The Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry is a 179 km circular driving route in County Kerry. The route starts in Killarney, not far from our base, and follows the coast around the Iveragh Peninsula. Along the way visitors get to stop off and visit places like the Gap of Dunloe, where we walked yesterday or Port Maghee and the island of Valentia… where we’ve come today.

The Wild Atlantic Way also follows a great deal of the Ring of Kerry and for the hikers amongst you there is an established and well marked 214 km walking path called The Kerry Way too… oooh I wish we had more time because this area is just so so beautiful… The Kerry Way is definitely a trail I’d like to walk!

For us though today we poodled along in our car, stopping at places that looked interesting and going for a wander. We watched a crazy couple prepare to go swimming at Rossbeigh, although to be fair to them when they got to the waters edge they had a change of heart and ran back up the beach! I don’t blame them as it has been cold cold cold today. In the glorious little harbour town of Knightstown we watched two girls giggling on the harbour wall and after much procrastination they held hands, ran and jumped into the cold Atlantic… brrrr!

We drove around Valentia Island, walked around the Cliffs and the harbour town of Knightstown. It’s a little jewel, we could come back here and just look out at the view everyday!

But we’re not here for the view, the walks or the Ring of Kerry, we’ve come to Portmaghee because tomorrow we’re sailing out to Skellig Michael. Today we stopped off at the Visitors Centre to learn more. The guide told us that no boats have been able to visit for a week because the weather has been too bad However, one landed today so he told us to keep our fingers crossed that our boat makes it out in the morning. We watched a film about the history of this very unique little island and also had to watch a safety video.

Landing on Skellig Michael is very restricted and we were thrilled to be able to buy tickets a few weeks ago. It’s a world heritage site and one of the most inhospitable monastic sites in the world. I’ve wanted to visit for a long time and I’m relieved that we’re feeling fit as there are 618 ancient steps, carved into the sheer rock face, that we must climb to reach the monastery. (It’s also featured in a couple of Star Wars films).

We’ve booked into a little guest house as we need to be at the harbour for 7.15 in the morning. We planned a lovely meal in the village, hoped for a few beers and even maybe a little live music in the bar before bed. In short we have been looking forward to this little excursion for some time!

We walked down to the bar… sadly no GF beer but hey… the weather looks great so we’re in good spirits. At the allotted time we walked to the adjoining restaurant for our table… but they were busy so we’d been moved to the bar… but never mind because they do GF menu options… there was however none of the promised live music though… but no matter! We were in great spirits! You see we’re off to Skellig Michael and nothing would dampen our spirits. Nothing until a message arrived on my phone marked URGENT | Skellig Tour… and just like that our visit was gone.

The island has been closed due to a landslide/rockfall… there will be no landings tomorrow. There was nothing to be done. Nature and the elements had done their thing. The spell was broken. We ate our dinner and wandered back to our Bed and Breakfast feeling more than a little disappointed.

Ps Dinner wasn’t so great either!

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