Drive from Killarney to Glengarriff

Killarney Travel Blog

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Mom, me & Martha

Here is an excerpt from my diary on our way to Glengarriff via the Healy Pass..

I am going to attempt to blog while in the passenger seat of the rental car  -  tanks be to God Martha has taken the wheel for a bit.  I’ve had two Guinness already.  We are on the way to Kenmare via Killarney where we stopped for lunch.  We are driving past the Muckross House ��" where we visited two years ago and I spent loads on pottery ��" beautiful grounds.   So being back in Ireland has been a bit like visiting someplace very familiar, very comfortable and warm ��" after three visits, I feel like a citizen, but it’s more likely due to the amount of Guinness I consume on a daily basis.

View from the family photostop ..! Healy Pass.
  

France was fantastic ��" but coming back to Ireland is like visiting an old friend you haven’t seen for a while.  It’s only been two years since we last visited, but the country has changed somewhat ��" you can definitely tell.  At least in the areas we visited thus far, the roads are quite a bit better than I remember ��" there are loads of construction projects on the roads so we’ve had our fair share of “traffic jams” consisting of 6-8 cars.  Dad promptly declares the town with a populace of 200 a “big city” due to the 8 cars we are behind.   We are currently driving through the Derry Nasaggart Mountains.  We are listening to “You Dropped the Bomb on Me” which Martha is suggesting I change to something “more appropriate for the environ”.   The drive we are on is similar to the Kancamangus Highway in New Hampshire, except we are in Ireland.

Martha along Healy Pass
  And the roads are very narrow.  And I have had two pints.  And there’s no snow.  But other than that, it looks very much like New England in the fall.  We are getting a bit of rain at the moment, but it will pass.  So I am not sure what road we are on ��" N71 just confirmed (thank you Mart-ah) ��" Killarney to Kenmare ��" then a bit of the Beara Peninsula and on to Glengarriff  “just in time for happy hour”, thanks Dad. 

So Doolin was a total riot.  Of course we headed to the pub, McDermott’s, after dinner at the Aran View.  The place was jammed ��" tons of people ��" apparently the bar owner’s niece was married the night before and they were still celebrating.

Mom & Dad along Healy Pass
  We had no place to sit, so I smiled at two guys sitting at the table behind us.  They invited us to sit down.  Of course, Americans and US Army officers at that ��" on leave after 13 months in Iraq.  Transportation unit- but front lines.  They ran into some IEDs during their time there and Mart-ah discussed cool anti-IED stuff with them.  Todd Turner & Skylar O’Riley (ok, Daniel Thomas from Indiana ��" nice try with the chick’s name in Ireland, dude!)  They loved Dad ��" especially that Dad served in the transportation corps and he talked about his stints at Forts Eustis and Story, as well as Goose Bay Labrador.  J   After a few pints and the first half of the Patriots v. Cowboys game, Martha and Dad headed back to the hotel & I hung out with Todd and “Skylar”.  We went to McCann’s across the street for some more Irish music ��" it was very dark in the pub … and very quiet.  So loud, drunk Americans walk in and disrupt the session.  Ah well.  We met up with Ted, the one-legged cab driver who looks like a disheveled Ernest Hemingway.  He lost his leg to an infection but he’s “not had a drop of alcohol in me life” and drives the drunk people home from the pubs.  The town isn’t very big so he tends to get the same customers night after night.  The three drunk Americans pile in Ted’s car and drive back to … Ted’s house.  Visions of the movie “Hostel” came to mind and I was thankful I was with two guys who were recently in combat.  Not that I was especially worried about a one-legged man on crutches.  But then he asked Todd and “Skylar” to move a bookcase down to the shed.  I was in charge of the “torch”, i.e. flashlight ��" I was worried for about 3 seconds, then Todd asked me if I had seen the movie “Hostel”.  We had a good laugh but things turned serious as Ted lead us down the path in the “way back of me house” … but he just needed help moving the thing and good ole Ted, he doesn’t have a mean bone in his body.  He just wanted to hang out and sing karaoke, so we belted out a few tunes ��" Paul McCartney is apparently Ted’s favorite singer.  We sang some tunes and I had two shots of Powers whiskey ��" a least of inch of dust on the bottle ��" but it went down well.  Alas, the night (early morning) came to an end after hearing of Ted’s mother’s passing at the ripe old age of 97.   God rest her soul. 

Last night we had dinner at Gus O’Connor’s pub ��" the best pub food in Doolin ��" and listened to some great traditional Irish music.  Dad is recovering from his cold, so he had an early night.  After a brief stop at the internet café, Mom and I met Martha back at O’Connors.    We'd only been gone an hour or so but Mart-ah made fast friends with the lady and her husband to her left, and a couplel of Dutch guys to her right.  We joined her and soon made acquaintance with each of them - Catherine and Jean-Louis from Marseilles, France and Eddie and Dick from Holland.  Behind us were four hooligans from Spain and a few American scattered about as well.  We had a few pints and listened to the music, led of course by the accordian player Collin who chatted up Martha -apparently he visited Waltham, MA (pronounced Walt-am - there are no "th"s in Ireland, kind of like no "R"s in Bahston ... btw, what is happening to our Sox?????   I am writing this at some ungodly hour of the morning due to Irish coffees consumed late last night...)  Anyway, we enjoyed the music at O'Connors and needed to call it a night due to our long trip the next morning to Glengarriff (besides it looked like Eddie, the Dutch guy, was ready to make a move on Mom...I had to get her out of there for her own good...kidding !)

More soon.  Kate

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Mom, me & Martha
Mom, me & Martha
View from the family photostop ..!…
View from the family photostop ..…
Martha along Healy Pass
Martha along Healy Pass
Mom & Dad along Healy Pass
Mom & Dad along Healy Pass
Killarney
photo by: Paulovic