We traveled from Killarney to Kenmare, via Moll's Gap, which qualifies as our most challenging drive in Ireland. A narrow, mountain road bordered by stone cliffs on one side and a sharp drop to the lake on the other, the Gap becomes a series of blind switchbacks as it climbs upward. More than once, we were met by descending tour buses and our only safe option was to veer as close as possible to the cliff face and allow the bus to negotiate its way past. When we finally emerged from the Gap, the winding road hugged the mountainside and afforded expansive views of the countryside far below. Unfortunately, Linda's fear of heights prevented her from appreciating the spectacle as she was preoccupied with embedding her fingernails securely in the dashboard.
We arrived at Kenmare unscathed and were welcomed by the inviting staff at Sheen Falls Lodge. Our room looked out over the cascading falls and the handsome bar offered quality martinis, so we toasted our adventurous drive and booked a trout fishing expedition for the next day.
There were seals in this pool the day before!
Low tide out one of our windows
Last place before Moll's gap, Linda crying silently in the back seat... Hate heights..hate!
Kenmare is a nice, little village with a cluster of pubs that all offer good food and traditional music. We stayed late and enjoyed a few impromptu songs and jokes when a few audience members joined the scheduled entertainer to the delight of the audience.
Our last day at the Lodge saw a significant improvement in the weather and we toured the Ring of Kerry with a driver. The views of the sea and beaches were magnificent, as were the row upon row of stone fences which seem woven together in a pattern that blankets the countryside. The cliff-hugging road near the tip of the peninsula was daunting, but the Ring of Kerry should not be missed. We say a few places where peat was being dug and dried, and saw bog ponies, short and stocky horses bred to haul peat from the bogs and light enough not to sink into the soil as would heavier animals.
Peat cut into blocks for firewood
The land is haunting and so beautiful!