Thursday, October 3, 2013

Kerry the Kingdom!!!

Sometimes I take for granted the beautiful county I hail from. My latest venture home was a refreshing reminder of that beauty. I mean Kerry just has it all. We have glorious beaches, miles and miles of sandy beaches, just waiting for someone to leave their footprints there. Banna, Ballyheigue, Camp, Derrymore and Inch are just a few to mention. We have scenery that celebrities would pay millions for and have. Fields of forty shades of green, drenched in cow shit and rain to give you those colours that you so long to see.

Let me take you on a journey through the small towns and villages of Kerry.
Next time I am home, I promise to go south to the beautiful beaches of Glenbeigh and Rossbeigh and continue to venture down to Waterville.

Ballybunion offers you cliffs, surfing and a top golf course. In the summertime, you can get cooked salted periwinkles in a brown bag for a few euro and try your best to extract them with a pin. Ever wondered what it would be like to take a seaweed bath? Well look no further! If walking is your thing, then you might fancy a walk around the cliffs to the Nine Daughters Hole.

Banna will give you one of the best workouts of your life if you dare to run the entire beach, take a swim in the Atlantic or sprint up the sand dunes that can rise to 40ft.
Below: Banna Beach

Dingle, one of my all time favourites. This colourful town would win its way into anyones heart. They even have a Dolphin who comes out to greet you every single day. His name is Funghi and shur he only loves the cameras. They have made a pure eejit out of him.

A quick pint of Guinness in a wee shebeen and on we go. We stopped at Paidi O Se's pub back in Ventry. Good aul Paidi, his memory lives on anyway in this well decorated pub, full of photos and memorabilia of all the famous people he has met. We bumped into Marc O Se inside and by bump I mean, Dad plagued him until he found out the strategy and stats for the next game against Dublin. The fish and chips were epic, freshly caught just outside the door, sure you can't beat that like.

On we went around Slea Head. What a spot, you're standing there on Slea Head looking out and all you can think is "next stop America". Ancient Beehive huts are dotted along the coast with lots of stories to be told. Coumeenole beach was next on the agenda. The waves were huge that day and I caught a glimpse of the surfers trying to beat nature.

We also tried our hand at fishing, it was a successful day. We caught 30 fish and a cold, but Emma managed to catch the biggest fish of the day. Emma, my sister who sat on the toppling boat, green in the face and dying of sea sickness managed to catch the biggest fish by sitting there and flinging out her rod (barely) and then reeling in this mighty fecker. In that moment, I didn't know whether to be proud or pissed. In all fairness, I was dying too, I was only holding the rod with one hand for fear of falling overboard and the two dramamine were starting to kick in. Soon I was asleep and I didn't wake for 5 hours. The fish for dinner was only unreal.

Nelow: Dingle


Coumeenole Beach

The Greyhound track is a fantastic spot for a night out with the family and friends. The sit down meal we had was gorge and the fact that you can lose your money without even having to get up is a bonus.

Below: Kingdom Greayhound Track

An accidental perfect family picture. We were taking a break in my grandmothers fields after chopping and carrying firewood for the winter.

Glentenassig is a hidden gem. You will find this amazing spot on the way to the Maharees. There is a gorgeous lake at the top of the mountain. You can walk around the lake and even go fishing if you feel lucky enough. There is a small waterfall that runs into the lake. Take a bottle with you and fill it with some of the freshest mountain spring water you'll find. WARNING: watch out for the midgies, they will eat you alive up there.

Below: Glentenassig

Where Inch is a mile. Inch beach sits on the coast between Dingle and Castlemaine. Ryan's Daughter was filmed here and with its beauty you can see why.

Below: Inch Beach

Killarney with its majestic lakes, Mucross house, a ride in a jaunting car with stories told by Darby O Gill, stunning views and a nice death ride through the gap of dunloe if you dare to scare. No, but seriously the road up to Ladies View lads, is that why the rally is always on up there? Scared the living bejesus out of me, oh that and my handbrake ceased to work, twas more like an episode of fear factor than a lovely Sunday drive.

Below: Killarney

Derrymore strand, a family favourite. We head here for the calm warm waters of Tralee Bay and the possibility of picking periwinkles.

Below: Derrymore Beach

Fenit our lovely little fishing port in the heart of Tralee Bay. Saint Brendan the Navigator sits in the harbour and watches over the ships and boats that come and go throughout the day.
Below: Fenit

Puck Fair, where the streets were totally jammers. It was a truly gorgeous evening but I did find my heart hurting for King Puck up on the ledge. Could he not be given just a little bit more room to move about? There were definitely more stalls at Puck than there are in Tralee during the festival but I constantly found myself asking "where did they get all this stuff?" Some of it looked old and junky but if you are into horses, fake barbies, neon clothes and loads of tools then Puck is the place for you.
Below: Killorglin and Puck Fair

Birds Bazaar and I used to be besties, but now I'm old and my inner ear has let me down. I would go on everything you brought. I was scared of the Orbiter when it first came but I finally grew the courage. The skymaster made me wet myself, I died the first time I went on the Waltzers and had to look at my shoe the entire ride because it was the only thing that wasn't moving. I remember when 20 pounds went a long way at the bazaar, but it wouldn't get you far these days at three euro a pop. Those were the good old days.

Below: Birds Bazaar