Republic of Ireland - Round The World Tour 2 2003 Day 172

Newcastle West

Sunday 31st August

Still a little tired from yesterday evening’s pub-crawling, we got up slowly this morning to another one of our now characteristic pancake breakfasts. I anticipated this last night and pre-made the pancake mix, ready for this morning. Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve eaten breakfast every day since we started touring in the brick. Ordinarily, I don’t eat breakfast at all.

For the second time now, we spent two nights in the same place without moving on. Doing so breaks up the tedium of continually moving on from place to place and we enjoyed the time spent on the end of the peninsular. As one of Ireland's biggest tourist attractions, the Ring of Kerry is a terribly touristy (tacky even) place but we somehow managed to find a secluded spot in a nice setting away from the bus-loads of tourists to rest. Just before we left the camp-site, I topped up the water tank and emptied the chemical toilet. With all the brick’s systems now fully charged, serviced, topped off, etc., we left Cahersiveen. Within an hour or so, and the odd stop here and there to admire the scenery, we had completed the Ring of Kerry and were full speed ahead (at a staggering fifty miles or eighty kilometres per hour) towards Killarney.

Killarney is not a terribly large town – about medium sized for this region of Ireland. We wandered around the centre of town for a while and procured a few provisions from the local supermarket. I had high hopes that we would find a DVD shop large enough to stock the fourth season Star Trek Deep Space 9 that was released just this past week but, alas, I was disappointed in this regard yet again. The situation is getting a little desperate, as we’ve now completed all of seasons three and two and I’m starting to worry about what we will watch next. It looks like we’ll have to wait until we reach the next big city before we’ll find it now. We will be passing through Limerick tomorrow so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Having explored Killarney to its fullest extent (which amounts to just a few main shopping streets by all accounts), we drove over to the nearby Ross Castle and spent the remainder of the afternoon ‘doing’ another castle. The keep of Ross Castle is almost completely intact on the outside and is well taken care of on the inside too. The inside has been extensively refurbished and, as a result, seems to lack a lot of the charm that you find with less well-preserved castles, at least for my liking. We listened intently to the guide as she took us up the stumbling steps and through the various levels. All the previous experiences we’ve had with viewing castles recently must be starting to pay off since there was nothing in her well-delivered speeches that was new information for either of us.

We then pent a while debating where to go next. The original plan was to travel westwards along the Dingle peninsular. There are apparently some seal colonies on the outlying islands at the end of the peninsular. I was all for this originally but it suddenly seemed like too much of a repeat of what we’ve just done over the past couple of days and there is still plenty more yet that Ireland has to offer – we hope. In the end, we decided to give the Dingle peninsular a miss after all in favour of continuing farther North. We’re still not quite sure exactly where we are going but it is in the general direction of Limerick and then up towards Galway. We’ll take another look at the map tomorrow morning to figure out what our next move will be.

In the meantime, we’ve stopped for the night just a few dozen Kilometres south of Limerick. With a full tank of water and a completely charged battery, we have no need to spend money on a camp-site so we drove around a little looking for a secluded place somewhere out of the way to park for the night. Our host location for tonight turned out to be the car park of the local public library. Even though we are mostly out of sight, we did get a visit from a friendly neighbour who reminded me that the headlamps were still on. Nice little town.