Merry Xmas and happy new year to All.
I hope everyone is well and enjoyed your holiday period.
After leaving my cousin Katie in Castletown bere, we caught the bus to city cork. arriving late evening we where dropped off about 1 km from our hostel so decide to walk.
Stayed three nights at the Hostel, while in cork we visited Blarney castle and the local art museum. at some food and slept in a hostel. tbh cork was just another city, nothing really special with the main exception being the English market. A large covered market in the centre of cork, stocked with multiple butchers and fishmongers, plus fruit veg spice and other consumables.
After leaving cork we travelled to bellyvourne a small long town halfway between cork and Killarney. The reason for this was to track down some ancient relatives of Courtney. stayed at a very nice homestay, was a great place very tidy and clean, awesome hostess.
Staying there we visited The Shrine of st Gobnet , Patron of bees and beekeeping. st, gobnet travelled to the south of Ireland from the far north after receiving a dream that she should start a covernet where she found 9 White deer. Upon travelling south she first came across 3 white deer and followed them to where 6 more were found, or as the legend goes. Another legend is that the local farmers were having trouble with cattle being stolen, so one night when the rustlers were out in force stealing cattle, st gobnet went out to confront them. taking with her A chalice or goblet, she summoned her bees around the chalice, she threw it at the cattle thieves, basically like a holy and grenade of bees. the thieves were attacked by the bees and never returned. This does beg the question though where the difference between being a witch and a god ordained saint is?? Food for thought!
next day we bussed over to Killarney ( 23 Europe each!!) trip took less than 30 minutes , busses are dear here.
Killarney is a town in County Kerry, southwestern Ireland. The town is on the shores of Lough Leane and located basically inside part of Killarney National Park Killarney is home to St Mary’s Cathedral, Ross Castle, Muckross House and Torc Waterfall. there are loads of hiking walking and cycling trails to follow along with some epic mountains to climb.
on the first day, we just explored the city and walked around. in the afternoon, we entered a paddy wagon tourist office for some advice. As usual, we got talking to the young lady at the desk who, as it turns out was planning a trip to New Zealand with her partner. So we swapped some tips for travelling NZ in return for a contact of a local mountain guided. We headed around to the cafe where this guide work. Chris ( with unpronounceable last name. chris was extremely helpful and even shouted us a free coffee, I really like the Irish!
so we organized to climb mount Carrantuohill on Wednesday. so we had a day to prep and mentally prepare ourselves. We spent the day cycling out to Tork waterfall and chasing GeoCaches. for those of you who don’t know, geocaching is basically treasure hunting for adults. You get a set of GPS coordinates from the website and a couple small hints, you then make your way to the coordinates and hopefully find the little box or treasure.
After a fun day treasure hunting, we headed back to the hostel and had a great evening with the work away staff managing the hostel. One of the new staff happened to play Dungeons and Dragons so we had a great evening over beer and half-elves.
A 6 am start, breakfast then a taxi at 7:15 outside the hostel. lovely Irish man bruce dropped us at the car park of the mountain walk, started walking at 7:40 and still pitch black. a well made farm track for the first 4km or so, a steady incline with a few sets of steps. a great walk up through a mountain valley passing between two beautiful blue-green lakes, then off up to the Devils stair ladder.
The Devils Ladder is basically a vertical river, most of the climb was about was between 65-70 degrees in gradient, the use of your hand was necessary in some parts. Having had a brief break and snack at the bottom to prepare ourselves, we made good time to the top. having made it to the top of the ladder in just under 35 minutes, with the last 15 minutes behind basically vertical, almost climbing, upon reaching the ridge line the wind was howling through the gap and was freezing cold. Having reached the ridgeline when know followed a well-worn path along the ridge heading to the summit, taking around 30 minutes. unfortunately, the fog was very thick and we couldn’t get jack all. so a very quick photo and breather then down off the ridgeline as quickly as possible.
Once off the ridge we had a quick snack and started out decent. with the accent taking around 3 hours form carpark to peak. We estimated the decent to take around an hour longer as going down is always more difficult. Also, we had decided to take a looping route rather than up and back.
on the descent down, amazingly clear green lake.
The walk down was not overly strenuous but we definitely need to take our time as had been raining on and off all day, as well at terrain being very unforgiving. Large cliffs with huge drops and very rocky ravens and gully’s hinting at a very ugly outcome if you fall. Once we made it down the mountaineering section onto the main track, we had some lunch by the 2 lakes at 3:30. Wandering back down towards the car park we meet a middle ages couple who had walked the gentle lake loop. We ended up catching a ride back into town, saving us money and have a great convo on the way back, hitchhiking it great. after such a great day we headed out for a couple of beers, then an early bed. we spent the last few days chilling around in Killarney and hanging with the hostel staff/volunteers, such a great group of people.
Killarney is by far our favourite town, the mix of town and adventure environments along with great people and generally friendly local Irish people.
Thanks, everyone that has been following our adventures. please keep checking and following our fun times.