2014 – Day Seventeen

Well. Our first day of rain. It seems, according the the locals and
radio, that we have done quite well for ourselves having avoided it
thus far. It’s only light and the weatherman promises that it will burn
off by the afternoon.

The rain turns the granite from the light grey purple to a deep
amethyst. It’s everywhere you look; in the stone houses, in the
fences, embedded in the road on which we drive. Such a great
colour to contrast with the greenery everywhere. When nature gets
it right, she’s unbeatable.

The scary tiny winding road now adds the element of slippery.
Nerves of steel from our Christopher as he skilfully winds his way
through. He’s a good boy.

We pass a few more colourful villages and then without warning the
landscape changes completely as we enter the Ring of Kerry. All of a
sudden it’s like we are in a rainforest. Very green, full of tree ferns –
a very unexpected change of landscape.

The forest continues for a stretch then it changes again to cliffs
offset by magnificent sea views. Where the cliffs flatten out into
farmland, it’s a patchwork of green as far as the eye can see. Even
with the drizzle it’s pretty spectacular. Bit like an Irish version of the
Italian Rivera coast. There are many places to stop and take photos,
which is great, as the road is still pretty unforgiving.

Every so often we see a hardy cyclist battling on against the steep
road and the rain. A few hikers in full wet weather gear too. You’ve
got to admire their persistence.

We stop at Sneem briefly and spot a series of coach buses. Seems
odd for such a small road, but as soon as we are on our way again,
the coaches come thick and fast. Luckily for us, from the other
direction, we see at least a dozen packed with tourists. I guess it’s
the only way these smaller towns survive. Chris tells me that Ireland
gets 9,000,000 visitors per year. No doubt most of them come in
summer.

The rain comes and goes, then settles into a fine drizzle. Ah the Irish
summer. I boasted of sun too soon.

We settle for the night just outside of Cahirciveen, right on the
water’s edge. Wish it would stop raining so we could go and
explore.

Later: I make friends with a nice ginger tabby who follows me home
much to Chris’ horror. She makes herself quite at home and purrs up
a storm with pats from us both. I give her bacon tidbits as a treat. I
think she’s an old girl. I miss my Princess Baci.

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