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“We may have bad weather in Ireland, but the sun shines in the hearts of the people and that keeps us all warm.” ~Marianne Williamson

June 20, 2018

Today was another day with rain on and off but we never seem to let it get the best of us.  As Dale Evans said: “Who cares about the clouds when we’re together? Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.”  After another mouth-watering meal we loaded up the van and headed off to our next destination.  Before we could leave I heard the sheep calling and  we said goodbye .  “Come baaaack someday” they said!

We arrived at Bantry House and Garden. It is a stately home situated on the Wild Atlantic Way overlooking Bantry Bay in the south west of Ireland.  The estate is unique since it is still lived in and managed by the family.   I am not sure with all of the pictures of dead birds and the stuffed bird collection in the house it would be my choice of a vacation destination, but the grounds, even in the rain, were picturesque.

Winding staircases (which I did not attempt in the rain) and lovely garden paths surrounded the stables and home.

We soon were ferry bound to Garnish Island for some more picturesque gardens.  The short ferry ride of less than ten minutes stopped to allow Kodak moments of seals and eagles.  The garden was designed for its owner John Bryce, a native of Belfast. He and his wife Violet, purchased the island in 1910. Their son Roland bequeathed the island to the Irish nation in 1953.

We did not have enough time to take the guided tour of the house the couple had lived in, so we took a leisurely stroll though the magnificent gardens.

We stopped for lunch in Glengarriff and then were off to the winding road of the Healy Pass.  Healy Pass Ireland is found in southwest, a perfect diversion from the longer Ring of Beara driving route. The serpentine road  winds through a desolate, otherworldly landscape, passing between two of the highest summits in the Caha mountain range and rising to 334 metres above sea level.  The road was created in 1847 during the famine years in Ireand to help prevent starvation during the famine of Ireland.  The landscape is rocky and serves as grazing land for flocks of sheep.

We continued on these winding roads finally reaching our destination of the Uragh Stone Circle which is a neolithic stone circle near Gleninchaquin Park.  It was a long walk up a long winding rock path covered in sheep and cow droppings.

The stone circle was guarded for some odd reason by some lounging cows which was very strange.

Down the path we carefully walked doing our very best to avoid stepping in anything while bleating sheep wandered seemingly without a purpose whilst calling out to Gary!

It was another memorable day and we arrived at the Landsdown Arms Motel in Kenmare.  We had dinner with Irish music and dancing in the pub.

“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, The foresight to know where you are going, And the insight to know when you have gone too far.” 

~ Irish Blessing


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