Travel Tales from The Hub
A few Highlights Along the Wild Atlantic Way: Part 2. Doolin to Kinsale
By Ken Hubbard
If you spend any significant amount of time in Ireland, it’s inevitable that sooner or later you are going to run into a bit of rain. The morning I was leaving Doolin and continuing my journey down the Wild Atlantic Way towards Killarney, the rains came. The roads can be precarious enough in Ireland, considering they are only wide enough for 1 ½ cars, throw in some heavy rain and you can bet I was white knuckling it for most of the ride! The bad weather and narrow roads did not deter me from continuing my way on this scenic road down to Quilty then through Kilkee, and finally onto Killimer, where I caught the Shannon ferry. Taking the ferry across the Shannon River saved a little time as my goal was to make it to the town of Kenmare before dark.
The further south I traveled the brighter the skies became and by the time I arrived in Killarney for a late lunch, the clouds had broken, the sun came out and color had returned to my hands. After lunch, I returned to the road and made my way to Kenmare passing through Killarney National Park, stopping at Ladies View to capture some images of the valley and lakes of Killarney. Finally making it to Kenmare it was time to check in to my accommodations, this time a B&B above a local pub called O’Donnabhain’s Townhouse and B&B (https://www.odonnabhain-kenmare.com). I know it may seem like a risk staying above a local pub, but in this case the rooms were really comfortable and the food was very good! If you are looking for a restaurant that is a little more on the quiet side, try the Lime Tree Restaurant (http://www.limetreerestaurant.com), this was one of the best meals I had in Ireland.
Ladies View: Tamron SP 24-70mm, 58mm, 1/100, f/16 @ ISO 200
Killarney National Park: Tamron SP 24-70mm, 24mm, 1/160, f/16 @ ISO 400
The Ring of Kerry
The Ring of Kerry is a 110-mile route along roadway N70 starting and ending in Killarney and circling along the outer edge and coast line of the Iveragh Peninsula. There are numerous stops along this route which include castles, forts, famous homes and countless views of the beautiful landscape. Depending on the time of year this route can be very congested with tourist buses, so much so that all the buses travel the route in a counter clockwise direction. The roadways along this route are typically narrow, and you will need to choose your route on whether you would prefer to travel the same direction of the buses (which may be slower) or the opposite direction (having to pass buses coming towards you). Either way, it is a “must see” area of the country.
Unfortunately for me the rains returned the morning I was going to head out and circle the Ring of Kerry. Undeterred, I head out (gripping the wheel tightly again) on to the Roadway clockwise (opposite of the buses) starting in Kenmare. A few of the historical sites I stopped at were the Staigue stone fort, a ring fort built somewhere around 300 or 400AD and the Derrynane House, Home of Daniel O’connell an Irish political leader in the 19th century. The ladder was a nice stop to get out of the rain and warm up a bit while taking the tour of the house. Even in the rain this is a day trip worth taking, and stopping along the way to take in some of Irelands most scenic views. I eventually made my way back to Killarney and stopped in St. Mary’s Cathedral, built by Architect Augustus Welby Pugin from 1842 – 1855.
Ring of Kerry: Tamron SP 24-70mm, 24mm, 1/125, f/11 @ ISO 400
St Mary’s Cathedral: Tamron SP 15-30mm, 30mm, 1/10, f/8 @ ISO 1600
County Cork and Kinsale
Wanting to stay longer to see more of the Ring of Kerry but needing to continue I reluctantly headed out of Kenmare and onto the Wild Atlantic Ways southern end point, the harbor town of Kinsale. Along the way the clouds started to break and the weather improved, once again revealing the beauty of the Irish countryside. Green rolling hillsides and misty mountains created a photographer’s dream.
Irish Countryside: Tamron SP 24-70mm, 50mm, 1/160, f/16 @ ISO 200
Kinsale known for its restaurants and boating community, is a historic harbor and fishing town that is located about 15 miles south of the city of Cork. I arrived in Kinsale early enough to have lunch consisting of fish and chips at Dino’s and take a walk around town before checking into Long Quay House (http://www.longquayhousekinsale). Once I was settled in, I decided to take the 1.5 mile walk along Lower Road which follows the water’s edge ending up at Fort Charles, a star shaped fort built in 1682. After spending a few hours there I headed back and once again a quick passing shower rolled in. Fortunately for me, there is always a good pub nearby to escape the rain, in this case The Bulman and Toddies (http://www.thebulman.ie/) was there to save the day and pour a fine pint!
Kinsale Harbor: Tamron SP 24-70mm, 70mm, 1/2000, f/8 @ ISO 200
Fort Charles: Tamron SP 24-70mm, 24mm, 1/60, f/11 @ ISO 200
Tamron Lenses Used:
SP 24-70mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2
SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
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