Republic of Ireland - Round The World Tour 2 2003 Day 168
Wednesday 27th August
Let’s see, where did we start today? Oh yes, I remember now. The weather this morning was a marked improvement over yesterday with the sun shining brightly once again. We left the camp-site shortly after breakfast and securing the electricity hook-up and went to visit the nearby Ballyscourt Castle. I’ve lost track of just how many castles we’ve now visited over the past few weeks but it’s been quite a few.
Ballyscourt looks kind of like a big square block reaching up into the sky. Not a very bit castle by all accounts but it was fascinating visiting all the hidden nooks and crannies on the various levels. Some recently discovered frescos in the upper level has brought with it the attentions of a team of archaeologists who are working hard to uncover and preserve the new findings. Unfortunately, this put the entire upper level (the castle towers) off limits to tourists. Te guided tour of the place was no less enjoyable, however.
After Ballyscourt, we had to drive through the Cork city centre again to reach our next destination of Blarney Castle. We couldn’t possibly come to Ireland and not ‘kiss the Blarney Stone’. Blarney castle is an impressive castle in its own right and is situated within some very tranquil and idyllic park grounds but everyone who visits is really doing so to get a chance to kiss the stone. You have to lie on your back and tilt your head backwards to reach the stone. Even though there are bars just below and a helpful pair of hands to hold you steady, you are still four or five floors high up with a clear and mostly unobstructed view of the sheer drop to the base of the tower several dozen metres below.
Having kissed the stone, perused the castle and the surrounding grounds, we departed Blarney and turned south towards Kinsale – the clear, undisputed, culinary capital of Ireland. Kinsale is strewn with restaurants and pubs all vying for the attention of the many visitors that come to this small town just to taste the world famous culinary delights. We came here just to have an evening meal at one of the restaurants. We parked the brick and walked around for a bit to try to decide exactly where we would eat. We were so completely spoiled for choice that the decision was actually very difficult but we ultimately decided on a very small restaurant located in one of the small backstreets. The food was, indeed, delicious. Although it was well over our current daily budget allowance (for everything), it was still reasonably priced in the grand scheme of things. If we weren’t travelling and tied to a tight budget, I wouldn’t have been overly concerned about the €55 price tag for what was a very nice meal.
We left Kinsale to find a nice place to park for the night and set off in the direction of the South coast. I’m not exactly sure where we are now. We were following sings to a camp-site for a while before the signs just disappeared and we meandered around the countryside for a bit before stumbling into a camp-site (which may or may not have been the one we were looking for) where we have now settled in for the night.
A recent bank holiday in England has delayed shipment of the new Star Trek Deep Space 9 season four DVD set to pretty much everywhere in Ireland so I was still unable to find it today. Having just recently completed watching all of season three, we’ve now started on season two instead.
Not too sure what we are going to be doing tomorrow but we will be heading in a Westerly direction along the coast towards Bantry. Thereafter, we will be following the Ring of Kerry route through what promises to be some fantastic coastal scenery. As usual, we will decide what we will be doing tomorrow as soon as we start the engine and look at the map. I wonder where it will take us next.