Sunday, March 23
Drive to the Ring of Kerry.
We had a beautiful drive along the Ring of Kerry yesterday. The sun was shining (which is rare in Ireland). We explored the famine house, some beehive huts, saw the Blasket Islands and an ancient church.
Drive through the rainbow.
Cessy and Erika exchange places – Driving on Country Irish Roads. The most terrifying part are the two lane round abouts that have cars in them.
Since Erika doesn’t know right from left, we take a detour through Dingle and find the Icecream shop and some cafes to check out.
Finally arrive at the Pax House where we are greeted by a ferocious sounding dog. However, once John (the owner) let us in, Rio (the dog) realized we were okay and became very friendly. He followed us all the way downstairs to our room where John promptly kicked him out the back door. The back door opened to a terrace area and a beautiful view of the water and an ancient relic down by the sea. We tried playing catch with Rio, but he preferred to play chase and only occasionally dropped the toy. While on the back porch, we were greeted by two chickens. There were also a few cats about the place.
About 25 years ago, a dolphin began escorting ships in and out of the harbor. The town has dubbed him Fungie. When Fungie is swimming he can be seen from the terrace area. Binoculars are provided in every room to increase the chances of spotting the dolphin and obtaining closer views of sheep and what not. We settle in and head out for a drive along the Ring of Kerry. This turned out to be one of the best drives. The sun was shining (which is rare in Ireland). The wind chilled the us to the bone, but the sun was out providing gorgeous views. We stopped at the famine house. Since it was Sunday, the visitor center was closed. We parked and took a self guided tour of the buildings and read the few plaques that were up. Next we drove on to the beehive huts. We skipped the first set (as advised by John) and stopped at Mary Mahooney’s which is right after the stream crosses the road. Her son, built the beehive hut that is burned in a Tom Hank’s movie. The beehive huts are outhouses that hold pigs and other such things. There was one large hut that appeared to be more for housing. it had several rooms connected by passageways. Exploring complete, we continue our circuit and stop for a few pictures along the way. We skip the westernmost point of Europe, but stop at the next pulloff which affords great views of the Blasket Islands and some great hiking (minus the bitter wind). We rush back to the car and continue along the road in search of the Kilmalkedar Church which was built in the 12th century. This is a very ancient church that has four famous features.
- 1. The Ogham stone. Couples stick their fingers through the stone and renew their vows.
- 2. The Sundial. This is an early Irish Sundial.
- 3. A large cross.
- 4. A stone inside the church carved with the Latin Alphabet.
From here we head back along country roads with an almost dead GPS and almost dead IPhone (our usual form of navigation). We do stop at another relic which has sheep grazing in the pasture. Of course we must stop and get a picture of real live sheep. Back at the B&B, the turndown service was spectacular. Teddys with heated tummys are resting on each pillow! That was the hightlight since it is so cold outside. And a dish containing three pieces of chocolate awaited us.
We go into town that night eat supper, listen to live music, and head back to the B&B. Rest up for another busy day tomorrow.