Thatched roof cottages
Trip Start May 05, 2009
10Trip End May 26, 2009
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We are now in a pretty village called Adare. It is just south of the city of Limerick. It is known for its thatched roof cottages and lovely gardens. We arrived last night and will be here for another night before heading on to County Clare, the Cliffs of Mohr and Galway.
Since our last blog we have made many miles and seen lots of gorgeous scenery and fascinating historical sites. From Kinsale we travelled along the south coast to a town called Kenmare - another picturesque village by the sea. On the way we stopped to see the Drombeg Stones, a prehistoric circle of stones that date back to 2000 B.C. To get to it you park your car and hike a short way across a famer's field. The historic sites here are very accessible - no barriers or fences to come between yourself and history. You can touch, sit on, walk on...whatever you like. They just ask that you don't remove anything.
At another spot on our journey we stopped at a small lookout to take pictures of the coast and noticed a small path. On following it we found an ancient wedge tomb, dating back to 2000 B.C. Amazing. We also made the journey to the most southwest point of Ireland, a place called Mizen Head. A very narrow road made it a rather nail biting trip but Cathy is a pro at driving on these roads now so we made it without any mishaps. At Mizen Head we hiked down to the point and watched the waves crash into the shore. More amazing scenery.
Kenmare was intended to be our base for exploring the Ring of Kerry which is Ireland's most famous drive. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate with us. We started off and travelled as far as Muckross House and gardens where we hired a horse and cart - with driver - to take us on a tour. But it rained and blew so hard that we were absolutely drenched by the end of the tour and had to abandon our plans for that day and head back for dry clothes. We consoled ourselves with a Guinness in a warm, dry pub.
The next day we decided to try again - much better weather this time. We drove along the ring of Kerry to a place called Sneem and then a ways past that we turned off the road to go up another very narrow road - single lane traffic actually to visit a site called Staigue Fort. This is an ancient fort constructed of rough stones without any mortar. The walls at the base are 13 ft. thick. It dates from about 1000 B.C. and historians are not sure what it's purpose was, might have been a communicty center or for protection. Again, it is just sitting there in the middle of a sheep pasture. Again, total access - we climbed all over the walls, went up and down those ancient stone steps and marvelled at the construction.
Now that we know how long it actually takes to get from A to B on the narrow, twisty Irish roads we had to leave the ring of Kerry and head along to our next stop, here in Adare. Our plans are to head to Bunratty Castle this afternoon and are going to take part in a medieval feast there tonight. The weather started off OK today with some sun and a bit breezy but now it is raining. That has been our only complaint about Ireland. We have had few sunny days. But we are still having a great time and seeing lots. I'm going to attempt to get some pictures on now. Hope all goes well at home.