Ring of Kerry, Ireland ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช 2019

Date: 16-17th June 2019

Travelled: 138 kilometres from Travara Marina in County Cork to Portmagee in County Kerry

Visited: Ring of Kerry and Skellig Michael Tour โ‚ฌ100 pp

Stayed: Church car-park, free no services N51.88378, W10.36460

Budget: 15 days @ โ‚ฌ98 per day

After a quiet evening parked on the marina in Travara, we wake to a sunny morning. The breeze is cool but the sun warm. We have our coffee and breakfast before servicing the Hymer and getting the day started. We still have 35 kms of the Ring of Beara to complete. From Travara itโ€™s the Kenmare River on our left and the Slieve Miskish Mountains on our right. A sign indicates we have crossed into County Kerry.

We stop for coffee and a re-fuel at Kenmare before turning onto the N70, the Ring Of Kerry. Whilst still part of the Wild Atlantic Way the Ring has been a tourist road in its own right for many years. As its designation suggest the road is wider, lucky as we pass countless tourist coaches today.

The beach and campsite (tuggers) at Westcove.

At Waterville we turn off the Ring of Kerry, following the WAW around to Portmagee. The LP advices Portmagee is where most boats to Skellig Michael depart from. Whilst it is generally booked out months in advance we hope to jag a cancellation for tomorrow.

Our parking spot was behind the Church next to the burial ground, as you would expect it was dead quiet. We do hear the wind a couple of times overnight, but wake to our usual Irish morning, cool with a broken overcast sky.

Itโ€™s a pleasant surprise to find The Skellig Walker is the newest and largest boat in the fleet here at Portmagee.

On the Skellig Traveller your could sit inside or out, but given the conditions everyone sat inside. It was a wild ride on occasions. On average the boats only run to Skellig, 5 out of 7 days during the summer months due to the weather and seas.

On the way over I ask the shipโ€™s mate if we are likely to see any Puffins. โ€˜Watch where you walk or youโ€™ll tread on oneโ€™ he says. Wanker I thought.

We arrive in one piece the first challenge is getting off the boat as it rises by a meter as each wave rolls past. โ€˜Step off on the crestโ€™ we are told and within a couple of minutes we are all off on Skellig Michael. Iโ€™m not here to give history lesson but monks established a monastery here in circa 600 and it was occupied by monks until about 1200 when Irish religious faith turned toward Rome. You can read about Skellig Michael here.

For a relatively small place it has a lot of steps. It starts along a path that winds it way up around the island. This was built when a lighthouse was established here nearly 200 years ago. Then we start the serious climb of around 600 rough slate steps to the monastery. Itโ€™s something of a hump but you are so busy taking in the vista and trying not to step on a puffin you donโ€™t really notice.

600 sound like a lot of steps. No handrails or safety barriers here.

Almost at the monastery, the view across Little Skellig to County Kerry.

Just being a tourist for a couple of minutes.

How do these fat little things with stubby wings fly so well ?

There are more than a thousand pairs here on Skellig Michael.

So thatโ€™s it we have done Skellig. A memorable day.

Back in the Hymer we clean up, have a little R+R before wandering down to The Moorings Bar for a Guinness and Fish n Chips. Pam actually had the Sav Blonc and the seafood chowder, but it doesnโ€™t matter as another day in Ireland slides through to the keeper.

Michael and Pam

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