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Published: October 15th 2010
Thursday, Oct. 14: Packed our bags and checked out of our B&B, The Anchorage, after breakfast. Our hostesses, Ann and Mary, were terrific. We took one last stroll around Kinsale on another sunny October morning in Ireland before leaving for our day-long road trip to Kenmare. This was our most scenic drive yet. It included coastal views, mountain vistas, Irish countryside along pleasant routes again with rock walls, tree overhangs…you get the point…it was a beautiful drive. Our first was Clonakilty where we had a pint at an sugan. Our witty bartender, Denis, filled us in on the correct way to serve whiskey with a water jug, advising us to “never water another man’s whiskey”—words to live by. Ed really wants a ceramic Jameson’s water jug. We’ll have to look for one. We strolled around the city centre, finding a Farmer’s Market, where Greta Kelly was selling her homemade jellies. Ed struck up a conversation with her, learning about the background of the ‘Kelly’ name in Ireland. We drifted on and found De Barra Folk Club where Noel Redding, bass player for the Jimi Hendrix Experience played every Friday night for 20 years following his retirement to Clonakilty. Cool memorabilia were all over the bar, pictures of Redding with Paul McCartney, Sting, Jimmy Page, and others. His Fender jazz guitar was framed and mounted and the platinum record award for Hendrix’ “Are You Experienced” album was on display. Sadly, Redding died in 2003 at the age of 58. Onward to Skibbereen where we stopped for lunch at The Paragon, a quiet little restaurant down a cozy little alley and shared a baked potato with curried chicken on top. Moving on after perusing a gift shop, we landed in Bantry, another harbor town, with the statue of St. Brendan, who some say discovered America. We stopped by The Snug for a toilet stop and a pint, then hurried along to Glengariff. We made a quick stop at O’Brian’s and met Leo, the charming bartender, who told us that a lot of people living in Glengariff are not native to Ireland. He said a lot of Tennesseans live there to care for and train race horses. It was late afternoon and we moved into the Caha Mountains of the Beara Peninsula, and wound our way through the Caha Pass, running into our first sheep traffic jam. The views were spectacular and we drove through tunnels carved out of the rock along the route. We drove down from the mountain area and into our evening destination of Kenmare. We had no trouble finding our B&B, Rockcrest, along a quiet lane on the north edge of town. We settled in and took an evening walk into the village, down the lane and across a stone bridge. We had dinner at Foley’s where Ed finally got his Beef and Guinness dinner—which he declared most excellent. We walked across the street where Sean O’Sullivan and Mike O’Brian were performing a concertina-guitar duo. The playing and singing were awesome and even the inebriated German tourist, Vinnie, was entertaining as he sang and danced along to the tunes. The music ended early so we made one last stop at Crowley’s for a pint then strolled home back across the stone bridge and down the dark, quiet lane to our B&B. It was another gorgeous fall day in Ireland.
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