County Kerry, Ireland

Thursday, May 17, 2012: Conor Pass

We headed for the Conor Pass, which is the highest mountain pass in Ireland, and we soon had to stop for me to take some Dramamine. Thank God no buses or large trucks were allowed on this road, since its curvy stone wall and cliff lined roads barely provided enough room for two small cars to pass each other. At one point we had to pass another car in a place where neither of us could back up safely. I had to fold in the side view mirror and we slowly moved past each other with about an inch to spare on either side of our car. I bet that body shops do a terrific business in Ireland.

The rocky wilderness of the Conor Pass made the scary drive worth it though.

Once we reached the other side, it was getting late in the day and we were ready to rest. So after we crossed the River Shannon on a ferry, we changed our plans for the Cliffs of Moher and took the fastest road to Asgard House, our destination in Galway.

Next post – Friday, May 18, 2012: Counties Clare and Galway

County Kerry, Ireland

Thursday, May 17, 2012: Dingle and Slea Head Drive

After breakfast and one more cliffside stroll we headed into Dingle. We were both eager to find some art galleries and in particular I wanted to go to tapestry weaver Lisbeth Mulcahy’s studio and shop. She was out of town, but I was able to take a photo of her studio. We bought some small prints at Dingle Artworks by June McIntyre, an artist who painted scenes of the cliffs we had just hiked. Turned out that she lives next door to the place where we spent the night. Ran into other North Carolina people at Dingle Woolen Market. We stopped for coffee and cake at a little cafe and set out for Slea Head Drive and its magnificent scenery before we left the Dingle Peninsula.

I wish that we could go back and spend a week exploring the Dingle Peninsula’s historical sites and walk along the sea cliffs. Do some art work and swim in the ocean. One night and one day was definitely not enough.

Ancient beehive huts, dry wall stacked and watertight for about 3000 years

Next post: Thursday, May 17, 2012: Connor Pass

County Kerry, Ireland

Wednesday, May 16, 2012: Ballydavid

Our place to stay on the Dingle Peninsula was Gorman’s Clifftop House in Ballydavid. When we arrived, there was a peat fire in the fireplace and Sandy immediately collapsed for a nap in our beautiful spacious room. I had to get out on those glorious cliffs right in front of us for a walk with my sketchbook, though. Sandy joined me out there the next morning after breakfast.

That evening we celebrated our anniversary with a meal in the restaurant there, and drove the short distance to Dingle to see what was happening in town. There was not much happening in Dingletown on a Wednesday night, unfortunately. The only two pubs with traditional music were crowded with standing room only, so we wandered back “home” and decided to hit the town and drive the Slea Head Drive in the morning. Could the scenery be any prettier than what we saw today? It seemed doubtful.

What the heck IS this thing?

Next post: Thursday, May 17, 2012: Dingle and Slea Head Drive

County Kerry, Ireland

Wednesday, May 16, 2012: The Ring of Kerry

The plan was to drive around the Kerry peninsula on the Ring of Kerry on our way to Dingle. Then Sandy turned right when I said left, and there aren’t many good places to turn around. Which was just as well, because the north edge of the Ring of Kerry has beautiful scenery around the Lakes of Killarney, and we would have missed all this going the other way, and it made me feel a little better to get to our next lodging a little sooner. I like to settle into a base and explore out from there, and that didn’t happen much on this trip. Seemed like we were almost always on our way to the next place.

Next post –Wednesday, May 16, 2012: Ballydavid

County Kerry, Ireland, Kenmare

Wednesday, May 16, 2012: Shopping in Kenmare

Wednesday morning was a big shopping day for us in Kenmare. Sandy bought sweaters and shirts and a handwoven cape and scarf for me in Glenaran Irish Market, silver Celtic knot wedding bands in honor of our 25th wedding anniversary at Finnegan’s Jewelers, books including a field guide to Irish wildflowers at Kenmare Bookshop, and we wished that we could buy some of the fresh foods at this market in the center of town. Kenmare is a foodie town, and Slow Food is present, so you know I had to take photos. Food porn alert.

Next post – Wednesday, May 16, 2012: The Ring of Kerry