The Ring of Kerry

Things started off substantially better today. I actually made it to my tour bus on time, and was off on a tour of the Ring of Kerry.

One important word about this tour: if you are planning on taking a bus around the Ring of Kerry, and you are at all susceptible to motion sickness, take something before you go. I rarely get motion sick, but the narrow, twisting roads and the rocking and bouncing of the bus had me feeling nauseous fairly soon. And I was an idiot; I kept suffering through the bus ride portions between the stops, feeling worse and worse, then getting off the bus into the fresh air and feeling a bit better. I finally broke down and got some pills at a pharmacy in Killarney on the way back, and the ride back to Cork City from Killarney was fine.

Anyway. Word to the wise. I’m just even more glad that I didn’t sign up for a guided coach tour for the whole vacation.

So, our first stop was a replica 19th-century bog village.

Here’s the lane of the bog village. That big pile of black stuff is cut turves – chunks of peat ready for burning.
So, there’s this town near the bog village called Killorglin. It celebrates Puck Fair every year, wherein they crown a goat King Puck, put him in a cage on a pedestal and proceed to have a party. No one’s sure why. We didn’t get to stop at the official King Puck statue in Killorglin, but they had one in the bog village.
The village also had a couple of Irish wolfhounds. These dogs are huge, and beautiful. I understand why they need to keep them in a pen away from the tourists, but I really wish I could have got closer.
Here’s a look at the mountains from the bog village.
And here’s the view as we leave the bog village and head into the mountains.

We went on from there to a stretch along Dingle Bay that is obviously a popular stretch for pictures. The narrow road that wraps around the mountainous coast had a number of little nooks on the water side where cars and buses could stop for pictures. And they were mostly full when we stopped.

Looking across Dingle Bay.
Here’s the end of Dingle Bay, peeking around the shoulder of the hill.
Looking towards the mouth of Dingle Bay. Can’t quite see the ocean, but getting close.
The little farms across Dingle Bay.

We stopped for lunch in Waterville, a very nice little village on the end of the peninsula.

This is the main street in Waterville. Very picturesque.
Apparently, Charlie Chaplin and his family used to vacation frequently in Waterville, so they’ve put up this statue. The also recently had a Chaplin Film Festival, approved by the Chaplin Family.

 

This is the shore in front of the Waterville main street.
Looking out into the bay at Waterville.

After lunch, we were back on the road for about fifteen minutes, getting to this little overlook above Waterville.

Looking down the valley back toward Waterville. Can just barely see it.
Looking up the mountain above Waterville, into the clouds.
Looking down the other side of the overlook, out to sea.
Some neat rocks on the mountain above Waterville.
These stone fences are everywhere in the area, dividing the various fields. This one is unusual because it has a gate – apparently, the standard practice is to fill the opening with more stone after you get the animals onto the field.

We then drove on to the village of Sneem.

The Sneem River runs through Sneem. It’s a lovely little river. And saying Sneem is fun. Try it. Sneem.
So, there’s a traditional song called “The Stone Outside Dan Murphy’s Door.” This is either the place, or it’s a place based on the song. It’s also in Sneem.

We drove off through the mountains, up through Moll’s Gap, and on to the Ladies View, above the lakes of Killarney.

We stopped last in Killarney, but only in the heart of the city. Not a lot of really interesting picture material, but it is a very nice city to walk around in.

Really, the tour was great, but it was also kind of a tease. There were dozens of times when I wished we could have stopped to take a picture of some thing, but we didn’t. Sometimes there just was no place to stop a whole bus load of people, and the time it took to unload and reload all the people for a photo op was substantial. So, the driver picked a few very good spots.

Still, there was a beautiful view with interesting things in it pretty much around every corner. The Ring of Kerry is a beautiful drive, and I heartily recommend it.

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