Skellig Michael took most of the day on Monday – we got back to our car after 4:00. We stopped in Sneem for dinner and then just made our way back through the Ring of Kerry.
Richard and i loved the way the trim the trees and hedges here so they can still grow over the top of the road, making a canopy and a “tree tunnel” in some places. There were hedges everywhere, usually pristine and manicured.
We stopped and took a short hike to Torc Waterfalls. It was forested, but a completely different type forest than we had seen the day before. Such varying ecosystems…
Blurry Richard, beautiful waterfall.
Couldn’t go to Ireland without taking a picture of a clover, yeah? If only I could have found a four-leaf clover.
Ferns for days.
It was just about dark when we finished at the waterfalls and we were exhausted so we drove the last hour back to Annascaul and crashed.
The next morning we woke up, ate our Irish breakfast alone because all the other guests had gone, and then went on our way. It was a little awkward when we checked out of the B&B because she said “We only take cash.” What?! Because who carries around that much cash? AND to make matters worse there is no cash machine in the whole town of Annascaul so we had to just give our word that we would bring by our cash on our way back to the airport that afternoon.
After making a stop at Annascual Lake, we drove back toward Dingle to drive Connor’s pass and see Peddler’s lake. We needed to be to the airport around 3:30 and it was over an hour away but we had all morning.
Annascual Lake- it was off the beaten path and so quiet. We took a dirt road into the hills and passed farms and cottages until we got to a gate that we opened and then drove on a little more to get to it. We parked and walked along a cattle road for a ways and just enjoyed the stillness.
On the way up to Connor’s pass.
The view from the pass was really pretty, but it was so foggy that it made it hard to get a get photo. At the top there was a couple, at least 60+, who had ridden bikes to the top. They were hugging and high-fiving and I was so impressed that I rolled our window down and cheered for them.
Peddler’s Lake. I led us on a wild-goose chase trying to find this small mountain lake. We hiked up an old road that went to no-where and it wasted a lot of time. It was one of those humble-pie “You were right and I was wrong” moments with Richard because he was pretty sure I was confused. But he was a good sport and knew better than to actually SAY “I told you so.”
Nothing like it.
Worth the effort it took to find it…
We drove back down to Dingle from the mountains, bought the kids some souvenirs and ate a really quick lunch before heading back to the airport.
We learned that the Irish have a native language, they call it Irish but it’s also known as Gaelic. The guy we talked to told us that it was nearly lost about 30 years ago, but the government made a big push to re-popularize it and there are designated counties where all the signs are in Gaelic and the kids learn it in schools. A funny point he made was that for so long the language wasn’t used that when it began to be used again the vocabulary was severely outdated, for example there was no word for computer. They have a committee now to makes up new words. So interesting.
I was super disappointed that my wild-goose chase deprived us of any time on the beach, but we stopped at Inch Strand on our way back to the airport so that I could take a picture. The sun had come out and it was a great beach afternoon.
I had to get a picture of this totally old school gas pump we used to fill up our rental on our way to the airport.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before we left, but once we got to Ireland I realized I really needed some Enya to listen to as we drove around, so I downloaded one of her albums on my phone via the B&B wifi. I grew up listening to Enya and her music makes me really nostalgic. On our last morning, as we were driving up to Connor’s pass, surrounded by the beautiful Irish scenery with Enya serenading us in the background I got really emotional. I really don’t want to take any of these opportunities for granted, I felt so lucky to be there.
It was a really lovely trip, traveling without the kids was pleasant and much more leisurely. Richard and I really enjoyed the time together and I’d say I’ve created quite a traveler out of that man.