Ireland Day 4

Ireland Day 4        Killarney to Dingle Bay              SUNNY      

 We woke to clear blue skies and sunshine and an unexpected telephone call from Katharine, checking to see that we were having a good time!  We had a lovely breakfast at Ardree House/Abbey Lodge (they have combined their businesses as the houses are next to each other – they have linked them and have refurbished them both – very nice accommodation and lovely hosts). 

We set Sean up, attached Richard’s iPod to the auxiliary input in the console, so that we could continue to listen to our favourite music as we travelled along.  Included in our favourites are a collection of “golden oldies” that Deb and David gave us – we have been singing along as the kilometres and incredible scenery roll by.

We headed off to do the Ring of Kerry in a clockwise direction so that Richard could take photos out of the car window as we drove along, or take some quickly if I stopped at the side of the road; and also because the coaches all go in a counter clockwise direction and we thought that we may get stuck behind them.

From Killarney, we headed out past the lakes we saw yesterday, but we were in for a wonderful surprise this morning, as they looked like mirrors – lots of photos were taken!  We climbed up the range to Ladies View, through Moll’s Gap to Sneem, then down the mountains to Waterville, Cahirciveen for coffee/tea and on to Killorglin for a late, light lunch.

We were told that if you drove straight around without stopping that it would take approximately two and a half hours; the tour buses take between 4 and 6; and the day trip bus takes 7 hours.  We left Killarney at 8.30 am, stopped to gaze at the absolutely stunning views, took lots of photos and arrived at Killorglin (about 10 kilometres short of doing the whole ring) at 2.30pm – it took us 6 hours !!

The scenery changed from mountains covered in colourful wildflowers, and deep green valleys, to beautiful seascapes, with rolling emerald green hills disappearing into a vivid blue ocean, with occasional jagged cliffs thrown in for good measure.

We saw several sheep and goats wandering in the middle of the road and we were also amazed at the beautiful wild flowers – mainly heather and gorse – growing at the side of the road and covering the hills and mountains.   

We can’t believe that we were so lucky to be able to make this trip on such a perfect day.  The roads were nowhere near as daunting as we had been led to believe and the traffic was very light and we only came across about 10 tour buses.

From Killorglin, Sean took us out along the Dingle Peninsula to our overnight stop at Emlagh Lodge in Dingle, but before booking in, we decided to take a short drive to the tip of the peninsula, to Slea Head – more magnificent scenery! 

Our perfect day continued when we booked into Emlagh Lodge as our room is modern, comfortable, spacious and has magnificent views, overlooking green manicured lawns that run down to the waterfront and Dingle Harbour and the bay.  Our host, Maggie, is delightful, and gave us lots of information about the area.

We decided to go for a walk down to the harbour, via a little path at the bottom of the garden, past the old boathouse.  We wandered around the harbour and breakwater and then went for a wander through the village of Dingle and found a lovely little restaurant called The Old Smokehouse, where we had a Guinness Steak Pie.  When we got back to Emlagh Lodge, we sat in the garden, with Maggie’s dog and watched the sun go down over the bay.

So, all in all, another wonderful day in Ireland.

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