Duncan wanted to climb to the highest point in Ireland, Carrauntoohil 3,406 ft. The cab ride each way was 30Euro. Hiring a car base fee starts at 15Euro for the whole day. So...we HIRED A CAR! Hey, I could be his taxi and then have the car for several hours to get up to something else!
It started pouring rain about the time we got the car and Duncan decided he needed rain pants to give him the best chance of surviving the elements. It is about a 900m change in elevation and is expected to take 6 hours round trip. The outdoor store didn't open until 10am, so that put us behind a bit, but felt it was worth it. He also bought an emergency blanket (those silver things) and a whistle. He had already acquired a book on the trails and a map and studied them last night.
Upon arrival at the trailhead, another gal and her son were about ready to do the hike as well. I was greatly relieved. I had hoped we could hire a guide, but they have scheduled days --tomorrow.
One of the gals in my travel group had her birthday today, so I invited her and her sister to come along and asked around to see if anyone else had anything of interest they'd like to see if they had a car. There were a few, but the most compelling was to find the Lace Design Center in Kenmare. Marilee ---this is for you!
I hired a GPS for the car as well so that I could drive with a little bit more confidence and ease (even if we are driving on the LEFT side of the road and on the 'right' side of the car) and after our busdriver advised us NOT to go back the way we had come yesterday through the National Park (too dangerous albeit scenic of a road), we had a very easy drive to Kenmare and found a carpark (parking lot) with no fees and walked into the town centre. We easily found the Lace Design Center and had an opportunity to view a short demo of various types of lacemaking. Phenomenal work that used to be done. She told of a story of a woman being paid, to make a lace bedspread, 300 Pound Stirling in the days when an average house cost 100 Pound Stirling.
It was lunch time and there was a Vegetarian Cafe and Bookstore on the way back to the car, so we stopped in there and enjoyed a meal.
We then went back towards Killarney and further to the other side of Dingle Bay to Nikki Foley's shop, The Sewing Shed. She released a new book at the IQFOI and had run out of other items she had brought to the festival before I had a chance to get in to the vendor area. I was able to get a pattern for her clock (I'll use my own fabrics), a few fabrics including a celtic panel--their last one, and the book signed by Nikki.
Knowing we had a couple more hours before I needed to try and pick up Duncan, we looked through the GPS at landmark/entertainment type places nearby. The pottery one struck the birthday girl as interesting, and it was kinda on the way, so we followed the GPS into the no-mans-land that it sent us and we ended up at a house that didn't appear to have any pottery work going on at all. Lots of sheep and a few cows and barking dogs, but no sign of people anywhere. Oh well.
We then went on to Ross Castle--which looks to me more like a Tower House--and further to Muckross House and Gardens. Beautiful settings for both of them.
I sat at the hotel for a few extra minutes until 5:30p to be sure he didn't get a ride back with someone else and there was no sign of him. So, I grabbed a long-sleeved dry shirt and an extra pair of socks in case he needed to get warm and dry. I arrived just before 6p at the trail head and there he was, waiting patiently. He had gotten back about 5p and was very sore. It turned out that the young boy that started out with him in the morning is the Montana State Champion in Track.....he kept Duncan really going up the hill! Probably faster than he would have on his own. Needless to say, it wore him out good. Here are a few of his photos.
At the top!!
I filled up the hired (rental) car with Diesel and parked it out front of our hotel, leaving the keys in the dropbox. That was easy!!
We went for a Chinese meal tonight. Many of the group went to an Irish show. I had seen the best show last Thurs. night at the festival and opted to just enjoy dinner with Duncan and let him go to sleep early.