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Published: January 9th 2011
Relatively refreshed after a full Irish breakfast we set off for a look around Cork. Our first stop Blarney Castle. About 20 minute drive from Cork through luscious green countryside. We walked through the beautiful gardens to the famous castle and climbed to the top to kiss the famous Blarney stone. Carly puckered up whilst Jez stuck to the photography. After checking out the wishing steps, witches kitchen and beautiful gardens. We made our way back to Cork, finally finding a car park (just about back at our B&B) we made out way to the farmers market picking up a delicious antipasto lunch and finding a conveniently located park just across the road to enjoy it in the sun. We wandered through the streets past the street preachers, checked out the price of hurling sticks and Jez decided it was time for a haircut.
We got a little lost on the way back to the car by orientating ourselves to the river would have been ok had there not been two! Fortunately we had the sat nav in our pocket which as discreetly as it could came to the rescue… again.
That afternoon we hit the road bound
for Killarney, the motorway was short lived and we found ourselves winding around the beautiful but narrow country roads. We pulled into a pumping Killarney, located Neptune's Hostel and eventually a car park (at least for the night).
We wandered around the streets searching for the least touristy looking Irish Pub settling for Murphy’s Pub. Whilst we waited for a table, we enjoyed a couple Guiness at the bar. Keeping to the local specialties we tucked into an Irish Stew and a Beef and Guiness Casserole for dinner.. delicious!
Back at the hostel Carly thought she’d sneak up to our dorm room for a quick shower before bed only to stumble across one of our Dorm buddies holding nothing but a pair of trousers over him. I apologized and made myself busy getting ready for bed (skipping the shower) believing I was giving him plenty of time to make himself decent. Barely embarrassed it turned out our buddy was a very friendly 76 year old Irishman here for the Killarney races and a regular at Neptune's. But he had no issues shuffling his way to the loo butt naked every couple hours throughout the night so comfortable in his home
away from home not even feeling the need to even close the door!
After an eventful night we bounced up early to an overcast morning, hoping the weather would improve as predicted the following day we opted to drive around the Ring of Kerry saving the bike ride to the following day. Under the instructions of the very helpful tourist information we set off in the anti-clockwise direction (supposedly the most beautiful).
Our first stop was Killorglin, unfortunately we had just missed the famous Puck Fair, arguably (in Jez’s opinion) the best festival ever thought of. The small township make a Mountain Goat King for a week. Puck Fair is Ireland's oldest and longest celebrated fair and according to our sources one hell of a party.
Next stop was Cahersiveen, we stopped for coffee and citron and berry tart at the French Patisserie and then wandered in the drizzle to the old town fort and back along the harbor to the car.
Next we joined the queue for the car ferry to Valentia island, long enough for Carly to sneak into the pub for a pee. We cruised through the tiny winding roads lined with amazing by wild
We took the bridge off the island and along the Ring of Skelligs. Stopping at a cute little place for lunch and a walk to some more brilliant views (even if they did sting us a couple more euro's).On our way home we attempted to locate the Staigue Fort but after more then 8km following the 4km sign it wasn’t to be found so we gave up.
As the afternoon wore on the weather deteriorated so we carried on not stopping until Kenmare. After a wander through the quaint streets nothing looked like it had changed in the past hundred years, gorgeous pastel buildings and tiny shops the butcher, baker and candlestick maker all still in business (Tesco hadn't made it here yet!). It was time for a drink at Eamon’s Bar where we were joined by a drunk local temporarily his Irish thick and his slur thicker (apparently as he carried his drink from pub to pub) making conversation tricky.
Hungry we left in search of a restaurant for dinner, the first two we tried were booked out and our fussiness decreasing as we gratefully took the second last table at (sorry we've forgotten) Jez tucking into a
local steak and Carly feasting on a medley of local salmon, crab claws and prawns.
A thirty minute drive later we were back at Neptune's and crashed.
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