Celtic Discovery

Day 11 - April 3, 2004 - Ross Castle and Killarney Lakes.

Today we had a late departure time but the alarm went off at 7 AM, as usual, and we joined a few of the early risers for breakfast. We had not written yesterday’s journal so we did that when we returned from breakfast.

We left the guest house at 10 AM. It is a cooler day today, with sun early, a few showers during breakfast, and sun again before we left. The weather can be as varied as any we have seen in our travels. So always adding rain gear and umbrellas to our day packs is essential.

We drove a short distance back into the national park and to Ross Castle. We had a short time to look at the castle grounds before we boarded our boat to have a tour of the three lakes.

It was cold and very windy so we were happy to have a modern glass covered boat with a guide/pilot who told us the history of the glacial lakes, the castle, the islands, and the national park of Killarney.

After our trip on the lake we got on our little carts, Jaunting carts (pony and cart), from Ross Castle through Killarney National Park to the St. Mary’s Cathedral.

We were able to look around the church a little bit and then we were off again up the foothills to Kate Kearney's at the foot of the Gap of Dunloe where we had lunch of creamy vegetable soup and white bread sandwiches. It was comfortable as we had a good fire to our backs.

It was raining when we began our 1.5 hour walk up the Gap of Dunloe but in a few minutes the sun came out and it was a very pleasant hike up the draw and the old hiking path. The terrain is rocky with many waterfalls and small streams that fill the lower lakes.

We hiked to the furthest point, a small settlement with an old inn and livery stable and then turned around walked back down to Kate’s. There we joined the others who had not hiked and boarded the bus for a few minute drive to Moriarty’s Cottage where we had an opportunity to visit a nice shop and have an Irish Coffee.

Tonight, as we had dinner on our own, we left at 5:30 with many of our group members to have dinner and use the internet in Killarney. Jerry provided the transportation and DeeDee joined us.

We all went to Bricín Restaurant and had a good meal. Friday night is a busy night in Killarney, one must have a reservation much in advance to find a nice place to eat. The crowd begins to sit at 8 and most come between 9 and 10 PM.

Breakfast, Lunch - Friars Glen Hotel

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