From Kinsale to Fossa
Getting from Prague to Kinsale was a minor adventure. We arrived in Dublin on time, but our flight from there to Cork was an hour late. [Remind me to tell you about RyanAir sometime.] When we arrived in Cork at about 8:00 in the evening, it was dark and it was raining. We picked up our car and headed for Kinsale. We did not know what to expect from the roads but we learned quickly. The road we were on was just barely wide enough for 2 cars and was not lighted at all. Combined with the rain and driving on the left side, getting to Kinsale was a little nerve wracking. We thought that since we had good directions, finding the hotel would be easy. It would have been if the streets had signs, but they did not. After our second pass through Kinsale, Patricia found a sign on a building that said “Trident Hotel” and we quickly pulled into what we thought was going to be a parking lot. It was, but for boats. We nearly drove down the boat ramp right next to the hotel. The next morning, Patricia took a picture to show you how close we came.
Tuesday morning we braved the rain and took a walk through Kinsale. It is an old place which was first chartered by the king in the 1200s. I posted some pictures, including pictures of the St Multose church, which was begun in 1290 on the site of a 5th century church.
Then we headed for Killarney. We could have taken a direct route, but that would have been boring. The route we did choose was definitely not boring. We headed south and drove along the coast from Kinsale to Clonakilty, to Rossacbery and Leap, and on to Skibberdeen. [I liked the names.] Through most of that part we were literally driving along the coastline. We could have seen more if the rain was not blowing in gales and limiting visibility. We did see—and smell—miles and miles of tidal flats. After Skibberdeen, I took a small side road and when we needed to get back on the main road, I tried to back down. Big mistake! I was quickly off the surface and the mud (remember how much it was raining?) helped me slide into a ditch. It all turned out well, because we had some help from several people. A tractor and chain got us out. The men were very pleasant and eager to help. The one thing I appreciated most was that they did not make me feel any more embarrassed than I was. No Problem, No worries, No trouble at all, No harm done and so on even though I had successfully blocked their road.
Once back on a “main” road we headed through Bantry and across the Beara Peninsula. We went through Caha Pass and Kenmare and Moll’s Gap and Muckross on the way to Killarney. It is a good thing we had a GPS, because I would have turned around several times because I could not believe that N71 was a good way to get anywhere. We stopped at Caha Pass and took some pictures and stopped for a longer time at Ladies View to take pictures of a beautiful valley. At Caha Pass we were amused by a sign painted on the rocks warning us of “Wild Sheep.” There were, however, sheep wandering all over the hills and the road, so the warning was valid. We would have stopped more often, but there we no shoulders on the curvy roads and barely enough room for two cars to pass each other.
The Loch Lein, where we are staying, is in a great setting and we were glad to get here. After quickly unloading, we drove out of Fossa towards the Gap of Dunloe and ate at a place called Kate Kearney’s cottage.