Our first three days and have been quite amazing. On the first day we arrived and got our SIM cards set up and then went to Collins B & B. After setting everything up we went out to Murphy’s Pub for dinner. After dinner we went to hear music across the street from the pub. There was a great folksinger in the bar and to my amazement he was singing a John Prine song. Mary and I were really enjoying the music and stayed around until after 11 o’clock. We were a bit late to get to bed – probably midnight.
We were picked up and from out bed-and-breakfast by Dux and taken to the restored 15th Century Ross Castle.
Dux’ son Donal drove the small boat. He was delightful. It was a bit cold on the boat and even drizzled a bit of rain on us. So we were all covered up with a tarp. From the boat we saw baby deer and Mountain goats. We went through three Lake and connecting river. At one point we had to get out of the boat so it could keep it moving through a narrow passage with the water rushing down.
We learned that rhododendrons here in Ireland or weed. They are interfering with the walnut trees and grow to be quite huge. They are tempted to cut all of them down to get rid of them.
The boat ride took about hour and a half and we got off at Lord Brandon’s Cottage where we had a bowl of soup for lunch.
Our hiking didn’t start out until about 130 in the afternoon. Today’s hike was about 13 miles. It was through Killarney National Park. The views of the lake and moss covered trees were so beautiful. I am just going to try to upload a couple photos.
I loved this tree.
We walked by rushing streams and waterfalls.
Here I am by the waterfall.
The stone bridges and archways reminded me of Spain.
Somehow I didn’t seem to get the photos of when the path got very difficult. It was very rocky and we had to go very slowly. So much to our amazement we didn’t get back onto the main road until 8:30 PM. We stopped at the first place where we could get food to eat. Then we still had to walk back to Killarney and didn’t get home until after 10:45. I think by the time we got fully settled it was almost midnight and we had to be up and ready to leave by 8 AM.
Today was more even amazing than yesterday. We walked through the Black Valley to Lough Acoose. Again the moss-covered rock, trees, views of the lake, patches of clover, and boulders were absolutely breath-taking. Just a few more photos.
These large moss-covered rocks were so beautiful
I loved these small islands and view of the mountains.
At one point we were even walking right through somebody’s farmland. We loved all the sheep.
We climbed over styles and where having a blast.
We were trying to make her way for lunch to a restaurant called the Cookie Monster Café. We came upon the house where a young woman came out and told us the way. She told us to just hop over the gate (ha) and continue on over the hill for about 45 minutes. Words and pictures cannot describe the mountain goat track where we were walking. There was actually no path. We were just scrambling up through the rocks and the bog. It is probably the most difficult trail I’ve ever walked; if you could call it a trail. And though going up was quite difficult, going down was actually even a bit more treacherous. Here are pictures of Mary and me on part of the trail, but as I said, the photos do not depict the difficulty.
Then we finally arrived at the café, but it was about 2 hours later. I am not sure how anybody could have done that hike in 45 minutes. John and Cookie, owners of the cafe, made us a delicious lunch and our dessert was homemade ice cream. John showed me a picture of his mom and told me that I reminded him of her.
After lunch we had to climb over another small mountain. Our total elevation gain today was only 2543 feet and we walked about 15 miles. All in all it was really a fabulous, remarkable day.
Tonight we are staying at the Blackstone house bed-and-breakfast. We are in the very isolated place right on the lake. It is so peaceful here. Pauline cooked an absolutely delicious dinner for us.
This is the Blackstone Bridge near the Blackstone B&B.