Vagabond Wild Irish Rover Day 3 Spanish Point to Dingle

Rainbow at Annascual Lake

October 19, 2021 Tuesday

We are up early and excited for our next adventure. We're the first in the breakfast room and get a table with a view.

The cove is even more beautiful in the daylight.

After everyone has had breakfast, we load up the van and climb aboard.
Bébhinn shows us where we'll be traveling for today's adventure. We'll be hiking, taking a ferry and visiting a working sheep farm. But first a very special morning walk.

Today we'll be hiking along the Cliff Walk in Kilkee, it's even listed in ALLTRAILS, an app I use at home a lot for hiking.

Bébhinn tells us not many people visit this trail, I don't know why-it's so beautiful-I liked it better than the Cliffs of Moher!

Next up-we travel to Killmer. We're taking the ferry across the River Shannon...

And drive into Tralee for some lunch. We all scatter off on our own lunch hunts.
Jay and I hit Connie Foxes at the Imperial Hotel. 

Fish chowder for Jay, fish pie for me.

Then a quick walk through the Rose of Tralee Garden, to help digest that yummy lunch. 

What is the Rose of Tralee you ask, well The Rose of Tralee Festival is held every August in Tralee, County Kerry, to choose a young woman to be crowned the Rose. The festival takes its inspiration from a 19th-century ballad of the same name about a woman called Mary, who because of her beauty was called "The Rose of Tralee". 

From WIKI:
The winner is the woman deemed best to match the attributes relayed in the song: "lovely and fair". She is selected on the basis of personality and should be a good role-model for the festival and ambassador for Ireland during her travels around the world. It is not a beauty pageant and the participants (Roses) are not judged on their appearances but on their personality and suitability to serve as ambassadors for the festival. The festival bills itself as a celebration of the "aspirations, ambitions, intellect, social responsibility and Irish heritage" of modern young women.

Each of the 32 counties of the island of Ireland selects a Rose, and the international Roses, chosen from around the world, also participate in the qualifying rounds now staged in the Festival Dome in Tralee. Ultimately, 32 Roses are selected to appear in the televised selection finals on RTÉ One, out of whom one is crowned the Rose of Tralee.

There is a stone statue of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy in the garden that was unveiled in 1995 by her daughter Jean Kennedy Smith the US Ambassador to Ireland at the time.

There are still a few rose bushes in bloom to ooh and ahh over but it starts to sprinkle so we head back to the van.

Next stop for us, a much anticipated border collie demonstration at Bridget and Seamus's Sheep Farm on the Atlantic Coast.

The farm, which is along the wild Atlantic, has been in Bridget's family for years. They have about 50 acres but they also feed their sheep on the mountain slopes across the street. 

These hillside grassy areas are used as common feed/grazing for the local sheep farmers-this is why the farmers paint the sheep's wool. The colors are unique to each farmer.

We get to see how a sheep dog works in the "field" and also how they compete at trials. 

The group is given a special treat-we get to feed the "pet" sheep.

We leave the dogs and sheep outside and Bridget invites us into the old farmhouse for a brief history of her family then Seamus shows us how he plays the Bodhrán and shows us a "stickman dance".

We thank them for their hospitality and drive to our next adventure a hike near Annascaul Lake. We're heading to the Dingle Peninsula. 

There are LOTS of hikes mapped out for people and even a weekly Inch Beach Park Run. Check them out on your visit.

We park in the car park and put on our rain gear and begin our climb up. There are waterfalls on either side of us running off the mountain tops.

Higher and higher we go until we reach a pretty serious waterfall. After soaking up some the vibes from the rushing water we start to make our back down. And it starts to rain again. 

We just get to the van and the rain let's up a bit and presents to us a beautiful rainbow over the lake.

The travelers vote to make a pint stop at the South Pole Inn, home to the famous explorer Tom Crean. The Guinness pints are cold and refreshing. 

We'd like to linger but we still need to travel into Dingle. 

On the way to Dingle we are treated to a stunning sunset.
Sunset through the van windscreen.

We'll be spending two nights here at The Dingle Skellig Hotel

We pull in pretty late and Jay and I aren't up for a big meal after Connie Foxes lunch so we walk into town to check out the local SuperValu grocery store for a carpet picnic. Beer, cheese, crackers and fresh fruit-just what we need before bedtime.

We are mesmerized by the full moon rising above the hills on the walk back to our hotel.

We munch, check emails, download photos and crash for the eveing.

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Next up: A day of adventure in Dingle, some kayak, I horseback ride, we walk the beach, visit the western most point of Ireland, stop at the Gallarus Oratory and drive the Slea Head Loop.

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