On our last day, we were up early, driving around the Ring of Kerry. We began in Killarney and took an accidental detour through Mall’s Gap. That was okay because we just met up with the path/road again in Sneem. We stopped in Waterville for lunch at the Bayview Hotel. We had hoped to eat at the Cable House, but it was closed. This is Charlie Chaplin’s town or at least he ate at the nearby Butler’s Inn. The town holds a Chaplin Festival here in September.
Most notable thing about this town was the meal. Terrible lunch! Hair in my food, gross salad thing, tasteless peas, and there were bones in my fried fish. The Coke was okay though, but Matt said that his Guinness didn’t taste right. We sort of felt sick afterward for a while, almost like we needed to take a shower and brush our teeth.
Oooooh, I almost forgot about the Skellig Chocolate Factory. I will say thank God for chocolate, because after stopping at the chocolate factory, we were cured of our lunch woes. We sampled a few chocolates and had the opportunity to see the chocolatiers at work. I will admit that I thought about my friend Kristie when I saw those high heels. Love those! We walked away from the factory with a smile, a bag of goodies, and some chocolate smears on our faces. I’m pretty sure that is what heaven will be like. Gavin says “Man cannot live on chocolate alone. But woman can.” Love that kid.
We hopped back into the car and headed up and over toward Portmagee to get a better view of the Skellig Islands. Skellig Michael is where monks lived for 600 years, isolated from almost everything. Humble. Deprived. Monks. Or very pious and stubborn Irishmen?
We stopped at one special lookout. It was special because of the service. We had barely stepped out of the car before we were nearly assaulted by a woman wanting us to pay her for parking. Okay, no problem. Can I get my jacket on first? Then we hadn’t taken five steps before another woman came running out of the building demanding payment. Crazy!
Honestly, Slea Head was a much better drive. There was much more to see and experience. The Ring was very beautiful and Skellig Island in the distance was awesome. The cliff and the very long drop down into the sea were definitely sobering. Matt was a little on edge, but he is a man of danger and mystery after all.
On the drive back to our favorite pub, we passed by a bog. This is where they dig up the peat and lay it out. It was interesting to see. Also noteworthy were the funny signs, such as, “Oldest Newest Pub” and “Apache Pizza.” The narrow roads were quaint, not too surprising given where we’ve lived, but I sure did love seeing the canopies over the roads. It was so cool to drive under many expansive canopies, thanks to the roads not being wider than they were.
We sure did enjoy our trip. We were grateful to the hospitality of Rachel, the proprietor of Moan Laur, and the friendship of her daughter and their dog. Our boys had a great time with both. The motto: There’s no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing, really became our motto for the week. We were very grateful to the Junction serving us dinner, night after night and even lunch. I just loved the Leek & Potato Soup. Gavin was able to keep his record for having Fish n’Chips for dinner every night. And Tristan was very bold and tried a little of everything and something new as often as he could. Are we raising world travelers? Bold adventurers? Probably not, but they have experienced cultures and countries that many people can only read about in books.