Monday, March 12, 2007

Head South

As with all my other trips, we were having so much fun that the inevitable debate about whether we should stay or visit someplace else came up, only this time it was complicated with where else to go. Since Switzerland, Wales, and even Kinsale in County Cork had been ruled out as being too far away, we were trying to debate between Dingle in County Kerry, Dublin by train, and Galway. These three places formed a triangle that we were directly in the middle of and would have to get back to by the end of the trip. We decided to go to Dingle on Helen's recommendation so we headed out bright and early at 10:00 to go to Dingle.

To get there, we would head south to Kilmer and take a car ferry to Tarbert, County Kerry . The Shannon is fairly wide at this point and the ferry takes about 20 minutes each way so it leaves every hour on the hour from Kilimer and on the half hour from Tarbert. We very unintentionally timed it perfectly so that we drove right on the ferry about three minutes before it left.

KGBM on the Tarbert Ferry

The ferry ride is nice because it gives you a chance to get up and stretch your legs and take in the countryside while still moving. Getting out on the water is fun as well but it's not like being on a sailboat or anything.

The tide was very low when we crossed, lower than I had ever seen it, but what was interesting was the debris left on the road from the tide coming in so high. We would later talk to a woman living in Dingle who told us that the high tides had been rising to levels not seen for some time. Global warming, perhaps? Well, it was a full moon, and I'm not talking about Katie's threat to jump into the sea naked on her birthday. That might have irreversibly impacted tidal levels.

On the way to the Dingle Peninsula, we would stop in Listowel for lunch. Listowel is a nice little town in the area where our Quille ancestors (Katherine Reidy, Joe's wife was a Quille) were from. It is also the site of an annual literary festival which seems to be a big deal. We had a great lunch at the Horseshoe Bar just around from Scully's Corner where Megan and I stopped at over the summer and Joe and I have been to at least once before.

After lunch, got back on the road for Dingle going through Tralee, a town of significant size and to Camp where you can either go to the left for a relatively easy drive or head to Connor Pass which is a steep, windy road that can be a bit of a white-knuckler for some. Just my luck, she was riding with me.

This is just a nice picture, it doesn't really do the road justice.

As we got near the top of Connor Pass, we found a spot to turn off and get out of the car to walk around a bit. The timing was good, because a particular passenger was hogging all the oxygen in my car and we were almost out.

The reflection of the hill on the surface of the water blends in with the rocks visible beneath the surface. If you look hard, you can see another reflection as well

An overflow stream from the lake above.

It wasn't long after our stop at the pass before we got into Dingle and we quickly found a place to stay, right in the heart of town at a little B&B called "Walsh's Townhouse" which was strategically located directly across the street from the only pub guaranteed to have a traditional Irish music session, an Droicead Beag which means "the small bridge".

View of B&B from an Droicead Beag

View of an Droicead Beag (Pub) from B&B. Joe would have "Mighty Session" here, although, not with the musicians depicted on the van, darn the luck.

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