Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Ring Of Kerry

Everyone talks about the Ring of Kerry being the most beautiful destination in Ireland. I would humbly disagree. We left the Skellig Hotel in Dingle to drive the Ring of Kerry. Perhaps had we not been to Dingle, we would have been more impressed. But, it is a tour that has (yes) the Irish countryside but has none of the rugged beauty and diversity of Dingle.

We rode, it seems, for hours, finding none of the WOW factor of Dingle. After the hours long drive, we checked into the Kenmare Bay Hotel, inexpensive and well groomed, determined to find some redeeming quality.

This isn’t meant to detract from its beauty but it simply does not compare with the Ring of Dingle. Perhaps, I am just getting jaded, but I had to push to get photographs I would want to print.

We spent the night in a well appointed room (if one doesn’t factor in the hard beds) and awoke to sample another Irish breakfast. Kenmare Bay hosts a buffet that consists of eggs, sausages, bacon, black and white pudding, toast, (bad) coffee or tea, and fruits and cold cuts. One cannot fault the Irish for their food.

We then headed for the Kilarney (Cil Airne in Gaelic) National Forest. We were enchanted to say the least. Streams, mountains, landscapes, waterfalls, sheep and stopping for photo opportunities is a must. This area will more than make up for the shortcomings of the Ring. Continuing on the N71 will bring you directly into Kilarney.

Now just to settle a bit of a discussion regarding the existence of Leprechauns. Please note the sign “Leprechaun Crossing.” Why would there be a sign for a crossing if the little people didn’t exist? Plus, I inquired in the restaurant and the waitress confirmed that she has experienced their presence. Later that evening, another confirmed that you are more likely to see a Leprechaun after a few pints of Guiness. Regardless, I rest my case.

We drove a bit and had lunch at the “ T “ restaurant which not only serves a tasty sandwich served on ciabbata bread but the bill is brought in the book “Hookers” written by the owner and chef.

I will let you make the comparisons yourselves regarding the scenery and leave you for our next excursion back to Bearra Peninsula. From there, we will make our way back to Dublin and will fly to France and make our final destination in Paris on the Rue La Boucherie.

It is Paris where hope to meet up some of France’s best photographers such as Pete Turner, Ben Kanarek and perhaps (with luck) my spiritual mentor, Lucien Clergue.

See you tomorrow with news from the Bearra Ring.