The Fellowship of the Ring
Trip Start Jun 24, 2012
11Trip End Jul 07, 2012
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The Irish weather gods aren't much use, as it turns out. It was a totally gray morning, with periods of light misty rain alternating with occasional downpours. After another breakfast of strangely molded scrambled eggs with various things on the side, we headed out into the grayness back to Kenmare and onto the Ring of Kerry, not that we’d be able to see much of it in that weather but at least we wouldn’t have to admit that we visited Kerry and spent the whole day in our B&B. The rain continued, now coupled with patches of fog that completely obscured what scenery we could make out through the mist. Following Rick Steves, who obviously had visited in better times, we found our way to the posh 19th-century Parknasilla Hotel, where the likes of George Bernard Shaw and Princess Grace and Bill Clinton have hung out in their time, and got some tea
Fortified by the tea, we sloshed back out to the car and on to the Staigue Ring Fort, which dates back to somewhere between 500 B.C. and 300 A.D. By the time we wound our way along the 4-mile one-lane road to the fort, scraping into the hedges several times to get past oncoming cars, the rain had reached deluge status, but we were there and by God we were going to see it and enjoy it. We trudged up the hill through mud and deep puddles, wet and cold and generally miserable, to reach yet another circular pile of rocks. Rebecca cracked first: she saw that we’d have to squeeze through a narrow dripping gate to get in, said that she’d had about as much fun as she could stand, and went back to the car. Michael, Den, and I went in, saw the rock pile from the inside, and that’s when I dropped out, staying long enough to get a couple of shots of those two lunatics clambering up a slippery stone staircase to the top of the wall, and then I slipped and slid back to the car. Eventually the lunatics rejoined us and Denise quietly told Rebecca that she was ready to head back to the B&B, & Rebecca passed it on to me, and we presented our joint decision to Michael, who was bitterly disappointed because he had really been looking forward to getting to the end of the peninsula and driving back through this narrow interior mountain road in zero visibility conditions, which would make up for our denying him his life-threatening drive though the Connor Pass
We agreed to press ahead a few more miles until we got to the Blind Piper Pub, a rustic place our host Ken had told us about with old stone walls and lots of atmosphere, and we’d head back after lunch there. We got there, found both the food and the atmosphere pretty bland, drove back through steady rain, stopped by to an old well-preserved stone circle in Kenmare, decided that we’re beyond being excited by rocks in a circle, went back to the B&B, and relaxed for a couple of hours. Then back to Kenmare for a really great meal at the Wild Garlic restaurant, and back to the B&B and early to bed since we had to get up really early to get M&D to Limerick in time for their morning train to Dublin.