flickr photo link: <Ring of Kerry, Sep 08>
The view from the road that runs along the ridge of Valentia Island must be quite good. So too, the view from the cliff walk, leading from the car park beside the craft shop where they sell the Skellig Chocolates. The view from the slate mine with the "Mary" grotto must also be great, perched high above the Atlantic. Yes, it must be quite a view. Possibly spectacular. But here on Valentia Island, along with everywhere else at this end of the famous Ring Of Kerry, we saw nothing. Nothing that is, but cloud, fog, mist & rain - in no specific order. I think the travelling preacher who ran the Old Schoolhouse B&B at Ballinskelligs summed it all up when he said they'd had one dry day in nine weeks, yes, that's 1 dry day in 9 weeks. Mmm. So between full Irish breakfasts outside Killarney & Ballinskelligs, then (Joe) making the 6.30pm Sunday train from Cork to Dublin, we saw lots & lots of rain:
pouring rain in Killarney while Clare searched for the "official" tourist office (and I parked on double yellow lines, but the Garda still ignored me);
easing rain as we drove around Caragh Lake (one of the most attractive parts of the Ring of Kerry we actually saw!);
light rain as Clare ran into the Centra at Cahersiveen seeking the free Bonnie Tyler CD from the Irish Daily Mail (the poor girl had no idea who Bonnie Tyler was);
increasing rain as we took the car ferry to Valentia Island before a complete whiteout descended upon us;
light rain (and fog), but who cares about the weather, as we tasted the Skelligs Chocolates with the other Aussies at the weenie little factory at St. Finian's Bay (mighty good!)
variable fog, cloud & showers most of the following day - Mary statue in the cloud; cyclists racing in the cloud; lush forests with dripping rain...
Clare and her mum have gone on to other parts south/southwest this week (and apparently the weather has significantly improved), while I returned to Dublin on the train and it rained ALL the way across Ireland... The train had dark blue reflective/frosted windows, but every now and then you could see the drips pouring down, and people standing at crossings and stations with umbrellas, as we flew past. And in Dublin - absolutely pouring; vast sheets of wet blasted at a sharp angle like special effects for Noah's Ark The Movie. More reports next week.