Day 3: Ring of Kerry & Iveragh peninsula

Sheep on the Run at Staigue Fort
Sheep on the Run at Staigue Fort
North Atlantic from Staigue Fort
North Atlantic from Staigue Fort
Views along the Ring of Kerry
Views along the Ring of Kerry
Views along the Ring of Kerry
Views along the Ring of Kerry
Views along the Ring of Kerry
Views along the Ring of Kerry
St Finian's Bay
St Finian's Bay
Jen & Craig at St. Finian's Bay
Jen & Craig at St. Finian's Bay
This is the hill by Portmagee...crazy...
This is the hill by Portmagee...crazy...
A view of Portmagee from the mountain pass
A view of Portmagee from the mountain pass
The sheep of Ireland
The sheep of Ireland
Views from Leacanabuile Fort
Views from Leacanabuile Fort
Leacanabuile Fort
Leacanabuile Fort
Data Sheet
Data Sheet
Leacanabuile Fort
Leacanabuile Fort
Bryan wanted to hike down the path...
Bryan wanted to hike down the path...
Views from the Ring of Kerry
Views from the Ring of Kerry

Day 3 began with a fine Irish breakfast at Muphay's Pub in Killarney. We loaded up the car and proceeded south just a short distance to our first stop, Ross Castle in Killarney National Park. The castle is in as picturesque a setting as you will find anywhere, framed by Lough Leane and Macgillycuddy's Reeks mountain range. No photography is allowed within the castle tower itself, but you can take pics in the museum room and on the grounds. The castle itself had undergone extensive reconstruction, staying true to the original building methods. After about an hour, we were back on the road, just south on N71 to Muckross Abbey. The abbey and surrounding graveyard is said to have been part of the inspiration form Bram Stoker's Dracula. If you visit, do look for the Yew tree in the cloister, it's said to be as old as the Abbey, around 600 years. We proceeded south on N71, taking time for pictures at Lady's View and Moll's Gap. We arrived at Moll's Gap around lunch time, and there is a wonderful restaurant called The Avoca which will load you up with excellent food for very little money. This portion is on the tour bus route, so it tends to get a little busy at times. Proceeding on N71, we arrived in Kenmare and split to the west on N70. This portion of road is a little narrower and rugged between Sneem and Kenmare, so it makes for interesting driving. Staying on N70, we stopped just past Castlecove to Staigue Fort, an Iron Age ring fort in very nice condition, with sweeping vistas of the Kenmare River inlet from the North Atlantic. Moving on, we took the Skelligs Driving Loop just outside of Waterville, nd just made it to the Skelligs Chocolate Factory before they closed. Sampling some yummy chocolates, we loaded up on sweets, made a brief stop at St. Finian's Bay to appreciate the Atlantic and snack on more chocolates. Feeling refreshed, we headed up the hill to the mountain pass towards Portmagee. If you have ever driven this stretch of road, it's a little steep, and you can see everyone in the car "leaning forward" in attempt not to send the car toppling end over end backwards. It's really not THAT steep, but not many roads in northwest ohio compare to that. The views at the top of the pass are spectacular and demand stopping to appreciate them...and let the transmission cool off...We proceeded down through Portmagee and headed to our next stop, Leacanabuile Stone Fort, just north of Cahersiveen. There are actually two stone ring forts very close to one another in this area. The second was surrounded by scaffolding, and we really wanted to see this particular one since we could not find the entrance the last time we were in Ireland. We ascended "moutons merde colline" (if that's not it's proper name, it will be from this point forward), and got some lovely pictures and enjoyed the view of Iveragh peninsula. The sun was starting to hang low, so we hightailed it back to Killarney for dinner at the Danny Mann Inn and Pub. The food was great and reasonable, but it was a touch "touristy". On the plus side they did have live music and a girl showing step dancing. We finished off the evening with more live music at the Killarney Grand Hotel Pub before calling it a night.