Spent the day driving the Ring of Kerry. It was a 3 hour journey out to Valentia Island and back from Cork. I could spend weeks trekking around this area visiting each and every ancient bridge, aquaduct, and castle in the area. The terrain in some areas is a stark change from the green rolling hills of Cork, almost barren. The roads were windy and narrow through one of the more mountainous regions of Ireland. First stop was Torc Waterfall near Killarney.
The waterfall was a short walk from the road through an area completely covered in moss due to the spray the waterfall produces, not to mention the seemingly never ending rain in Ireland. This gave the surrounding forest an almost surreal atmosphere.
At the end of the trail a set of ancient steps led you higher up the bluffs into an equally dense but less mossy area of the forest.
A short walk from the waterfall takes you to the shores of Muckross Lake. This lake is one of three in the area. The largest of the three being Lough Leane, and then the small and winding Upper Lake.
From here the Ring continued away from Killarney and towards the coast. On the way I couldn’t help but stop at Ladies View. One of the more well known views in Kerry, it was named after Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting stopped here for a picnic during the royal visit of 1861.
Soon the coast proper was reached. The road through the mountains overlooks a brutal coast, nothing like the smooth rolling hills of County Cork.
This is also the area where you will find the Skellig Isles. Made up of jutting peaks and even harsher terrain. This area has gotten tons of attention lately due to the fact this is where Luke Skywalker is hiding. (Filming for Star Wars was done here)
After a quick stop for a pint (obviously) the sun was on its way down, definitely time to return to Cork, not a good option to be driving on these winding, barely serviceable roads at night. After 2 straight days of longer journeys and vast landscapes I am looking forward to spending the week in Cork, exploring the local Craft Brew scene. There actually is one believe it or not. I am looking forward to spending time in the pubs and meeting locals and expats alike. Until next time.
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