Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Ring of Kerry

As I mentioned yesterday, we decided to take a coach tour for the tour of the peninsula. We were very glad we did. It was relaxing to just sit up high watching the scenery go by, letting the driver decide when we would stop. In the car Dan has to watch the road and we are so low that it is hard to see anything but the shrubbery along the roadside. And we had some experiences we wouldn't have been able to find on our own. I took far too many scenery photos, so I'll try to pick just a few. We saw three rainbows, one right in the beginning. In fact, the weather was perfect for them -- we moved from misting rain to heavy clouds to bright sun throughout the day. The old saw "if you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes" was very true today.

Our first stop was an old bog village with several dwellings, animals, and of course, souvenir shops.

Inside the blacksmith's cottage

Peat stacked for burning
Probably the most impressive thing we saw all day was a shepherd demonstrating his sheep, sheepdogs, and how they all work together. This man raises sheep and dogs and does a presentation twice each morning during the season. Today was the next-to-last day for the year, so we really were lucky.

Shepherd with one sheep

Fancy four-horned sheep
This sheep was amazing. The man had about 15 sheep of different breeds that he showed us one by one. This one was the most unusual. It came forward and stood sideways to the audience on the far left. Every few seconds it would walk a few feet further and pose, ending up at the far right end. We couldn't see or hear any signals from the shepherd, so I've no idea how he did it.

Three dogs and six sheep
We had quite a lengthy demonstration of the dogs moving the sheep in various ways. They started at the far top of the field and were brought down close to us. The dogs took turns guiding them. The shepherd had different calls and whistles for each dog telling him/her to move left, right, etc. Now I want to see the movie "Babe" again!

Below are various scenes of the day.

Gorse and heather on the hillside

Killarney Lake

Old tree

Scenic view

Rainbow -- sorry about the window reflection

River rapids


Sunspots on the bay

Crazy people swimming in freezing water

We got back about 5:15 and I made a dash for the yarn store in town a few blocks away. I needed a new knitting needle and we found out yesterday at 5:35 that it closes at 5:30. I made it and found the correct needle! We went to a nearby pub and had an early dinner, which seems to be the pattern we have fallen into.

Spring rolls and salad -- enough for me tonight

Irish beef stew with Yorkshire pudding (and mashed potatoes on top)

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