I Fell into a Burning Ring of Kerry
Somehow I was imagining that the Ring of Kerry was some sort of tourist attraction in itself, instead of just a way to drive around the Iveragh Peninsula. But so it is, another drive. A beautiful drive, at that. This is what you think of when you think of Ireland.
There is just no way to convey the spectacle of these things. Panoramas start, so I’ll keep to them in this post, but you really need to stand in it and view the things that the camera cannot see. In the meantime, however, you can click on these pictures to see and download them in all of their high resolution glory.
We went to dinner in town last night and somehow managed to make a friend of the host. He was kind and affable as his position requires, but he paid us a special attention that he didn’t to the few other guests with whom we watched him interact. He asked us where we were from, how long we had been in Ireland, how long we had left, whether it was our first time, where we had been, and where we were going. When I mentioned that we were seeing the Ring of Kerry the next day and he asked who the driver was, Daddy answered, ‘She is! And I say the prayers!’
Johnny joined in the laughter before taking down a map to give us his personal direction, which we followed today almost exactly, as it happened. Apparently we missed the chocolate factory, however, I’m just now realising. Womp.
His directions were thus:
- Go anti-clockwise, because that’s where all the views are
- Don’t take this bit, go over here—you’ll take the ferry to Valentia Island
- There’s a chocolate factory down here
- Daniel O’Connell’s cottage
- The Staigue Fort is a three-thousand year old fortress
- Don’t go this way because it’s completely boring and there’s nothing to see
- Come back this way through Killarney National Park
So we did. Mostly.
We drove down through Glenbeigh, Kells, and Cahersiveen to approach Valentia Island.
We drove around the Skellig Ring Route, which is so highly recommended. It’s probably my favourite drive so far. But I’m afraid that I have to leave you with a cliffhanger…
Then we drove up one of the world’s loveliest roads.
Meaghan’s Road wound up that hill before you. It was almost as beautiful as I am. We continued, winding around more roads.
And we found our way to the Staigue Fort.
And we did find our way back through Killarney National Park.
I imagine I should soon post about what we’re eating, and I might have managed to take enough pictures to show what driving’s like (awesome). Right now we should probably go find some dinner, though, and some whiskey for sure.