Ireland 2009 Road Tour Day Three:

The heavy rains from the low pressure system over Ireland were with us once again on Tuesday. We awoke to overcast skies and blustery winds with the occasional rain pelting the window. Not the greatest day for a drive, but still better then a day in the office. We had breakfast at our new hotel (they had a wonderful selection of Irish cheese as well) before packing up the vehicle and hitting the road. For the benefit of those who have not had the thrill of driving the N71 between Killarney and Kenmare, try to avoid it in the rain. The road is narrow and winding, with a ridiculously fast speed limit which the Irish are sometimes intent on achieving. All that aside, the views are spectacular near Lady's View and Moll's Gap before crossing over on the downward drive to Kenmare. I've often wondered on how tour buses can manage to navigate the curves in the road on this stretch, I had a difficult enough time with our little Kia Sportage. We arrived in Kenmare and continued on to Glengariff at the southeast end of the Beara Peninsula. We did not have the time to explore the Beara the last time we were in Ireland, and I only wish the weather would have been more cooperative this time around. There are many quaint villages on the drive around the rocky coastline, and it can easily be done in a few hours. We eventually looped back to Kenmare and stopped for a very tasty lunch at a local B&B/restaurant.

With the rain not relenting, we decided that a quick loop around the Ring of Kerry would be in order to pass the remainder of the day. We stopped along the way at Staigue Fort, a late iron age stone ring fort estimated around 300-400 C.E. It's in great condition and worth the stop, although the drive up is a bit narrow and not too suitable for tour buses. We played in the rain for a bit before heading back to the car and continuing on our way. We stopped along the coast and took some pictures the best we could given the weather conditions before packing it up and trucking back to the hotel. We had dinner at a trendy little italian place in Killarney, followed by more live music and snake bites at the Pub near our hotel. Coming up, Day Four: Dingle Peninsula, the Burren, and the journey to Galway.