Last time (and it was quite a while) that I left off with my tale on our trip around the Ring of Kerry, we had just visited the Kerry Bog Village, which was surprisingly much better than expected. Back into the car, we headed on; if you haven’t done the Ring of Kerry before or been sufficiently briefed beforehand, it can come as something of a disappointment how little of the sea it feels like you get to see during the journey – this wasn’t helped at all by my semi-endeavour to set a new land speed record for the journey, what with still harbouring the nightmares of a previous occasion when I had to work and drive amongst the Ring of Kerry cycle, which took well over 9 hours.
Moving on from the Kerry Bog Village, you actually don’t really need to travel too far before the cliffs open up nicely on the right and you get beautiful views out across the water, helped many times over by some uncharacteristically good weather we had that day.
Carrying on – and all undoubtedly wishing the car came equipped with some form of air conditioning – we wound up in our next stop, a town called Waterville. I’m pretty sure if I was to live here, I’d just spend the day standing out admiring the scenery. If I had to take points off it though, it would be simply a side-effect of the whole Ring of Kerry route; tourists. The place was absolutely (I realise the irony of this considering we were also visiting) swamped with what felt like coach-loads of tourists and the souvenir shop along the strand felt like a literal tourist trap.
We walked up and down the strand nonetheless, all pleased to get a few moments fresh air from the car before hopping back in and carrying on. Now, I couldn’t tell you at all where it was other than that it was the top of a hill and there was bit of a coach park so it’s probably well known, but the next stop was absolutely beautiful – although again, swamped by tourists – looking out over the sea, at the top of a hill. Adding to that, someone had brought up a flock of lambs to pet and take pictures with (easily amused), which kept us and all our fellow tourists highly amused once the view started to get old.
Moving along, the car rolled down the hill (helped, once again, by my lead foot) and on into Sneem. At this point, in spite of my spirited driving around the hills of Kerry, hunger had set in amongst us all and my initial fear that this place would also be packed to the rafters gladly turned out to be reasonably unfounded, and with that we made straight for the nearest eatery. The Riverside Bistro ended up being our spot for lunch – you can quickly tire on a trip of the places that stand out the most and with the bistro being more or less at the very end of the street; that was the winner for us.
The food was delicious, filling, good value and exactly what was required to get us through the remainder of the journey. From Sneem, if we’re being honest, there’s not as much to go kilometre-wise, but the concentration and effort-levels required to keep you from plunging over a cliff or barrier increases massively.
Up to the top of Moll’s Gap, we made one last stop to take in the view before our hairy descent all the way back down to Killarney National Park, and on back to our hotel, Scott’s and the previously mentioned tightest car park in Ireland.
There was only the one night left so after a long day’s driving, it was only right to head out and relax with a well-earned pint…