Thursday, August 08, 2013

July 26: Ring of Kerry

We booked a bus tour of the Ring of Kerry so that Doug could enjoy the scenery without having to worry about driving the steep curvy roads.  The tour bus was not full so we were able to sit across from each other and take photos of both sides of the road.  The driver was also the narrator and he kept us entertained with stories, historical facts and jokes.  He also played traditional music as we traveled.  All buses are required to drive the Ring of Kerry in a counter-clockwise direction.
The tour bus and Kevin, our driver, on the left
We left Killarney and headed through Killorglin, home of the Puck Festival, the oldest traditional festival in Ireland.  It sounds like it would be great fun to visit and see the activities!!

King Puck
Our first stop was at  the Bog Village near Glenbeigh. This tourist attraction gives insight into how people lived and worked in Ireland in the 18th and 19th century. There are tools showing how the turf is extracted from the bog and used for fuel in  homes.  The buildings are replicas of homes and building from those days.  There is also information about the great famine from 1845-1852.  There was also a bar and cafe serving Irish coffee.
Bog Village

Turf shed

As we continued on the tour we saw mounds of turf in the fields being dried before being moved to sheds where it will be stored for fuel.  Some bog farmers still use old methods to harvest the peat but others have moved to newer more efficient methods.
Piles of drying turf

Our next photo stop was at Rossbeigh Beach, which stretches for miles.  The west side faces the Atlantic Ocean and is perfect for surfing and the east side is more protected.
Beautiful beaches
We then continued on to Kells Sheep Centre where Brenden Ferris demonstrated herding sheep with his Border Collie dogs.  There was also an opportunity for question and he identified the different breeds of sheep raised in Ireland. What a great stop!!

Brenden Ferris
We stopped at Waterville to see the beach along  Ballinskellig's Bay. Waterville was and is very popular with people like Charlie Chaplin, Shirley McClaine, Walt Disney, Tiger Woods, Payne Stuart and Michael Jordan, Catherine Zeta Jones to name a few. Its a quiet Seaside Town with lots of pathways and beaches for walking and swimming.  then we headed to the top of the hill for lunch.  I enjoyed seafood chowder and Doug had a cottage pie.  We visited with a couple from Norway who were touring Ireland for the first time.  We  shared stories and suggested places to visit.  I took the opportunity to take some photos of roadside flowers and plants, including some heather and wild rhubarb.
Sandy beaches

Fun in the water

Lunch stop

 Ballinskellig's Bay

Wild flowers

Sheep grazing


Wild Rhubarb

No comments: