travel in 2006 Ireland and Wales


The fourth day 25th June(Sunday) click on the blue frame picture, you can enlarge it.
today's course   Midleton --- Clonakilty --- Skibbereen --- Bantry Garden --- Ilnacullin Garden ---
               Ring Bera(Healy Pass, Dunboy Castle) --- Kenmare
today's distance   312km   today's pedometer   10,400Steps

Decies B&B
It was silent in the morning. I awoke to hear the twitter of birds. Decies that we stayed at was clean and cozy bed & breakfast with its high windows and ceiling.
A snow-white tablecloth and napkins in the dining room made us comfortable completely. We always expect clean and tidy accommodations on our trip.
We asked full Irish breakfast this morning, too. On the corner table of the dining room there were a big jar of orange juice, a bowl of fruit compote and several kinds of yogurt.
There was a hot loaf of bread that was not familiar to me beside the jar. I remembered the soda bread that was the famous specialties in Ireland, so I asked the hostess about that.
She said "That's right. Would you like a slice of bread ?" "Yes, Please."
It left rough taste in my mouth. I prefer a slice of normal bread toasted.
We enjoyed full Irish breakfast in the sunny clean dining room.

Decies B&B Decies B&B Decies B&B Decies B&B

West Cork
We decided not to hang around on our way and we drove straight to the west, as we felt deep regret what we had done the day before.
After one hour we arrived Clonakilty. We only watched the town from the car, which was calm, and countenance though houses were painted various colors.
We took our route R597 with Scenic Route. There were many fuchsias on both road shoulder which I like the best in all kind of flowers. I was surprised and envied the mild climate that suits this flower.
In Japan I have always troubles with growing fuchsias in summer and winter because there was an all too important difference of the climate. (Click on the picture, you can enlarge fuchsia)
The water was so calm it looked like glass. In the peaceful Glandore inlet a lot of people were enjoying sailing. It was a picturesque view with blue sea, green hill and the white houses on it.
We continued our drive to the west and arrived Skibbereen. Skibbereen seemed to be a large town, but we rarely saw people in the high street, instead of that the street was flooded with a large number of cars. After driving around the town twice to look for a parking space, we realized that was the time to attend Mass. It was three quarter past ten on Sunday.
Near the high street there was a magnificent church that might be filled with pious people.
The hanging basket in front of the church was planted clean color flowers with the exquisite color scheme.

Clonakilty West Cork West Cork Skibbereen

Bantry House & Garden
We drove to the north on N71 and entered into Bantry. We met a procession of some thirty classic cars at the entrance of Bantry House. While we waited to turn right to the gate, we could watch all of them closely.
We have seen those car procession several times, they kept their car good conditions ,besides they drove outside indeed not only set in the garage.
Irish people may treasure old houses, cars and everything as they utilize in their life with repairing by themselves as English.
Every classic car was polished perfectly, so it seemed to be proud of being kept by gentle smart owner.
There was a sunken garden in the wild garden style on the height from the parking. Many kind of perennials and grasses were planted. Between them there was a lane for a short walking. The view from the house might be wonderful.
We could see Bantry Bay where a lot of people were enjoying sailboats and Beara peninsula where we would visit after few days.
In the wide lawn plaza there was a circular flowerbed, a graceful statue and many terracotta filled with flowers were settled here and there.
There seemed to be a music festival in that house and we saw many people having a musical instrument and the comings and goings of many people.

Bantry House & Garden Bantry House & Garden Bantry House & Garden Bantry House & Garden Bantry House & Garden

The main garden was in the south part f the house. It was a formal style garden that was designed by various reef color boxwood and there was a circular pergola of wisteria in the center of the garden.
In May or early June the pergola of wisteria might have been bright I thought. The famous seven stages terraces were in the south side of it and people called the middle line "stairway to the sky". It has over hundred steps.
We could have a wide wonderful view with a cool breeze from the sea on the top of the stage. We found a fountain in the center of the pergola that was arranged with a lot of shells.
When we came down from the garden having been satisfied with the wonderful meeting, we were suddenly called "Konnichiwa".(in Japanese) The voice was from a rather stout man with a mustache. I was very surprised to hear Japanese there, so I asked him "Have you studied Japanese anywhere?" "No, I only know one word." "Konnichiwa" "I'll teach you other words in Japanese.""Ohayou that means good morning. Arigatou that means thank you. Sayonara that means good by." He practiced those words following me as we walking to the parking.
I talked him about the beautiful classic car that I had seen, then he said "One of them is mine." "I drove from Belfast with my treasure car". I asked him "which car is yours?” when we just came at the parking area.
"My car was made in 1913.""Would you like to see my car nearer?" "Of course I would!" He pointed the most magnificent and gorgeous car of thirty classic cars. "This is mine." he said proudly.
His car was polished up like a mirror that I could watch a fine hair of mine.
We thanked him giving the souvenir that we always carried for our gratitude when we were given some kindness on our trip.
When I said him "Sayonara" he answered "Konnichiwa" in Japanese.
Though I taught him "Arigatou" and "Sayonara" he had already forgotten.

Bantry House & Garden Bantry House & Garden Bantry House & Garden Bantry House & Garden Bantry House & Garden

We had to make frequent stops on the way out of Bantry. Then we saw a B&B that had beautiful front garden. If we had a chance to come here someday we would like to stay here by reason of the well-maintained garden. I'm sure I will meet considerate hospitality at that house.

Ilnacullin Garden
We drove to the north on R71 seeing Bantry Bay. We arrived at Glengarriff. Our destination was The Ilnacullin(Garinish Island) in the Glengarriff Harbor.
The whole Island was a garden that had been a private garden many times ago. Now it was managed by Heritage of Ireland (Office of Public Works)
We found a signboard along R71 and we parked in the parking lot of the quay. A finer boat than I had imagined was alongside the quay. A man who looked like a fisherman said the boat would leave in 5 minutes for Garinish Island.
We went to the island by the boat on the ripple between small islands and rocks. We saw some seals that lay down on the rocks around in a humorous form.
Naturally they are wild seals.
When the waterman cried "Look! Over there!" I saw a large bird far a way, but I'm not sure what kind of bird it was.
After 10 minutes we arrived at the island that had pure blue sea around it.
We paid admission fee and entered to Ilnacullin Garden

Ilnacullin Garden Ilnacullin Garden Ilnacullin Garden Ilnacullin Garden Ilnacullin Garden

It has a subtropical climate for the current here.
Many years ago plants hunters collected a lot of various plants from all over the world.
In this garden I felt as if I were in the southern country because of its tropical atmosphere. There were many kind of strange trees that I've never seen and never heard before.
Every plant was very tall and had large leaves, but it was filled with sunny bright.

Ilnacullin Garden Ilnacullin Garden Ilnacullin Garden

The houses were exotic to northern countries. The first and the second pictures from the left are the houses in opposition to each other. Those are a watching house and The Casita.
We could walk around the pool that had one-step high terrace on which there were some terracotta with flowers and monuments.
The first and the second from the right are Arched Gateway and The Clock Tower in the walled garden.
Soft pinky roses climbed on the arched gate and the elegant designed mold gate was matched well with roses. The clock of the tower was perfectly hidden by vigorous ivy.

Ilnacullin Garden Ilnacullin Garden Ilnacullin Garden Ilnacullin Garden

The first and the second pictures from the left were the Grecian Temple and the view from it.
The mountains were Caha range in Beare peninsula. I thought that the highest mountain in the middle might be Healy Pass where we were going to drive few days later.
What a wonderful view it had!
From reading the brochure The Martello Tower was built in 18 centuries by the army of Britain and when John Annan Bryce bought it, the tower was completely covered with heath.
We enjoyed the wonderful panoramic view in all directions after we climbed narrow stone upstairs.

Ilnacullin Garden Ilnacullin Garden Ilnacullin Garden Ilnacullin Garden

Every lane from the house to an other was named The Dell, Happy Valley and Jungle and The Lawn. I thought that every name showed its accurate character.
There was a walled garden at the bottom downstairs from the tower. When we went through the good taste colored arched gate a lot of soft and mild color flowers came into our view. The border garden seemed to be over 100 meters. Every flower was vigorous and looked pleasant in such sunny weather.

Ilnacullin Garden Ilnacullin Garden Ilnacullin Garden

When we arrived at the quay of Ilnacullin a boat began to moor. We hurried to the gate but the gatekeeper told us that we had to take on the other boat. The boat would go different quay from your car parked. There might be three way boats to the island.
On the return boat we enjoyed the island view again having corn with ice.

Ring of Beara
We started Glengarriff at 14:30. We would have enough time to enjoy driving in Ring of Beara.
Though we lost the separation point to R572 and drove on N71 forward, the driving on the steep slope and the hairpin turns to Caha Pass were exciting.
We returned Glengarriff and at last we met the separation point to R572. Let's start Ring of Beara. Ring of Beara is circular excursion of scenic route in Beara peninsula.
Ring of Kerry is the most famous in Ireland, so it was frequented by tourists by coach in high seasons. On the other hand Ring of Beara is unaffected because it has narrow lane all the way.

The first destination was Healy Pass. We went through the village "Adrigole" and turned to R574. We drove serpentine narrow mountain road and passed the stream. My husband swerved in order to avoid rocks hanging over the slope and he encouraged our small car to advance the steep slope with bottom gear.
At last we arrived at Healy Pass. There were a tiny stand and a white statue of Christ beside the stand.
That pass is the border between Cork and Kerry. The view from the pass showed us the difference between Cork and Kerry clearly. The wild rocky mountain was in Cork. The green quiet view was in Kerry.(the first on the left)

Ring Bera Ring Bera Ring Bera Ring Bera Ring Bera

We arrived at the village "Castletownbere". All houses in not only Castletownbere but all the village in Ring of Beara were painted various color.
I didn't understand the strange color scheme. The color contrast between wall and window frame was especially strange. As I prefer natural color, I didn't felt comfortable.
That was a harbor village indeed, so we could see a lot of Lobster Bars.
After we drove for a while to the west from Castletownbere, we met the sign "Puxley Mansion and Dunboy Castle". After we drove on the meadow for few minutes, we could see the ruin that was on repaired now. That was Puxley Mansion. There were two decayed boats that went down the sea in the inlet.
At that time I imagined the story "Robinson Crusoe".

Ring Bera Ring Bera Ring Bera Ring Bera

We drove further to the west. At that time we were in the climax in Ring of Bera. After we saw a inlet beside a cliff, pure white sands suddenly came into our view. We could see the purple mass of heath among rocks on the roadside.
Though the speed limit here was 100km/h, it was difficult to drive with such high speed. My husband said maximum speed he could drive was 60km. He said " I was inflamed by the rule of the road".

Ring beara Ring beara Ring beara

My husband irritated with the slow driving of the anterior car in the narrow lane. He despaired of overtaking the car after ten minutes and he followed the car meekly.
After we passed through the rocky mountain we saw a wonderful ocean view and cows and sheep here and there on the both side of the road.
We encountered that a herd of cattle were coming to their home urged by their master and the shepherd dog.
We had to wait for seeing them off soundlessly.
We continued to drive the ring of beara along the coastline that hadn't any guardrail everywhere. That might be based on the philosophy " at your own risk". We enjoyed driving comfortably.
We had a information that there was an accessory shop near there having Celtic etchings on the copper and brass.
People had mined a lot of copper and brass there a long time ago.
It was already past five. I tried to think I didn't have a chance to meet the shop.
(I appreciated that the closing hours in Ireland was different from in England.)

Ring beara Ring beara Ring beara

Harbor View
We had a plan to stay the bed & breakfast two nights there. We had chosen the accommodation carefully for two nights.
Harbor View is situated on good location. It has a wide view of the mountains in the Iveragh Peninsula over the sea.
Our choice from a lot of accommodations there was just correct, I thought. We would have a breakfast in the bright conservatory. Rooms, stairs, corridor and everywhere were all clean.
It has a shamrock that is a authorized mark of tourist information office of the government of Ireland.

Harbor View Harbor View Harbor View

Con's Restaurant
We made a reservation at 8 pm at a restaurant for dinner where the hostess of Harbor View had recommended us. The restaurant situated only 50meters from our accommodation.
That day we didn't have lunch because we had had substantial full Irish breakfast as usual, so we didn't feel hungry in the daytime. We only had some shortbreads and chocolates during our driving in the car.
It was just 8 o'clock. We went the restaurant having the empty stomachs.
First we toasted to our wonderful trip. We selected Deep Fried Brie and Scallops Mornay. Both dishes were delicious because of its dairy product and fresh fishes in Ireland.
Every morning in the trip we enjoyed the first-class dairy product all over the world in Ireland.
After we were satisfied with the excellent dishes we suddenly understood that we didn't took any pictures of the dishes. We were too hungry to take a picture.
It went without saying that we enjoyed tasting much wine. The dinner was the most tasteful of all dishes during this trip.
Unusually my husband and I also asked wonderful desserts finally.

Con's Restaurant Con's Restaurant Con's Restaurant

After dinner we had a short walk to the pier in the twilight. The sky dyed red by the sunset. It will be fine tomorrow.

Harbor View Harbor View Harbor View

Please look at our travel diary with many pictures
to calendar
22nd June
23rd June
24th June
26th June
27th June
28th June
29th June
30th June
1st July