Wednesday, 28 August 2019

#20 Popes Hill, Popes Road (Cork, Ireland)

Was up at 6:00 this morning to get ready for my all-day tour of the Ring of Kerry. I was to meet the tour bus down by the river at 8:15 and knew it takes over 20 minutes to walk down there. As it turned out I got down there in plenty of time.

Our first stop was Killarney, a place that I’d already visited. I purchased a tea and a scone and sat in a park and enjoyed the nice morning weather. I took a quick walk into the shopping area of the city and found a barbershop. I really needed a haircut.

When I got back to the bus I started talking to a guy who was outside the bus waiting for another group of passengers to join our tour. While we were waiting we talked and I learned that he and his wife were travelers too. Though they return back to the U.S. often, rest up, then travel again. I spoke to him and his wife at the next stop and we then had lunch together later on. They are both retired teachers and we shared many similar interests.

As for the tour, we saw so much as we traveled down the road. Our bus driver was an endless source of information and we enjoyed his honest comments and keen sense of humor. We were let off the bus at regular intervals to take pictures and take in the fresh air. The views were amazing. The weather was partly sunny with very little wind.

And so it went for the rest of the day. Ride, stop, get out of the bus, take pictures, get back on the bus. Repeat. The landscape changed as we drove along which was interesting. We saw the highest mountain (hill) in Ireland, grand vistas, rivers, the Atlantic, mountain passes, etc.

We ended the tour at Torc Waterfall, just outside of Killarney, that I visited on Sunday. Joe and Marilyn walked up to the waterfall and I waited by the bus. I was getting tired by this point. We made a quick stop in Killarney and then began our return to Cork.

I’m glad I did the tour today. It was exhausting but enjoyable. Meeting new people was an extra bonus. Tomorrow I’m visiting Blarney Castle and Cork’s harbor but that tour doesn’t begin until 9:15, an hour later than today’s tour. It will be a half day tour since both of the main attractions are not far from Cork.

I’ll watch another Harry Potter movie tonight. What a great way to spend a relaxing evening.

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