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Tralee - Glengarriff (Dingle peninsula, Ring of Kerry)

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Wednesday 18 December, Tralee - Glengarriff (Dingle peninsula, Ring of Kerry)

When we get up we can see it will be another nice day and the temperature is higher than yesterday. We leave Trallee early and within a few minutes we are on the Dingle peninsula.
Connor Pass, Dingle Connor Pass, DingleIt is a beautiful but desolate region. First, we drive along the north coast, through the Connor Pass (both pictures) to the village of Dingle. The village lies clamped between the ocean and the hills.
Dingle peninsulaSometimes the sun is hidden by a cloud, but most of the time the weather is great and we have fantastic views and skies, like on this picture. Although Dingle is quite inhospitable there are houses everywhere.
Iveragh, Ring of KerryVia the southern coast of the island we drive on the hilly road through the village Inch to Castlemaine, where we enter the next peninsula, Iveragh with the famous Ring of Kerry. This road mainly lies on the coast and circles the whole peninsula. Sometimes we take some sideroads to get higher into the mountains.
Iveragh, Ring of KerryThis is the greenest part of Ireland, thanks to the warm climate. We still see palmtrees everywhere, almost every garden seems to have at least one palmtree. Oh, if only I could take a few home...
The landscapes of the peninsula are very varied: rough mountains, high cliffs rising from the sea and undulating hills, but it is green with vegetation everywhere. Some parts of the road are next to the ocean, and sometimes we venture more into the interior and of course there are sheep and goats walking about everywhere. In the summer this road can be quite busy with tourists, but now it is quiet on the road.
Iveragh, Ring of Kerry Iveragh, Ring of KerryBreathtaking skies and panorama's, we can't get enough of them. We have read that the weather is often bad in these parts, but not today. This is a region made for hiking, but then you need to stay for a few days here.
WatervilleWaterville is a nice village where Charlie Chaplin used to come, now and then. There is still a statue of him along the road, but we rather take a picture of a nice house.
Sneem SneemOn the south side of the peninsula we drive through Sneem, a magnificent village with all the houses painted in different colours. The committees for beauty in Holland probably wouldn't approve of it, but it is very cheerful. And again it strikes me that the houses are so well-kept.
The west coast of IrelandWe enjoy the combination of sea, woods, rivers, mountains and the beautiful skies the whole day through. We drive slowly through this area, feeling free with our own car.
The west coast of Ireland The west coast of IrelandOk, the roads are miserable and regularly we have to get around large holes in the road. We also have to be very carefully on the narrow places (and there are many of them) with oncoming traffic.
The Romans never invaded Ireland, they were too busy trying to subject the Brittish and especially the savage Scottish tribes. An advantage of this is that the Irish were able to develop much longer their own culture without the Roman influences. The drawback (as the Irish themselves say) is the quality of the roads: with the Romans they would have been much better.
Turner’s Rock pass in the Caha MountainsFrom Kenmare we drive a little further to the south, over a suspension bridge and then into the mountains again. We ascend to more than 300 metres on the beautiful pass of Turner's Rock in the Caha Mountains. It is a marvellous and sometimes very steep route with lots of vegetation and a bit past the top we see this nice hous and a wooden statue: a woman looking out into the valley.
In Glengarriff we first enter a local pub and we exchange some more Eurocoins, the 2 Euro pieces this time. We are getting more and more complete sets for our friends at home.
Glengarriff is very touristic and we find a luxurious hotel for a reasonable price. In summertime one can make boattrips on Bantry bay. From our room we have a nice view on the sea, but since it is dark we don't see much. We spend the night in the pub of the hotel and again we notice that many locals visit the pub of a hotel. In Holland we wouldn't go to a hotelpub but rather to a 'standalone' pub for just a drink.
Tomorrow, we want to make an early start because we also want to visit the Beara-peninsula before going back east and north, so we go to bed early. And we are very happy with today's trip through Dingle and the Ring of Kerry: this is a region one should not miss when visiting Ireland!


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