Saturday, September 19, 2015

Day 6 Ireland The Ring of Kerry

 Italics tour description
Photos are SOOC straight out of the camera.

September 8 2015

Ring of Kerry -  one hundred and eighty kilometer circular route.

Our early morning view since I misread the time and we were up before 7AM.

THE RING OF KERRY: After breakfast this morning you will meet with your
driver/guide for a day tour around Ireland’s most famous scenic route the Ring of Kerry. This circular driver around the Iveragh Peninsula gives offers some incredible scenery.

Mick picks us up at 9AM after another huge breakfast. And we're off.
 You will travel via Killorglin, to Waterville and Sneem and inland past Ireland highest peak Carrantuohill. 

Killorglin (IrishCill OrglanEvery year, starting on 10 August, Killorglin holds the famous three-day Puck Fair, the oldest traditional fair in Ireland. Puck Fair celebrated its 400th Anniversary celebrations in 2013.

The most widely mentioned story relating to the origin of King Puck, associates him with the English Ironside Leader Oliver Cromwell. It is related that while the “Roundheads” were pillaging the countryside around Shanara and Kilgobnet at the foot of the McGillycuddy Reeks, they routed a herd of goats grazing on the upland. The animals took flight before the raiders, and the he-goat or “Puck” broke away on his own and lost contact with the herd. While the others headed for the mountains hewent towards Killorglin on the banks of the Laune. His arrival there in a state of semi exhaustion alerted the inhabitants of the approaching danger and they immediately set about protecting themselves and their stock.

It is said that in recognition of the service rendered by the goat, the people decided to institute a special festival in his honour and this festival has been held ever since.

Mick then takes us to the Kerry Bog Farm, an unique experience and lots of fun. Lots more photos to come.

Everyone outside enjoying their Irish coffees.Lots of tour buses.

I did some pillaging in the shop and scored a lovely Irish knit sweater.

Back in the car we come upon this delightful sight, taken from the car.

Not on the itinerary but Mick suggests we take the ferry to Valentia Island and then take the bridge back. We're all for that.

  • Population : Approx. 600
  • Size : 11 km long by 3 km wide

Valentia, off the South West coast of Kerry, is an island of great beauty and contrast. It is joined to the mainland by bridge via the Portmagee Channel.

The western part of the island is dominated by the barren, dramatic cliffs of Bray Head which command spectacular views of the Kerry coastline while the mild effect of the Gulf Stream results in Valentia's balmy climate and lush, colourful vegetation.

An important quarry on the northern part of the island which opened in 1816 still flourishes today. The famous Valentia Slate has been used in many prominent buildings including the British House of Commons in London.

Valentia was the eastern terminus of the first commercially viable transatlantic telegraph cable. This vast endeavour resulted in commercially viable transatlantic telegraph communications from Foilhommerum Bay to Heart's Content, Newfoundland in 1866. Transatlantic telegraph cables operated from Valentia Island for one hundred years.

It is a perfect day to see the Skellig Islands, Skellig Michael and Small Skellig, stand aloof in the Atlantic Ocean some 12 km southwest of Valentia Island.

Leaving the island.

On our way to lunch.

Lunch in a delightful old post office, still functioning. Sandwiches on home-made bread with lovely pots of tea.

The still operating post office, but it was closed for lunch hour.

Owner and chef Casey, once a chef on cruise ships, now he chooses the more gentle life back home in Ireland.

Mick, preparing our ride.

Speaking of Micks...
A statue of Ireland's most successful Gaelic Football Manager Mick O'Dwyer.

Taken from the car. Earlier in this post I talked about Puck.  You will find men posing like this and willing to have photo taken for a small donation.

Waterville - where for some reason Charlie Chaplin used to like to spend time and there is a statue on the sea front to prove it!

From here you will travel to Molls Gap along the beautiful Lakes of Killarney, through the national park and back to Killarney Town. Your driver/guide will conduct a tour of the town where you can see Ross Castle and Muckross House and much more. There will be some free time in the town before being dropped back to Aghadoe Heights Hotel. 

We had been to Moll's Gap and Ladies' View yesterday. So we headed back to Killarney.

Ross Castle - we visited it yesterday - see Day 5.

Muckross House - we decide to do it tomorrow morning as traffic was heavy. Instead Mick had a plan for Torc Waterfall. Instead of stopping where all the other tour buses did at the lower falls we drove up behind the falls and saw the upper falls and then had a great walk down to the lower falls.

We didn't have any free time in town.

In the evening we include round trip transfers to Kate Kearney’s Cottage for dinner followed by traditional Irish music dancing and craic.

Kate Kearney's Cottage Nestled at the entrance to the world famous Gap of Dunloe lies Kate Kearney's Cottage, a 150 year old family-run establishment.

It was used as a filming location in the Irish film The Crying Game.
This mountain pass has 9km of unsurfaced road and is 15km from town. It divides the Purple Mountain from the MacGillycuddy Reeks. In this rugged defile are the Serpent, Auger, Cushvalley and Black Lakes which are drained by the river Loe. Visitors travel on pony back or pony carriage from Kate Kearney's Cottage to the head of the Upper Lake whence the tour continues by boat.

I was not impressed with this at all. The cottage itself, pub and restaurant look great. The "traditional" meal" wasn't bad, what it lacked in quality it had in quantity, just not very inspiring and none of us appreciate having our food thrown at us.

Smoked salmon for me and fried brie for the others.

Lamb for everyone, boiled potatoes and then two scoops of mashed with lots of vegetables.

The band played mainly traditional fiddle and whistle music, they sang two songs, Fields of Athenry and Will Ye Come, Lassie.

The dancers, while cute, were brother and sister around 13 and 10, accomplished dancers but they were the only dancers and didn't even do a costume change.

And at the end we were "treated" to have Jackie, from the Disney tour group, that dominated the guests, provide a rendition of O Danny Boy.


  1. Incredibly beautiful shots, Jackie. The Red Fox Inn particularly stands out among the man made locations!

  2. Gorgeous countryside and so much good people watching!


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