Of the five peninsulas in...
Of the five peninsulas in Western Cork and Kerry counties, Dingle peninsula is the one I enjoyed the most. In good weather it's a cycler's paradise, with plenty of archeological sites and wonderful coastal landscapes.
See the travelogue for some of my favourite pictures!
Ring of Kerry
I reccomend strapping on the backpack and walking/hitchiking your way around the ring of Kerry. I started walking it with the intention of walking the entire length but this proved to be impossible because every car that went by stopped to give me a lift. I met some great people and I felt very safe doing it.
Something you have to do is hiking or driving up the Connor Pass.
The views to the north and south side of Dingle peninsula are stunning, and the whole drive up there is a true adventure, as the ascent is pretty steep and the road is narrow (to put it gently)...
Paddy’s Stag Weekend
"Bearded Englishmen - No Shaving, Just Misbehaving"
I stayed for three nights in Killarney on a stag weekend for a good mate of mine, Paddy. He was getting married on St Patrick’s day 2010 and so felt it appropriate to invite all of his friends over to a place he knows well.
Paddy had been in touch about a month before and the text message said “No shaving now until the Stag”. Now Paddy is known for his joking about and so I checked carefully that I wouldn’t be the only bearded on there, before embarking on a furry face of my own. The motto was “No shaving, just misbehaving”. And so, thirty to forty bearded Englishmen turned up in Ireland.
We flew across from Luton to Kerry early on the Thursday evening and after a short coach trip turned up at “Tatler Jacks”. This was to be our place of residence for the next three days.
Paddy knew the owner of the bar and so we were given a very friendly welcome. I don’t normally drink Guinness but when you are in Ireland it seems the right thing to do.
I had a reasonably early night, about 01:30 as I knew that the Friday and Saturday nights were going to be late ones. It was three to a room with a double bed and a single. I hid away in the double before being disturbed a few hours later by the others.
"A Bit Of Fresh Air At Ross Castle"
I woke to the sound of breakfast being served in the small kitchen just outside of the room and so it didn’t need much persuasion to open the door and just stagger across the corridor. Breakfast was an excellent “Full Irish”, consisting of the usual bacon, eggs and sausage along with a black and a white pudding, I had some cereals and some toast as there had been much dinner eaten the night before, mostly Guinness.
Paddy had arranged for a short boat trip at the nearby Ross Castle at midday and so I took the opportunity to get some fresh air.
It was then back to Tatler Jacks until about 5pm when we went along to a little place called “Stretford End Bar”, which was owned and run by a big Man Utd fan. It is well know in Killarney that this chap always wears a red shirt of some type 365 days of the year. His pub walls were covered in old pictures of Man Utd squads along with some letters from Old Trafford. The only problem with this bar was it was freezing and so I was glad to leave and head off for a warm spot and a bite to eat. Paddy took us to a little bar up the road called the The Laurels which did an excellent plate of food, although at a tad expensive price of 30 Euros. The steaks look good though.
We then headed back to Tatler Jacks and waited for a few mates to turn up. Their Friday night had been delayed and they arrived with their beards about midnight. No to worry though as I ended the night at about 03:45.
"We All Live In A Ginger World"
Saturday started about 09:00 am with another excellent breakfast and I met my late friends and we took them to see Russ Castle in a cab. We were going to take one of the pony and traps that you can hire but then the taxi drivers said that they did smell a bit, and she was talking about the drivers and not the horses.
We then settled in at Tatler Jacks for a feast of sport on the TV. We kicked off with the highly amusing Chelsea v Man City game and then the Ireland v England Six Nations rugby. All went well with the sport, as my mates and I are football fans and couldn’t really care too much about the rugby. Chelsea got beat heavily at home and we even said to each other, as England were at one stage winning the rugby, “wouldn’t it be better if Ireland won, as the place would be in full swing on the Saturday night”. England duly obliged and Ireland came from behind to win.
It was then time to turn our attention to the Stag. We had brought our own ginger spray paint. Paddy is always telling us that “there are two types of people, ginger and those who want to be ginger”. So we sat him down and turned him proper ginger. He loved it.
Some of us had planned to go back to London Heathrow early on Sunday morning and so make it to Wembley for the Carling Cup Final taking place between Man Utd v Aston Villa. Paddy had kindly arranged for a lift to Cork airport at 04:30am so it was another night of drinking. By then, I had switched from the Guinness to the bottles of Bulmer cider. No sleep until home after a great cup win at Wembley then.
Many thank to Paddy and Killarney for great weekend