Just before getting into bed last night I received an email from my last boat adventure saying they were not going to be running the next day to Skellig Michael. That makes it 0/3 for boats on this trip. For the Star Wars fans it’s basically the island at the end of the last movie that the stuff happens on (don’t spoil it for me, I haven’t seen the movie). For the rest of us it’s basically a small little protected island that only a small amount of boat operators are given permission to visit through the season. Condition is that each operator can only bring one small boat, once a day, and land for only two hours.
The island itself is Skellig Michael, a Christian monastery was founded in the 6th century and has since been abandoned. The island is filled with wild life and ruins and became a UNESCO Would Heritage Site in 1996. If you ever are in Ireland, book a trip to Skellig Michael, it looks amazing!
Back on track I had a bit of time to kill yet again, so the first stop was Ballycarbery Castle.
About half of the walls that currently surround the ruined castle are still up. The rest have disappeared with time. Inside the ruined Castle there are still unrestored authentic hallways. You have to watch your step though as there is parts of the floor simply missing.
Valentia Island is a little gem on the Ring of Kerry housing a permanent population of only 665 residents. The Cromwell Point Lighthouse was originally the site of the Cromwell Fleetwood Fort in the 16tth Century. Now a lighthouse, it holds up the beacon to all ship traffic passing through the area to prevent them from running aground on the jagged rocks.
This was actually a rather exciting moment. I saw a wild chicken…. I know it doesn’t seem like much but up to this point all I’ve seen has been sheep, sheep, and more sheep.
The Tetrapod Trackway on Valentia Island is another stop worth seeing. The reflections and water spray on the ground made them hard to pop out in the photos. About 350 to 370 million years ago this area sparked something magical. It was a period where life transitioned from water to land. The tracks you see in the rock are footprints from a Tetrapod. These are the most extensive of the four Devonian trackways in the entire world and you can actually go right up to them.
South of the Tertrapod Trackway is Geokaun Mountain. While the view at the top of Geokaun Mountain was awesome… the wind was INSANE. I genuinely felt like the little suv was going to roll over at the very top. It was completely exposed and just to open the door you had to strategically park so when you opened the door you could bear hug it and open it in a semi controlled fashion.
In the distance, Cromwell Point Lighthouse can be spotted as it guides vessels through the northern entrance of Valentia Harbour past Harbour Rock.
From the outside it is a smooth wall, but on the inside you have numerous walk ways that run the length of the walls to aid defenders.
At one point John got the goat rather excited and they can push around a person pretty well. He has raised this goat since it was a kid.
Now the Ring of Kerry is very popular. While I didn’t actually find it to be the most beautiful of the peninsulas, it is advertised in every guide book and pamphlet when you are in Ireland that the circle route is a must see route. This results in a fair bit of traffic in a rather tiny area. Up to this point (outside of the cities), I’ve seen one maybe one or two tour bus, pulling into Inchinaleega, Co. Kerry, there had to be over ten busses parked around this little green space with tourists running around in droves.
As the weather continued to flip flop, it was off towards Allihies. I made a pit stop at Reenagross Park in Kenmare knowing it was the wrong time of year to see its little bit of magic. Now, if you were to swing by Reenagross Park in spring, you would actually be gifted with a wonderful scene. The pedals turn a brilliant pink and after they finish blooming they turn the walkway pink as well. The unique twisty trunks were still worth seeing though.
From Kenmare I start on the Beara Peninsula and spot what looks like an aquatic farm of sorts in the water. Not entirely sure what they are harvesting. The rest of the night was spent with numerous glasses of Guinness and some marvelous people in Allihies! So, no more photos of the night unfortunately.
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