscale place. After checking in we ran into town and had dinner…our usual couple pints each, this time it was Kilkenny Red Cream Ale like we had the other day in Mike the Miller’s pub on the river in Kilkenny. To go along with it we shared a plate of Beer Carpaccio then had some Caramel Honeycomb Crunch ice cream on the walk back to the car. We got home well after 2100 and after blogging and a shower it was time for bed.
Tomorrow we’re off to tour the Dingle Peninsula…Eileen the proprietor of the Carriglea Farm is going to ring up our boat trip guy for the ride out to Skellig Michael on Sunday and make sure the weather is still holding.