I had a much better sleep than Anna! It was a travel day again and Anna would be back on the bike after a 2 day break touring Killarney National Park. She would do the easy route and I the intermediate route.
My name today is George Mayberry- he was from Kenmare and participated in the 1908 Summer Olympics.
Breakfast included steaming bowls of oatmeal with Bailey’s (the breakfast of champions). A perfect combination. I also had bacon and pancakes which were rolled as I was quite hungry that morning (I am always hungry when cycling). Patrick was coming to pick up our bags at 10 AM so we packed and were ready when he arrived. He brought along his son which was nice. After the pleasantries we were off! There was a fine drizzle and the roads were wet.
The first part of our shared journey was a pleasant, flat section through the Killarney National Park. Most pleasant. We were going to take our time and take plenty of pictures along the way. Always thinking of our audience.
We initially thought the GPS route was going to bypass the Muckross Abbey, but, to our delight there was a connecting path to it. The sun came out and this being Sunday why not go to church. The Franciscan Abbey was most interesting and very photogenic. We spent a lot of time enjoying the serene atmosphere whilst Anna educated me on the architectural nuances she had learned from her Ross Castle tour.
There was a yew tree in the centre court that apparently has a chemical valued in chemotherapy! Anna couldn’t help but give it a hug!
There were so many details to wonder at in this ancient Abbey. The detail in the roof….
……the spookiness of the darkened kitchen area
……the Gaelic symbols
I kept taking pictures of Anna amongst the ruins (drive by shootings she would say)……
We finally tore ourselves away and pedalled on. The pathway in the park was so peaceful and beautiful. It worked it’s magic on us. There were definitely more cyclists out today.
A nice bridge appeared linking two of the lakes and we stopped to drink in the views before reaching our rest point Dinis Cottage.
We finally came to Dinis Cottage and stopped in for an Apple tart with fresh cream and a scone with lattes and enjoyed the view.
After Dinis Cottage we connected with the Ring of Kerry again and started the undulating climb up to Moll’s Gap. The weather suddenly became very changeable and we had frequent stops to either put on or take off our rain gear.
An intersection appeared with a lovely old boarded up church and a bridge over a picturesque creek. Another stop for more photos. Would we ever get to Kenmare?
We got to Ladies View and did enjoy the views. Anna even spotted a red deer enjoying it’s own meal in the brush below us. Anna was thrilled that she finally found a leprechaun crossing. We had not seen one in all of journeys to date. Ireland would not be complete without one!
At Ladies View I stated with authority that rain was not needed up to Moll’s Gap. Perhaps it was because we had changed gear at least four times up to that point. Anna said “I don’t know, I think I am going to keep my rain jacket on”. “Non-believer” I cried out as I mounted my trusty steed and powered on. Just around the next corner the deluge including hail started! Anna was right, I was wrong! I became soaked and appeared to metamorphosed into a water droplet!
We finally reached Moll’s Gap!! I was proud of Anna’s accomplishment and photographed her reaching the crest. I am not sure if there was a frown or a smile on her face!
At this point, we parted ways. Anna was to head directly to Kenmare and I was going to head in the opposite direction to get more kilometres in. As soon as Anna headed off I began cycling away and my saddle almost fell off!! What??? I had not noticed the bolt holding my saddle in place had loosened over our tour thus far. I am so glad this had not happened during one of my 50 km/hr descents!
I went into mechanic mode (my dad would be proud), removed the rear seat rack and adjusted the saddle…..tightly! All was good now and I was ready for my sustained descent to Blackwater Bridge.
As I started the descent, I came upon a beautiful lake called Loughbarfinnihy (say that quickly three times in a row) and just had to stop for a few final photos.
There were a lot more cyclists on this descent route than I had seen on the whole tour. I got ahead of them and really powered down the hill. What great fun! I then turned off the main road to get to Blackwater Bridge which placed me on a very quite country lane which was like a roller coaster again. I loved it. Eventually, the fun ended and I reached the main road into Kenmare and cruised the final 11 km into town.
The route took me right past the our B&B the Rockcrest House which was beautiful. Instead of going into the B&B I went into town and had some vegetable soup and a latte at a local cafe. Yum!
I got back to the B&B and met the very friendly proprietor and went up to our room lucky “7”. Anna was waiting just having arrived 30 minutes earlier. We both had hot showers and unpacked. She was feeling a little under the weather and chilled so she covered up with a blanket and rested while I worked on this blog posting.
The evening was going to be relaxed. Kenmare was very different from Killarney. More laid back. Perfect for the end of our bike tour portion of the trip.
It appeared Anna was done with the cycling and would likely tour Kenmare and surrounding walking paths, go to the Lace & Design Center (Kenmare is famous for it’s lace) and be the official photographer of the town. I would ride my final cycle out on the Beara Peninsula.
We enjoyed dinner in town and had an early night.