IRELAND’S WILD ATLANTIC WAY ( St Finan’s Bay, Derrynane Beach and Staigue /Loher Fort)

DAY 5:This is a short report because the weather really was awful with rain falling for 36 hours.

We still hadn’t seen the superb outline of famed Skellig Michael sitting offshore from our home in St Finan’s Bay because the cloud was down so low.But we liked our base in this large house, it was very enjoyable and cosy,  nicely kitted out inside – huge actually with several bedrooms – and all on its own at the end of a track.It sat high up overlooking the bay so hopefully some great views would eventually be ours, when the weather took a better turn.

No point in mooching about in the house however – we had exploring to do!

Staigue Fort

Back out along the winding road to Ballyvaughan then through Waterville and on to Caherdaniel (the loveliest of areas even in poor weather) and a quick look at Staigue Fort.As ever,  the last 4km or so on the narrow, mostly single track winding road to the fort seemed like 14km; it was stop start with regular vehicles coming back from visiting this well known ancient site with only enough room for one to pass each time.We are well used to roads like this at home but they can still be a pain!

The Fort was a superb sight. Donned our full waterproofs and headed out from the small car park, almost deserted at 11am ish and enjoyed 15 mins or so just exploring the beautifully built stone walls and interior stairways.Well worth seeing even in the rain and gloom.Emerald green fields all around.

Derrynane Beach

Derrynane beach was next, accessed down a winding road and we were the only car there when we reached the large car park.It must get busy on a nice warm day, a Blue Flag beach with, I was surprised to read, some sections manned by lifeguards.We didn’t see it at its best but it did look a beautiful area, a series of pale creamy sand coves with attractive rocky moorland outcrops.

The Blind Piper Inn

Headed back up the road to the Bind Piper Inn for lunch.It was busy, low ceilinged and dark inside, very atmospheric and we liked it right away.A fire going too – can’t beat that! Food was very good – scallops to start with and black pudding; then Beef en Daube for me with excellent mashed potatoes and lamb shank for Chris.Tasty and filling though not cheap.

Loher Fort

I’d spied this superb looking fort from the road above as we drove to St Finan’s Bay yesterday.Found the minor road that took us to it after 10 mins , all very quiet unlike the Staigue Fort approach.It was, I thought, every bit as impressive and was also in perhaps a finer situation overall being much nearer the coast.Built around the 9th century, (I had thought it was older than that.)Well worth seeing.

Skelligs Chocolate Factory

I was really keen to visit this place, being a chocaholic and it also offered a cafe/cakes etc.So in we went; it was only 5 mins drive away from our abode. We were given a spiel immediately from a very nice local lady about how the place developed, the employment that it gives now, all the while as she dished out another small piece to try.About 6 flavours in all but very ordinary unfortunately. Had a look at the various bars they had for sale but nothing seemed very exciting and the flavour of the chocolate itself didn’t seem worth the expensive prices.Headed for the cafe and got a latte and pot of tea and a bit of carrot cake from the cafe.I have to say the best cafes for wonderful homemade cakes and puddings were definitely in County Clare, rather than County Kerry.

Spent the rest of the evening at home, just enjoying a drink and toasted cheese for dinner, given we’d had a huge lunch.It was actually lovely not to have to feel we needed to get out and about, given the weather.The rain was now a good excuse to relax and do very little but catch up with news from home, send What’s App photos, hear what the young folks had been up to and hope – fingers crossed – that tomorrow would, as promised, herald drier brighter conditions.Chris managed to get the film ‘Unforgiven’ (Clint Eastwood) on his lap top so we sat and watched it later on.Great acting , great storyline and script, beautifully shot – a classic. I never can resist a good Western!

DAY 6: The Dingle Peninsula

Previous Days: IRELAND’S WILD ATLANTIC WAY(Cliffs of Moher/The Burren)

IRELAND’S WILD ATLANTIC WAY(Connemara)  IRELAND’S WILD ATLANTIC WAY (The Burren/Killarney    IRELAND’S WILD ATLANTIC WAY (A Killarney Hike and The Ring of Kerry)




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