Pork Quotient: 8/10
Johnny Cash Tally: 3
Route: small roads / R599 / R587 / R585 / N22 / N72 / N70 / R565 / R568 / N71
Let's start the day with a recommendation for the de Barra Lodge:
Not only is it built-for-purpose as a B&B, it's in beautiful surroundings and the owners run a tight ship! We all woke up refreshed and got stuck into our first Full Irish breakfast of the trip. Bacon, sausage, black and white pudding all included which gets the Pork Units off to a very good start! Also home-grown eggs and all the usual accoutrements set us up very nicely, thank you very much.
So, our plan for this morning was to press on and get to our next hotel near Killarney at about lunchtime, leaving the afternoon free for another outing. There are lots of great roads both minor and major in this neck of the woods, alas since we were making hay and enjoying ourselves we didn't stop for photos en route! Here's a photo of Diarmuid that's got out of sequence and I can't figure out where it is:
Having arrived at the Castlerosse Hotel in time for lunch, we dropped our luggage in the rooms and parked the car. Anneley got her bike gear on and became my pillion for the afternoon's entertainment: that's right folks, it's time for the Ring of Kerry! Hooray!
The Ring of Kerry is a 185km circular route around the edge of the largest of the four peninsulas in south west Ireland. Coastal roads, nature reserves, hairpin bends - the works! Also, the weather is nice and we have stowed our heavy luggage, time for some fun.
Now obviously this is a fairly touristy route to do and I suspect there are usually a fair few busses taking sightseers around, but hopefully nothing that a few bikes can't handle. We did have a slightly a slow start though, due to the Puck Fair in Killorgin - a festival celebrating a goat as far as we could tell from a glance at the posters! There was a huge queue to get through town, luckily we're all on two wheels at this point so a bit of filtering kept us rolling.
Having been delayed a little bit, we made an early first stop somewhere in the region of Drung Hill (I think) where plenty of other sightseers were taking snaps.
Then more coastal roads out to the end of the peninsula, and our second stop at Coomnahorna.
I'm a sucker for a panorama, and this view overlooking the bay of Ballinskelligs and Waterville was too good to turn down:
Then the ring takes a slightly less wiggly, slightly more inland route as it heads back east, leading to our third stop at Ladies' View - said to have been presented to Queen Victoria in 1861. If she liked it, we're bound to! Alas it was getting a bit misty by this point so perhaps not as vibrant a view as old queenie might have gazed 'pon, but still it's quite picturesque.
To complete the ring, the final leg took us on a beautiful and fairly steep route through a national park / nature reserve type thing through Derrycunihy Wood, and then around Muckross Lake and back through Killarney to get back to the hotel, where five tired but grinning bikers could finally change into comfy clothes!
We headed into town for some eats, the route taking us through a park next to the hotel. There were deer!
We treated ourselves to restorative burgers and fries (although there was bacon involved there were also other meats, hence the mere 8/10 Pork Quotient for the day) at Eddie Rockets, and I was shattered so headed straight back for a snooze. Diarmuid, David and Chris went for one at a bar, and although there wasn't live music on I am reliably informed that Ring of Fire was heard coming from the jukebox!