Reflections and images from my travels

Another sleep in. So unlike me. Perhaps it was all of the partying last night!

My name today was Eamon Kelly (see below).

We had another great breakfast at the B&B and then parted ways again.

Anna was to do a guided tour of the Gap of Dunloe, the Black Valley (Anna found out it is so named because it was the last place in Ireland to get electrical power), Lord Brandon’s Cottage and then a boat ride through the lakes and rivers of Killarney National Park returning to Ross Castle.

I, on the other hand, was to do a “challenge” bike ride east of Killarney. The topography was to be much different from yesterday. More rolling, quiet lanes and farmlands. Less mountainous and less scenic. Interestingly though, I would gain more elevation on this tour.

The weather started sunny but soon some clouds and rain rolled in. I had to get the rain gear on again but thankfully it did not last more than 20-30 minutes. I did not take a lot of pictures. I got into touring mode and just looked and smelled as I rode. I did pass through a small village Gneevgullia with an interesting statue to a poet born in that parish (Eamon Kelly) and more religious statues (there are a lot of these in Ireland!).

The kilometres melted away as I drank in the pastoral views. I love cycling. Some of the road sections were bone-jarring but I would take this any day over vehicle traffic. I quickly rode through Rathmore but did not stop. I later found out from our B&B proprietor that he was born very close to that town.

Some sections of the road on this tour felt like being on a roller coaster with short, steep climbs and then windy fast descents. Too much fun!

About 12 km out of Killarney I took a side tour past Lough Guitane and enjoyed more twisty roads until I arrived back in Killarney National Park. I went back to the Muckross House thinking I would grab a bite to eat but it was too busy with tourists. I rode back into town and finally had a late lunch at a local French Patisserie- the Petit Delice. I had a lovely prawn salad and a vegetable lunch croissant. Delice!!

As I got back early, I decided to get back on the bike and visit Ross Castle and then bike through this side of the Killarney National Park. Very relaxing! I ran into Anna again after her tour and she was off to find a pint and shop a little.

It is our last night in Killarney and tomorrow we head off the Kenmare. I loved Killarney for it’s beautiful National Park and the wilder mountain passes and hidden quiet valleys. The town is busy and very touristy but it is a great place to base your self out of to explore the beautiful countryside.

We tried to have dinner at the Bricin Restaurant and Boxty House but it was fully booked for the night- disappointing. They serve a local potato pancake as a main course which is unique to this area. We will look for it elsewhere as our journeys continue. I remembered a small restaurant off High Street on one of the side lanes. We found it again the Stonechat Restaurant. Luckily they had one table for 2 but we had to be out by 8 PM. No problem! We both ordered the lamb shank which was huge and very tasty. We then walked around town relaxed. We stopped into a local bar and noted a bunch of fellows fixated on a TV screen and so we watched our first hurling match. Very interesting. We did not really understand all of the rules but it was definitely a fast paced game. Just for your information, Cork bested Waterford! We enjoyed some Irish Coffees at Gabys and as we were leaving Anna decided to be dramatic and broke one of the glasses! The barman was most understanding. We decided to retire earlier tonight and returned to our B&B.

It’s hard to believe tomorrow was our last stop on the bike tour portion of our Ireland trip. Time flies when you are truly enjoying yourselves! Now it’s on to Kenmare.

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