We used Killarney as our “jumping off place” for the next two nights. I was glad for a short reprieve to the daily directive of “Bags out at 7!” but breakfast and departure times stayed relatively the same.
Our first morning, we were treated to a “jaunting car” ride through the Killarney National Park (no cars allowed). A jaunting car is a horse-drawn carriage, and ours held eight passengers. The driver, called a jarvey, keeps the patter going constantly, talking about the flora, fauna, and history of the place. He’s also quite the comedian, or so he thinks, and I heard interesting catch-phrases and jokes, most of which I have thankfully forgotten.
A sample of the jarvey’s patter: “He’s as free of brains as a mud turtle is of feathers.” And “I got a fine last week for running over a La-Pree-Shun in a National Park.” (Leprechaun).
The Ring of Kerry (actually the Ivernagh Peninsula) is one of the many peninsulas that extend from the southern tip of Ireland, like toes on a foot. Each is close to 50 miles long, so the driving loops are about 100 miles. On Kerry, the motor coach drivers have agreed to drive in a counter-clockwise direction, and on the Dingle Peninsula, they travel clockwise. If you saw the width of the roads, you’d understand why this is important!
The scenery is spectacular, although the curvy road reminds me of the Road to Hana on Maui, and is almost as nausea-inducing! In Waterville, we saw a statue of Charlie Chaplin. He reportedly liked to catch fish there, and gave them to the chef to prepare for dinner.
We had lunch overlooking a spectacular view, with “Michael Skellig” in the distant background. Skellig means rock, or island… Michael Skellig is where the final scene from the last Star Wars movie was filmed… You know, where the camera panned around and around the jagged cliffs, then zeroed in on the hooded man standing in the wind… then he turned and we are treated to one short clip of Luke Skywalker (who will undoubtedly be in the next movie!)
And YES! I bought the t-shirt!
Charles De Gaulle liked to fish in Sneem. It’s a colorful town (many of them are) and obviously caters to the tourist trade as their main source of income.