Kenmare, Ireland


Kin folk said Jeb move away from there… it was time to load up the car and head to Kenmare, Bay that is, great friends, great scenery.   So after a great, but too short, time in Dublin we packed our bags, jumped on M50 and M7, and headed south to Charlene’s friend Katherine (Kate)’s place just outside of Kenmare.  A motor way is a motor way; however, it only takes you so far.  Then the real “driving experience” begins.  Roads were built in the US for the car; In Ireland they were built for the horse and just paved over when cars arrived.  Experience is really a word for… wrong side of road, no shoulder, HUGE trucks and busses coming the other way and wondering why you said yes to a $3000 deductible on the rental.   We get to Kenmare and call Kate for the final directions.  Turn left where the green pole with the yellow hiker symbol is.  Really?  That’s the directions?  Okay…. Left it is.  We head up hill and up hill and up hill on a road that was even narrower than any we had been on so far.  A bunch of S’s, backing down the hill to find a wide spot so a car can pass, and another left and we are almost there.  We see Kate standing in the road, cell phone in hand and Charlene starts jumping up and down in the seat like a 10-year-old that just saw the entrance to Disney.  We pull in the drive and see Kates cottage.  Okay cottage may not be descriptive enough so here is couple pictures of her little place.  After picking our jaws up off the ground we settle into our bedroom in west wing then head to the kitchen for a quick nosh and see her view.  Only one word describes this…. WOW.  What would it be like to wake up every morning and see this.  Wait!!!!  We will have many of these views as we travel full time in our Airstream so this is just the first of many. The food is great, the drink is great, the people are great, the friendship is ever greater.  Kate and her Husband Sean take a day to show us the Cork County coastline.  Ireland is such a beautiful place.  The weather was the best we could have asked for.  Slow down Don…. Rewind the tape…. I have to say Sean is a real trooper.  This tour started with picking him up at Shannon Airport where he arrives after a 13-hour flight from Jakarta.  Sean was entertaining and stayed awake and pleasant the entire day.  I would have been grumpy and fallen asleep early on. Back to the story.  Along the way they take us to a Light House.  We stop to see the sights and all of a sudden two farm dogs, one black and one yellow, obviously well cared for join us for our walk.  I could not have ordered a more perfect moment.  I hope you enjoy these scenes as much as we did. The next day we decide to head out on our own and drive the “Ring of Kerry”; a scenic road trip that starts at Kenmare Bay and goes a hundred or so miles around the peninsula.  There are many artisans, we have been told, along the way.  If you see a sign, just follow the road and pop in.  We decide to do just that and make a right up a drive marked “wood working for sale” and pull up to a small house and workshop.  Out steps a woman in her 60s who greats us warmly.  She asks us about “us” with genuine interest and tells us that with her first husband they lived in a 34’ caravan (trailer) for 20 years driving around New Zealand.  Small world.  Her and her late 2nd husband came to Ireland to do woodworking, okay maybe art would be a better word for what they did, and make Irish Pipes aka Uilleann pipes.  She even invited us into her beautiful home for a tour.  The interior was all done by these craftsmen/artists and was breathtaking, sorry no pictures… I didn’t even think to snap any photos I was enjoying her company so much.  On display in the living room was her pride and joy, a set of pipes.  These weren’t just any pipes… they were hand hewned out of ebony, ivory, and silver by her husband.  He did his own silver smithing…. everything.  These were a work of love and took him over four (4) months to complete.  They were not just an instrument; I think they were her husband personified.  There was so much to see, so many people we spoke with and even a life size statue of Charley Chaplin who lived there.  Here are a few pictures. Our time was drawing to a close and it was time to head back to Dublin, the airport and home… My next blog will tell you about that experience…. LOL.