Visiting Cork was the final leg of our trip. We were so excited to be picked up by bike, taken to the market and then given a quick tour of the town on the way back to our host’s house. When we arrived to his house, dinner preparations began and then 3 of Darren’s friends arrived. All three were students studying in Cork, two of the girls from Italy and one, Eve, from France. We made 3 spring salads and chatted as we set up the table as a salad buffet. Just as we were all getting very full on salad, there was a knock on the door and three more friends crammed into the small house. These guys announced they would be going camping in Kerry tonight, they stopped by to borrow tents and sleeping bags. Darren suggested we all go, everyone, let’s just go!
Well the Italian girls were not able to join. It was already late and we were tired and had just ate an amazing meal, we had the fireplace going, pretty cozy to just run out in the cold and sleep on the ground! Well then the guys really started talking this trip up, explaining the event is actually a triple birthday and going away party, the camping will occur after we dance and party in the wilderness all night at an amazing eco resort style property with a sustainable house, hand built by the owner and his friends, the following day we will drive the Ring of Kerry and stop at incredible beaches and then a little pub for lunch… well the California kids are into that goodness! We grab our toothbrushes and we’re ready! Eve needed little convincing, just a guarantee she would be back the following evening. So, at 10:30pm we were packing up the car to take the almost 2 hour drive up to Kerry. And what a fun drive it was! The guys, Colm, Graham and Darren were hilarious, keeping us laughing all the way and promising the scenery out the windows would be incredible once it was light out.
When we get to the party there is a big bonfire and a dance party inside the house. We go in and dance a few songs and then spend the rest of the night by the fire with Colm,whom had just drove us all out there. He shared stories and legends of Ireland and County Kerry. Somewhere between all that we set up the tent and just before the sun came up and the rain started in, we were were snug in the tent! The following morning I wandered up to the fire where Eve and other partiers were hanging out, I was immediately offered french toast and coffee, just what I needed!
Soon John joined us and we decided to hike around the property, but first we check out the house! The place is made of Cob (a mixture of mud, straw and sand) and wood from the property. Really cozy place!
We take the bridge across the field from where we camped and then crisscross back over later down the road.
When we get back from the hike the car is packed up and we take off to the house of a friend of Darren and Colm the friend is named Owen – but he is nicknamed Tiger and I kid you not, he has been wearing tiger footy pajamas everyday for years now. Last night he was a tiger, today he has clothes over the PJ’s, just the tiger hood peeking out of his sweater. He brought along his friend and a lovable boxer dog!
We took off in 2 cars and stop at empty beaches and jaw dropping vistas all along the Ring of Kerry…
Here is the sweet pup Tiger is babysitting.
After checking out some beaches and having lunch we part ways with Tiger and friends and our little group visits a crumbling castle!
We climb all over the crazy castle, it’s sturdy stone bones still holding up, maybe the ivy helps hold it up too!
Next we went to a newly restored stone ring fort, just down the road, you can see the castle in the distance on the second photo down…
After all that sightseeing we are hungry and hop back in the car for the trip back to Cork. Along the rainy/sunny drive we see an amazing rainbow, it gets brighter and more clear and then there are two!!
We ask Colm to stop the car so we can take photos, but the rainbow is so bright and clear we just have to try and get to it! Eve, Darren and I run across the street, hop a fence and run through the field towards the rainbow!
The closer we get the more it fades so we admire it from afar…
The perfect end to a couple of magical days in Ireland!