Ireland Day #3

This was a very long day in the car but we saw a lot! We left early from our bed and breakfast in Killarney and drove the Ring of Kerry, a scenic drive around the Iveragh Peninsula in County Kerry. We went on a car ferry and to the island of Valentia Island and spent time on the Skillig Ring and Kingstown as well as the Cliffs of Kerry. This is usually a day long trip but we left early enough to also squeeze in a tour of the Dingle Peninsula as well. It is further north and the countryside is breathtaking. The very narrow country roads are not for the faint of heart though. We saw the Blasket Islands and the Inch Strand (beach). In the Dingle Peninsula, the majority of the population there spoke Irish. There are areas within the Republic of Ireland that are given extra money by the government to make sure that the Irish culture is preserved. This means that classes are taught in Irish (Gaelic) and all the signs, etc, are also in Irish. Whereas all students take Irish classes, these particular areas are immersive. One thing that the Irish do well are stone walls. The amount of stone walls in the pastures were AMAZING. While we were looking around the Ring of Kerry, we came by a few odd (we will call them rare breeds) of sheep. We saw a couple of 4 horned sheep and one of the biggest rabbits I have ever seen. That whole hike, I was trying to decide which I had more of on the bottom of my shoes….sheep poop or slimey slugs (because they were everywhere). Rich’s opinion was an even 50/50. Rich and I were pretty sure that the Old Irish Farmer’s Almanac must have told all the farmers it was the day to spray liquid manure. We had pleasantly blocked those olfactory memories from those times in Norway the farmers used the poop sprayers…..but we saw nearly a dozen of them on the road and in the fields.

So to talk about something more pleasant…let’s talk about a full Irish breakfast. At this bed and breakfast, it consisted of a runny sunnyside egg, 2 huge very salty slabs of what they call bacon but is more like a skinny slice of ham, and 2 large sausages. Other places also included blood pudding. Yep. Sounds as good as it looks. The houses don’t have dryers either. All laundry is put out on the line in the garden or in the living room if it is raining.

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