Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hutchins Folly - a little Boston in Kenmare, Ireland

Day 2 Ireland

I had hoped Day 2 of Ireland would turn out much better than Day 1, but that was not the case. After spending a good ten minutes trying to figure out the shower, I did manage to get a hot shower. Thank goodness! I should have stayed in it.

When I went to plug in my Euro to US power strip, it didn’t work. The adapters I brought didn’t work. Then when I said, “Screw it, I’ll just use my converter for my laptop”…that was the biggest mistake of all. Plugging in the hair dryer blew the converter!!

I yelled, “Are you kidding me? Do I look like I need this crap?”

Did the heavens above really think I would be happy with this morning’s fiasco?

Talk about bad hair day! All I can say is, “At least I’m clean.”

Well, no UK plug nor the heavens above are going to put a halt to this disastrous start to a trip. I got dressed, packed my backpack, got into my broken car, and promptly got lost. I wish I were kidding.

No tears, just hysterical laughter at this point. I mean, seriously, this could only happen to me.

I managed to get myself unlost then found the center of Kenmare. I parked, got out of the car, and stopped at the first open door, which happened to be a superette. The clerk was friendly and helpful.

“Yes!” They had power adapters. “Bummer!” Only one of them worked. I swear the fates are against me.

Having solved that issue, I walked part way around town until I came to a small breakfast place that was actually open, called Prego.

Inside, I had Prego Toast and Irish bacon. Both were excellent! Thank goodness. The Prego Toast was the restaurant’s version of French Toast made with some kind of special bread and grilled in olive oil. The bacon was a cross between a slice of bacon and a small slice of ham, only you can’t cut it with a knife. Very salty and very good.

In the afternoon, I decided to venture out by foot. I walked the 1.5 kilometers on the tiny road from my cottage into Kenmare Town Center and ventured around the tidy town.

I did manage to see Cromwell’s Bridge. Sounds kind of like a funny attraction and it is. But it’s a rock bridge. Wait until you see the picture. Fascinating!

The bridge had nothing to do with Cromwell. The name originates from the Gaelic word for moustache. It's hard to imagine that a stone arch can survive all that time but it has.

I wonder how they got all those rocks to stay in place while they built the bridge?

I was told that both banks would have been built up with earth and gravel to make it easier to traverse it.

After venturing out for a while, I popped into a little shop where I bought a couple of books on folk songs and ballads popular in Ireland. Guess what I will be learning to sing?

Then I wandered in to the Wander Inn and had a cup of hot cocoa. A quaint little pub owned and operated by a woman who busts her tail waiting on all the drunkards and visitors while rugby or cricket plays on the gigantic televisions all around. If you’re looking for a quiet place to visit…this is not it. It's a place to talk and watch sports, and maybe play a game of pool.

Now that I was warmed up again, I went out for another hike and found another old ruin called Hutchins' Folly. Hutchins' Folly, according to the sign posted nearby, was built by an American to commemorate the battle of Bunker Hill. Are we not funny people or what?

After my picture tour of Hutchins' Folly, I stopped in a gallery called the Skyline Gallery and met the owner and photographer named Eoghan, pronounced Owen. Very nice man with great pictures. I tried to convince him to come down to the stone cottage and take pictures of the river from there. We’ll see if it works. I’d buy one of those.

OH! On my walk back to the stone cottage in a little drizzle, I heard a gunshot. Talk about jump out of my hiking boots. My guess is that someone just shot an Irish cow. There are signs on a local butcher shop in town saying they age their Kenmare beef 21 days. SHIVER!


Dad March 23, 2011 at 8:28 AM  

Relative to your question about holding the rocks in place to build the bridge, maybe super glue was developed long before we knew. :)

Denise March 24, 2011 at 2:31 PM  

HA! That would not surprise me.

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