In the morning I woke up to the sound of pattering rain.
Breakfast at the Fuschia House was served in a light-filled room overlooking a green garden. I ordered the full Irish Breakfast, which consists of fried egg, pork sausage, bacon rashers, white pudding, black pudding, fried half tomato and beans…
The food was cooked with care by Erika the hostess, and it’s enough to power me through the day.
My first stop on the Ring was Muckross House and Gardens
The sun peeked out so I decided to walk to the Torc Waterfall – the waterfall is also reachable from the main road but the parking lot is small and often crowded.
The 2.5 kilometers trail goes through a forest, an exposed path next to a cow pasture, a stone bridge, alongside a creek.
The flow was impressive, thanks to Storm Ellen which dumped plenty of water during the previous week.
Returning to the parking lot, I made a stop at the small rose garden behind the Muckross house, taking in the fragrance from the summer bloom.
The Bourn Vincent family presented Muckross House to the Irish Nation in 1932, an act of generority that lead to the development of Killarney National Park as the first National Park in ireland.
Having spent a couple of hours in Muckross House, I was eager to get back on the road, heading towards my second stop on the Ring – Lady’s View.
Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting visited here during the royal visit in 1861. They were so taken with the view that it was named after them.
While this lady was admiring the view, I received a call from Skellig Experience informing me that due to weather condition, all sailings around Skellig Michael was cancelled the following day. Lisa, the nice lady on the phone, asked me if I would like to reschedule.
After the phone call, I went back to the car and drove another 4 kilometers, through a narrow rock tunnel to Kissane Sheep Farm.
I was ready to “adopt a sheep”, or more so checking out a sheep dog/sheep shearing demo, for which the farm is known, but it was closed this year due to you-know-what.
My next quick stop was Moll’s Gap
Like the Gap of Dunloe, Moll’s Gap was formed through a glacial breach, which happened 25,000 years ago during Ireland’s last ice age. There’s supposed to be great view from here of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountains. And there was. I even crossed the road to admire it. But I forgot to take a picture. So you will have to take my word for it 😦
After passing through the colourful village of Sneem
known as the knot in the Ring of Kerry, with its two squares, one on the North and one on the South. and a bridge in the middle, tying the knot.
The view became expansive with the occasional glimpse of the sea to the left. For those interested in history and archeology, an ancient ring fort awaits.
I can attest to the statement about the ditch while taking a walk around the outter perimeter of the fort, I nearly sank my feet into it covered by damp grass and cow dung.
The detour to Staigue Fort is through a one-lane country road lined with overgrown bushes. Since this was only my second day driving in Ireland, I was a bit nervous about the incoming traffic, as you can see here
Back on N70, the road to Coomakesta Pass offers breakthtaking views
with ample parking space
At Coomakista Pass
I was surprised to find a lonesome icecream truck offering Traditional Kerry Soft Ice Cream
Then just as I turned around…
Ten minutes drive and more of this view later
I arrived at Waterville
A town known for its affiliation with one Charlie Chaplin
After checking into the same hotel Mr. Chaplin stayed, with a nice view of the sea from my room
I went to dinner at Dooley’s Waterfront Bar & Restaurant.
I ordered a bowl of seafood chowder and herb coated rack of lamb
While the food was good, I found it overpriced and although I asked for a seating in the restaruant, I was led to a bar where it was rather sad and dingy.
Overhearing a storm that’s arriving in a couple of hours, grateful that I had made it safe to my destination of the day, I skipped dessert, retreated to my hotel room, brew a cup of tea with some shortbread cookies
ready to call it a night.
Note: Route and distance
- Killarney -> Muckross House: 7.3 km ~ 16 minute drive
- Muchross House -> Lady’s View: 12.2 km ~ 17 minute drive
- Lady’s View -> Moll’s Gap: 6.2 km ~ 8 minute drive
- Moll’s Gap -> Sneem via Parknasilla Resort (perfect stop for tea if desired): 28.3 km ~ 32 minute drive
- Sneem -> Staigue Stone Fort: 18.9 km ~ 24 minute drive
- Staigue Stone Fort -> Coomakista Pass: 16.1 km ~ 22 minute drive
- Coomakista Pass -> Waterville: 7.8 km ~ 10 minute drive