Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Old Cloghane Burial Ground, Cloghane, Kerry, Ireland

When we were researching our trip my wife came across this photograph and wanted to go there, wherever that was.

It took a little searching to find where it was, first on a map and then actually on the ground. It turns out that is between Conor Pass and where we were spending the night.

This is a much better map of the cemetery than I could get from Google. I plugged the lat=52.235389 lon=-10.183296 into my GPS and we were off.

Until we got there. Then we couldn't find it as it isn't on the road. It's up a little path with a small sign at the road.

As we walked up there we encountered an old man working in the cemetery. He told us the story. According to him it's one of the only cemeteries in Ireland where both Catholics and Protestants are buried. Of course they're buried on opposite ends.

When we were leaving Cloghane we spoke to another local who told us the tale of a WW II German fighter crashing nearby. The engine is still revered as a trophy.

Stop and talk to the locals. Don't miss this place.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Conor Pass, Kerry, Ireland

Conor Pass is one of the highest passes in Ireland. It's on the road between Dingle Town and Cappatigue.
A twisty one-lane asphalted road leads to the pass. The drive, inadvisable in bad weather, is considered one of the most beautiful of Ireland. The scenic road leading to the pass weaves its way around the sharp cliff faces and past high corrie lakes. Vehicles over two tonnes in weight are prohibited from using the road in order to avoid difficulties in passing.
When we told Rory Brosnan that we were going to drive over Conor Pass that afternoon he told us about Pedlers Lake above the waterfall that is just north of the Pass. We had stopped at the waterfall before but not realized that Pedlers Lake was above us.

Pedlers Lake was created at the top of Conor Pass by a glacier as it slid down the mountain. It drains into the waterfall that we had seen before.

Pedlers Lake was a perfect place to let a 6-year old unwind.

The one lane, blind, hairpin turns weren't quite as scary the second time around!

The Irish Tourism site is here and the wikipedia article is here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Slea Head Drive, Kerry, Ireland

We had driven Slea Head Drive before but as the driver I didn't see much except one lane roads!

This time we arranged a Slea Head Drive tour with Rory Brosnan. On this trip all of us got to enjoy the scenery and Rory took us to places we would have never found. Rory lives just off Slea Head Drive and his wife is a professor of Gaelic. Her family was evacuated by the government from the Blasket Islands in 1953. Every local we encountered spoke to Rory by name.

We stopped at the Beehive huts. While the parking for these is on Slea Head Drive we had just driven past them on our last trip. They are privately operated and a short hike up a hill. The operator was very friendly and rounded down the price of admission for the 4 of us to €10. My granddaughter was free.

Rory took us to several beaches, one of which is where he swims every night right next to the "No Swimming" sign. He says it's safe if you swim in a group of 4. Yeah, right.

The Gallarus Oratory was on our list for Rory to take us to. When we got there he drove right past the brown tourist sign. He continued on up the road to a second parking area which was not crowded and much closer. That's just the kind of service you get from Rory.

He took us shopping at Louis Mulcahy's and to lunch at Bar an Bhuailtin, which had large and modern amenities. Rory had a new VW van that was comfortable for the 5 of us. The logistics were easy as he picked us up at our hotel right on time.

Rory doesn't take credit cards so come prepared with euros.

Their web site is here and the TripAdvisors are here.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Dingle, Kerry, Ireland

After an eventful drive from Drombeg we arrived in the town of Dingle. Dingle has a population of around 2,000 making it the largest town on the Dingle Peninsula.

We had passed through Dingle on our previous trip and had lunch there. We enjoyed it so much that it was on our MUST list for this trip.

We stayed the Dingle Bay Hotel. You can't miss it with its bright red paint. The hotel is just across the street from the harbor and 1/4 mile east of the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium. We ate dinner in Paudie's Bar where there's Irish folk music every night. It was supposed to start at 8:00PM but they were just tuning up as we left at 8:40PM. There is a free parking in small lot with 4-5 places accessed by an alley between the hotel and Murphy's B&B to the east. There is an overflow lot accessed by another alley to the east of Murphy's Pub. That is actually on the same level as the 2nd floor (European counting) rooms so we moved our car up there to make loading easier.

The hotel has free Wi-Fi but the clerk at registration acknowledged that it was very spotty. She gave us a password but we couldn't get signal in room 206. Room 206 has a queen bed. Room 214 has a queen and a twin.

Payment is via credit card at checkin. Beware that the room doors don't lock automatically. You need to lock them with the room key.

Just across the street is the marina. We looked for Fungie the Dolphin but the statue is all we could find.

Their website is here and the TripAdvisor reviews are here.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Drombeg Stone Circle, Cork, Ireland

The last time we were at Drombeg Stone Circle we had to stop a man in a horse-drawn buggy to ask directions. This time there was a traffic jam in the parking lot. I attribute much of that to the STARZ series "Outlander."

It's still worth a stop. Where Stonehenge is behind a chain link fence, Drombeg, like Avebury, is freely accessible to the public.

There's also an amazing view of the Atlantic from the site.

Their web site is here and the TripAdvisor reviews are here. Their wikipedia site is here.