This morning we woke up at our B&B in Killarney, had an amazing breakfast, and continued to debate whether or not to drive the ring of Kerry ourselves.
The Ring of Kerry is a 150 mile stretch around the Iveragh Peninsula in the southwest of Ireland. It is well known for it’s amazing views of the ocean, cliffs, and vast, untouched, green, hilly landscapes. It is also well known for it’s narrow, windy roads that come very close to cliff edges. It’s a two-lane road, despite the fact that there is often very little room for one car.
After a little chat with the lady who runs the B&B, Alana decided that she was confident in driving the route herself. After all, big tour buses do it every single day… Certainly our little subcompact would have no problem.
It turns out that it wasn’t nearly as bad as we had imagined. Apparently we have become much better at driving on the other side of the road now. We have actually driven in areas that seemed much tighter in earlier portions of the trip.
Along the way, we stopped dozens of times to snap photos of the amazing scenery. Alana was especially excited to see so many sheep and cows.
Our little tour books guided us down some special paths that even the buses couldn’t go down. We received some extra special views, off the beaten path, that most of the tourists that jumped on the buses didn’t see. It was pretty spectacular.
About half way through the ring it became really foggy outside. Visibility got worse the higher up in to the hills we got. That may have been a good thing though… As we passed along cliff-sides we lost all perception of how high up we really were.
We decided to stop for lunch at a little restaurant on a beach called O’Carrolls. Apparently it’s the only beach front restaurant in Ireland. Alana had a mountain of Mussels while I ate a delicious steak sandwich. We snapped some photos on the beach and finished off the ring.
The last 15 miles or so were the absolute tightest but we were lucky because we seemed to be passing during a low traffic period. These were also some of the most amazing views because you had hillsides to the left of you with the Atlantic ocean to right. The water was crystal clear and looked like glass. The ring ended in the Killarney national park which had some of the best views we had seen yet.
We finished up the ring and headed back to the hotel. Alana took a little nap while I plugged in all the places we had been on a Google map.
After Alana’s nap, we headed back in to town and ate a delicious dinner at a restaurant called Mac’s where I enjoyed a Sheppards pie and Alana ate her first Irish hamburger of the trip. We both enjoyed a Murphy’s Irish Stout and finished it all off with a chocolate milkshake.
We headed down the street to O’Connell’s pub to enjoy another pint and some traditional Irish music before heading back to the B&B to call it a night.
Alana and I are both looking forward to moving on to the next town. Killarney is nice but it seems like the tourists far outnumber the locals. We’re looking forward to getting in to some towns that aren’t quite as well known. We’ll see where we end up tomorrow.
Matt & Alana