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© 2019 Andrea Bernhardt

  • Andrea Bernhardt

Ireland Day 5: Ring of Kerry

We went on the Ring of Kerry tour 11 years ago via a bus tour in the rain so we were excited to experience it in a car because we could stop wherever and whenever we wanted. We also added the Skellig Ring this time which the big bus tours don’t do. I read to go clockwise to avoid any tour buses (they go counterclockwise) and it worked, we did not see any buses.

Overlooking the beach near the O'Carroll's Cove Beach Bar & Restaurant

Sneem

Our first stop was in Sneem and there was not a lot going on early in the morning. We pulled over and parked because we wanted to see the water view from the bridge and just walk around this cute little town. I remember this from the tour and it was such a cool place.

After we got out of the car a little ways down the road was this older guy just standing by the wall and didn’t say hi or acknowledge us at all. This was strange because almost everyone we came across would at least smile or say hi. We walked past him and my sister turned around and he was headed for our car. He walked around it like he was scoping it out, very strange.

Downtown Sneem

So we headed back to the car and decided to drive to a different part of town across the bridge because that was very sketchy. Trust your instincts when something doesn’t seem right. We parked more in the center of town but there still wasn’t a lot of people around. My mom decided to stay in the car. We walked around the town and I looked over at the bridge and there was that guy walking towards us.

He just lingered in the town now watching us and I had my eyes wide open to where he was at all times. Now I was starting to get a little freaked out that he was following us especially when there wasn’t a lot of people around. I quickly went to the car and got my sisters attention to come back.

View from the bridge in Sneem

They stayed by the car while I quickly went on the bridge to get a few pictures of the water since this was the main reason I wanted to come here. I briskly walked back to the car and debated on telling this guy that was picking up garbage but honestly I just wanted to get out of there. I went to the car and we went on our way. Good lesson to just be aware of your surroundings and know when something doesn’t feel right.

Looking out at the Beara Peninsula

Ring of Kerry

We stopped a few places along the way to check out the scenery. There was a beach between Westcove and Caherdaniel that was by O’Carroll’s Cove Beach Bar and Restaurant. It had a nice view of the Beara Peninsula. There were quite a few places to stop a long the way that all had amazing views. If we saw a place we would just pull over and check it out. We stopped at Kell’s Bay Beach toward the end which was a nice beach and had views of the Dingle Peninsula.

Looking out at the Dingle Peninsula

Depending on how many stops you make and how long you stay at each spot can dictate how long it takes you to do the Ring of Kerry especially if you add the Skellig Ring Drive. It took us the full day but we stopped a lot and spent some time at various places.

Skellig Ring Drive

I read that this was a must if you were traveling in a car so of course we added it to our tour. It is very well marked so you won’t get lost or miss anything. The weather was not the greatest and it was rainy and very windy but the weather in Ireland can clear quickly and come on fast so you have to be prepared for anything.

View of the Skellig Islands

We stopped at an overlook to see the Skellig Islands and we could see them somewhat through the rain and fog. Luckily I bought a rain case for my camera because it came in handy at the first overlook spot as it was raining fairly hard.

View of Puffin Island

This overlook had a nice view of Puffin Island. After a bit we drove along hoping that we would get another view when the rain stopped. The Skellig Chocolate Factory was calling our name first so we made a stop. There was only one other person there and we got to sample all different kinds of chocolate which was the perfect little snack.

I liked the Citrus White Chocolate Truffles and the Mint Dark Chocolate Brittle. St. Finian’s Bay was our next stop which had a beautiful view of the Skellig Islands.

St. Finian's Bay with a view of the Skellig Islands

The tide was low so we could walk on the beach for quite a ways before the water started. Our next stop was the Kerry Cliffs.


Kerry Cliffs

Since we weren’t able to make it up to the Cliffs of Moher we heard that the Kerry Cliffs were very impressive so we stopped there. It was extremely windy but it wasn’t closed so we were in luck! The cost was 4 euro per person, but the view is well worth it. You walk up for a bit and then you can see the cliffs in both directions and decide to go either right or left.

We asked the guy which was the better view if we only chose to walk one of them and he said to go left. We started left and it was fairly steep to walk up but a very wide path which I imagine is packed with people during the busy season.

We walked out on the edge of the cliffs (on a trail of course) and it was so windy I didn’t even want to bring my phone out to take a video.

Luckily my camera strap and scarf were attached securely because they would have easily blown away. There was one point that we couldn’t even walk because the gusts were so strong.

We figured that since we were here we would walk to the other viewing side which was also very nice. I would agree that the left side was better IF you had to choose.

There were really cool rocks on the trail as well as some beehive huts that replicated those found on Skellig Michael. I was hoping we would see more wildlife but maybe it was too windy or the wrong time of year.

We wanted to go on a tour of Skellig Michael but they don’t offer tours in the off season. Pretty sure it would have been too windy that day to go even if they did.


Killorglin

We were nearing the end of the Ring of Kerry and drove by The Red Fox Inn prior to arriving in Killorglin. I remember stopping here 11 years ago on our bus tour. It had a bog museum which we saw the last time.

We headed inside and talked to the woman saying we were here 11 years ago. She was so nice and asked if we wanted to check out the gift shop even though it was closed. That’s one of the things I’ve noticed in Ireland, people are so incredibly accommodating and friendly. The woman asked where we were staying for the night and she gave us directions to where it was in town. We each bought a couple things and decided we better get on the road to get to our hotel in Killorglin for the night.

Red Fox Inn along the Ring of Kerry

It took us a bit to find exactly where the hotel was but at least we knew the vicinity. We parked in a car park and walked around to where we thought it was. We then went into a store and they pointed us in the right direction. We checked in and the woman said we could pull around to the front and there would be spots. Well, there wasn’t and I just got turned around with one ways in the dark and it was raining. We just went back to the car park and walked the short distance.

We were starving so we found a Chinese restaurant close by that looked good. I got the spicy beef which was way more spicy then I was expecting and I don’t mind spicy food.

It was downpouring when we walked out of the restaurant which we now know was the beginning of Storm Diana. We headed back to where we were staying the night because we were really tired and it was raining so not very nice to explore the town.

The place we stayed just got newly renovated and was pretty nice and modern. We had another big adventure tomorrow around the Dingle Peninsula so we went to bed.

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