2 March 2009

Kerry's Ring - Ireland [Day 41, 42 & 43]

I will start off with another map

Point A: Kenmare
Point B: Dingle
Point C: Limerick
Point D: Bunratty
Point E: Cliffs of Moher
Point F: Aughrim
Point G: Dublin

Day 41 - The ring of Kerry did not disappoint. It was everything you would picture Ireland as. We saw rolling green patchwork hills, rugged coastline and jagged hills, tiny overgrown roads with overgrown stone walls on either side... It was an amazing drive! Unfortunately the weather was absolute crap. Not really surprising given the time of year, but would have been nice to see some sunshine.

As well as the scenery, we came across lots of interesting small villages. All very colorful and cute. We also found some 'hidden' ruins. They weren't really hidden, but they had not yet been taken over by the tour buses and people trying to charge you to park etc. The first was Staigue Fort in Castlecove, which was built in the early centuries AD before Christianity came to Ireland (so the sign told me). It had been built without mortar which made it even more impressive!

The next was Ballycarberry Castle. These were the most amazing ruins I have seen so far - I am not sure exactly why, but they just take your breath away. It was built some time in the 15th century.

We found another random fort in Caherciveen, which had no signs or information. Looked pretty cool though haha.

Dingle Peninsula was our next stop. The village Dingle being the main town. We stopped there for a bit and had a look around, but the weather had started to turn really nasty at this stage. We thought about driving right around the peninsula but the weather was so bad we didn't think it was worth it.

From there we headed north up to a town called Adare. We were told it is a huge tourist attraction because it has houses with thatched roofs. We went there, we saw the houses, we weren't all that impressed. You make your own mind up (pics below).

We finished up for the night in Limerick - in a fairly decent hotel - was cheaper than the hostels!! Only thing is they wanted to charge €13 for internet for the night, or €7/hour. That's $26 just for internet for the night... stuff that!

Day 42 - We finally got some sunshine! Although there was cloud and a little rain, most of the day was perfect! We first headed for Bunratty Castle, only about 15 mins drive from where we were staying. The castle also had a historic village around it, which contained lots of old cottages and stuff. The whole place has been restored back to how it was way back. Even the castle has been fully restored. The castle itself was quite cool. Although it looks so huge from the outside, there is really not a lot of space inside. The rooms are quite small. From the top there were awesome views of the village and river. The village was OK, I think it would be a lot better in summer as they have people in costume walking around and stuff (the pamphlet showed this which we thought was a little misleading!)

We then headed to the Cliffs of Moher. These are huge cliffs up to 200m high and stretch out for 8kms. They are really spectacular. The only thing was the parking, it cost us €8 for about half an hour. Bastards!

Our next destination was the Burren. Most people say this is what they would imagine the moon to look like. That is a fairly accurate description. There is almost nothing here except miles of rock. We came across Poulnabrone Portal Tomb, which was a group of rocks that had been place in the form of a 'hut'. I am not sure how old it was, but the sign said it is one of the oldest memorials to human history... so I am guessing its pretty old.

From there we headed to Aughrim. We found a fairly nice, fairly cheap hostel to stay at for the night. It was conveniently attached to a pub haha. Had a bit of a yarn to some of the locals when we first got here. Was going to have a meal there but looked a little dodge. But it was good to meet some true Irish people.

Random ruins on the way to Aughrim

Day 43 - We had still not planned how we were getting to London and we had to return our car the next day. As we had no internet access at the hostel we drove into town first thing and found a random network to connect to. The original plan was to get on a ferry, then take a train. This was still possible but a little difficult - they had little information online and no online booking system. When I tried to call the number wouldn't connect. So basically we could just turn up at the port and hope to get across. The other option was to fly, but this was a lot more expensive! I did manage to find some VERY cheap flights so booked them straight away. When I got the confirmation through it had the date as the 23rd! So I quickly emailed to change or cancel the booking. By this time the laptop was almost flat and we had no firm plans. To be safe we decided to head straight back to Dublin as we knew a good place stay, how to get there, how to get to the airport from there, and knew they had internet. It was a little disappointing as we had planned to head up to Belturbet - where the Ebbetts came from. But you never know - we may make it across to Ireland again before we leave...

So we got back to Dublin and got into our B&B. After a good few hours of searching the internet and trying to find out how we were going to get to London we finally decided to bite the bullet and book flights. We could have 'risked' it, but we have so much gear with us it would just have been a huge mission. So we paid through the nose for such a short flight... but oh well. At least once we get to London we can start looking for work and earning some pounds! The rest of the afternoon/evening was spent re-packing our bags. Lots of fun :)

Next Post - The Eagle Has Landed - London

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...