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Published: October 22nd 2017
Queen Victoria once visited Ireland at this point and throngs of tourists followed in her wake
Geo: 52.0579, -9.50747
Today we toured the Ring of Kerry which afforded quintessential Irish views of the rocky green landscape and grey coast of the North Atlantic. Our bus driver Connie fittingly accompanied our drive with a CD of Celtic music and bagpipes. Sheep and cows dotted the hillsides and everywhere we looked was green green green.
Our first stop along the Ring was the beach! Even in spite of the chilly breeze we loved combing the beach for shells and pebbles in the softest shades of red and green. The students recovered crab legs and mollusks, kelp and jellyfish.
Our next brief stop was a roadside overlook for a short but steep hike up a grassy hill side. While much fog clung to the mountains and hovered around the bay, we still could make out the foam of waves hitting the coast. A gentleman in the parking lot gave each of us much to talk about for hid odd collection of animals: a lamb and several kittens nestled into her wool, a puppy, and a young fox who appeared as domesticated as the kittens.
Perhaps the highlight of the day was the sheep farm where we watched a dog trial demonstration. Two ranchers
Surrounded by dairy cows and little brown bunnies, we felt the true rural sense of place in western Ireland
gave commands to five border collies who expertly encircled the sheep, over the hillside and through the rocks and trees to herd them into the pen. The dogs would cut right and cut left, come near and far, and lie down at a mere syllable from their master. Amazing!
A final stop allowed us to enjoy the forest of the peninsula with a short walk through the fuzzy, moss-covered trees and ending at a lovely waterfall. Even though rhododendrons are considered weeds in this country (non-native species introduced from the Himalayas) they certainly brighten up the hillside with their heavy pink blossoms!
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