Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ireland Tour 2011

Well, it finally arrived...waking this morning saw the soft rain falling as I approached our driver John, and we discussed the plan for the day ahead. As he called it "A moving day", as different from "A grazing day", a day when we don't have to travel far and we can actually leave our luggage in the room and return for a second night at the same hotel.
It was to be our longest drive of the week, Westport to Killarney in Co. Kerry. Due to a couple of minor mishaps, such as missed wake up calls, we got off to a bit of a late start which really does affect our journey. It is normal to have a time booked for a hotel dinner in the evening and if there are problems, our travel plans may have to be altered. We stopped at the awesome Cliffs of Moher in Co. Clare for lunch and our group spent the time walking along the 800 feet above sea level massive spectacle of beauty and power that is the element of earth, wind and water. The cliffs are to possibly join the next wonders of the world, an international vote due on this decision in a couple of days.
The weather was pleasant enough though quite cold. We continued south through Clare, passing the world famous Lahinch Golf Links, a favourite of Tom Watson, one of the worlds greatest golfers. We drove through the Burren, a stretch of land unique in the west of Ireland for it's almost Lunar appearance. Virtually solid limestone with some very rare floral specimen.
We turned on an Irish comedian, Noel V. Ginnity, CD on the last leg into Killarney and the roars heard throughout the bus were side busting.
Upon our arrival at the Killarney International, we were met by the Lord Mayor of Killarney who entertained us with stories of the town and we are all planning on taking the horse and trap through the nearby park to Ross Castle in the morning. We had a lovely dinner in the hotel this evening and I told the history behind the Battle of Kinsale in 1601. We will be heading to Kinsale on Thursday morning.
Tomorrow we are heading to Dingle and Slea Head, the closest parish to New York. Some of our more senior members are being a great example to their juniors in showing great energy on the trail and we have had no breakdowns or injuries....so far...Everybody is having a wonderful time and the weather, hopefully, will be kind to us though I know tomorrow will be challenging with rain in the forecast.
The Ring of Kerry is one of the most beautiful tourism spots in Ireland and we are looking forward to a pint in Dick Mack's and fish and chips in Harrington's in Dingle....I'll be back !!

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