Monday, September 1, 2014

Ireland: Sneem to Kinsale

Once again I am so tired I fall right to sleep, but wake early.

We take a nice long walk through the Parknasilla property called the Clashnachree Trail: down through the woods, past the golf course, and up to a hill with a superb view of the bay and the Beara Peninsula.

By the time we checkout from the hotel we have already walked 4 miles!

We drive down to Kenmare. In the morning, Kenmare is a wonderful town. We browse through the shops. A street market is set up in the town with much to look at.

A co-worker gave us a suggestion before we left, so we walk down to Reenagross Park, a lovely nature park on the River Kenmare. Although the rhododendron are not in bloom (when it would look like this), it is still quite pretty.

With all this browsing, time has passed; it is fully 1:00 by the time we are ready to leave Kenmare.

By this time, though, the tour buses have arrived, and the town center is unbelievably jammed, so there is no way we're going to make the N71 without spending a full half hour sitting in gridlock, so we take the road east out of town; it takes us to Kilgarvan.

Our detour takes us inland and soon we are on the motorway and soon after that we are in Macroom.

Macroom is a commercial town, with some businesses on the outskirts, but when we cross the river and reach the town center we see a castle.

Have I mentioned that the First Rule of Traveling in Ireland is: when you see a castle, stop?

And so we stop, and park, and walk toward the castle.

A nice local woman is walking her dog ("Charlie"), and she greets us, and says: "I bet you're looking for a nice walk" (how could she tell?)

She shows us just the right path which takes us down past the castle and along the river. It is indeed a nice walk, but we have already walked a lot today, so we walk back up and resume our drive.

We turn this way, and that, and take several country roads, and stop for another nice castle (possibly Shippool Castle) on the River Bandon.

Eventually we follow the back road into Kinsale and park.

Kinsale at 4:30 PM on an August afternoon is just a buzz of activity.

There is a carnival with rides for the kids.

There are tour buses stopped for all the shoppers to explore the shops.

And there is a Big Dance Event for all the students who have just received their test scores and been accepted to university. They are all dressed up and bubbling with energy.

We make our way out to our hotel, the Carlton, which is a modern affair about 5 km from town. It is very nice and friendly and the room is lovely, and the hotel has a super pool, so it's time for a good long swim and then a sandwich at the bar.

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