Portmagee: the next time you come you'll be home

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Europe » Ireland » County Kerry » Portmagee
April 4th 2011
Published: April 5th 2011
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Just a bit windy, the other photos I look like Cousin It.
After such an eventful day I woke excited about the potential to meet Nora and family. The phone rang in the morning and the lady on the other end asked if I was the granddaughter of Catherine and I just was beside myself. So we set a date to meet at her house later in the day. In the meantime we had a bit of exploring to do. We also had some laundry to do. In Portmagee next to the community center is a bunch of ladies who will do your laundry for you. Even the locals bring in their washed clothes for a dry when it is too wet out. So we took our things in and got them sorted out. Then we decided to do a drive around the Iveragh Peninsula so we set out with the map with no street names just visuals in the fog. We headed up an insanely high narrow road into even thicker fog. On our way up the hill we found a pull out for the Cliffs of Kerry (I had never heard about them as compared to the Cliffs of Moher), nonetheless these cliffs are stunning. You park and stop in to register which is a nice way of saying pay; I think it was 4 Euros a person to go up, but we both agreed on the walk back down it was worth it. So you walk up to these cliffs and they are just amazing. On a clear day you can see the Skellig Rocks from this vantage point, in the fog we only momentarily caught them. The wind was WILD! At points we were both struggling to even keep our eyes open. After the cliffs we continued on which was a little confusing since there aren’t signs and we ended up at a beach near Waterville. Very pretty, but cold and still windy so we didn’t stay long.
After this we headed over to Nora’s house to see where the Murphy’s came from. This was a great visit more than I had hoped for. After that Nora had said she would attend Zoe’s baptism that night at the church (the church where the family has attended for the last hundred years); so we said a quick goodbye and headed downtown. Nora had told us to go and see the local historian which we did. His shop/house was just wild a real history in one room. It only got more and more interesting from there. The store front he lives in was once owned by my family about 70 years ago, and it was a shop, they were the local grocers of Portmagee. He had pictures of my great-great grandfather and now I know how to go about getting a copy myself. He had records that were just amazing. Inoculation records, school records, marriage records, all of it. I just couldn’t get over the fact that the room he was showing me all of this in had been kept mainly the same for over 100 years and that my family had worked there, some had even been born there. Basically it was just an amazing experience that I will never never forget.
We headed over to the church for Zoe’s baptism and then after all of the excitement of the day decided to go for dinner and then be done with it. We headed into Cahersiveen for dinner which is only about 15 minutes away. So we ended up at a little pub and had some dinner. A day I will always remember. Did I mention yet that the B&B owner Frances O’Sullivan is above and beyond the nicest loveliest woman I have ever met. We found out we needed a baptismal shawl for Zoe and I had not brought one – she called 5 people and drove into Cahersiveen twice to get one for me. Above and beyond for someone just letting out a room in their B&B. One more night in the best B&B ever – Carraig Liath House in Valentia Island.

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