If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Ring of Kerry

We fully anticipated a day of driving rain and bitter cold, this being the Atlantic coast and mid-November. Instead, we had balmy weather and, if not bright sunshine, then at least high cloud and good light.

From the island of Valentia, looking seawards ...

About 8 miles out are the rocky outcrops of Skellig Beag and Skellig Michael, the latter the home to some very hardy monks between the 6th and 12th Centuries. There was a lot of sea mist. To the eye, this meant that the islands were distinct but black silhouettes, appearing to float eerily above the surface of the sea. Unfortunately, cheap Samsung optics were not able to capture this adequately, but you can see them if you squint ...

Protecting one of the passes since 1994 was Our Lady Of Grace Coomanaspig, who had a small receptacle for offerings ...

... but it would be more in hope than expectation, I think ...

Another breath-taking panoramic view among hundreds ...

... and another ...

The lakes in Killarney National Park, as the light was fading in the late afternoon ...

... and the day was drawing to a close ...

The weather was unreasonably kind, and we had a very satisfactory day. Not only was it mild and dry, but being mid-November we more or less had it to ourselves. I can imagine in Summer it could be appalling, as many of the roads are barely wide enough for a single car, never mind a coach tour, and apparently it gets packed, but for us it was a beautiful and uplifting place.

Tomorrow, the lakes again in good light, and a trip round the South-West corner to end up in Kinsale. The forecast, not unreasonably, is for lots of rain.

Bring it on - we have the kit, and haven't worn it yet.


  1. Stunning views. Fingers are crossed the rain holds out. Maybe it will just mist again.

  2. Kerry is a beautiful county. Me & my mates go every year for the fishing, but my God Ireland is so expensive these days.
    If only they would ditch the Euro & bring back the Punt.

  3. The lakes in Killarney is the one you'll have to go back for with the SLR. It's gorgeous even with the Samsung.

  4. As it happened (guys 'n' gals) the rain did hold off and only fell when we were in the car. I took some more of the lakes in good light this morning, and a shedload later on the journey. Now holed up at a very average B&B near Kinsale. Will post up the new pics when I get home, I think, as working on a netbook propped on a bed is not the best way to blog pictures.

    Pete, I envy you your yearly visits, although I can see myself coming back before long. You're right about the expense. Buying anything here is an eye-watering experience. Eating out and drinking (two mainstays of any holiday) are exceptionally bad.

    WoaR - just the excuse I need! I was considering selling the SLR and getting a good compact, but maybe not. A proper wide-angle lens would have captured some stunning landscapes today. But thanks for the nice comment, and the Samsung says Hi. It's a kids' party camera (the default flash setting is anti-redeye, for example) but with a firm hand it doesn't do too badly. I got it for nothing as lost property, so I can't expect too much.


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