Tuesday, March 29, 2011

My last full day in Kenmare Ireland

Day 7 - Ireland and my last full day

Today is my last day in Ireland. I got up this morning way earlier than any other morning. My body must know it’s my last full day in Ireland so it thought I should be up and ready to go. I have my clothes all folded and sitting on the table along with the few gifts I picked up. They are all ready to be packed.

I drove into town this morning just so I could put gas in the car or petrol as they say in Ireland. By the way, they use diesel here. I am off to locate an old Catholic Church and who knows what else.

It’s 12:30 Irish time and I just sat down to a pint of Smithwick’s.

I located the ruin of a church. It’s called Killowen Church of Kenmare or was when it was around. I have never seen anything so sad.

Not a fan of cemeteries, I was shocked when I walked up to the church and found a graveyard.

Before I knew it, I was standing in the middle of a cemetery. For a woman like me, a woman who went into a cemetery for the first time just this past summer, that is not a good thing.

I wanted to bolt, but instead I braved the feelings of helplessness and sadness and walked along the gravel path that someone built into the cemetery. Thank goodness for that gravel path, otherwise, yours truly would probably still be rooted to that same spot.

I took pictures of headstones, some of which were new and some so old that you could no longer read the names engraved and even more photos of grave sites that were indiscernible. Some of the sites had been so disturbed by nature, time, and who knows what else, it was as if they had been opened and be careful where you step as you may fall in. SHIVER!

I actually walked into the church ruin. It was beautiful and gloomy all at the same time. Made you wonder about the people that had attended church there in the past. Did they travel from the next town over or did they live here in Kenmare? What did they do for a living? Did they manage a farm or work in some other industry?

The parish of Kenmare was combined with neighbouring parishes at an early period in both the established Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic church.

The old parish church at Killowen, on the Kilgarvan road, was replaced by a new structure in 1814. This is now a ruin in the graveyard there. St. Patrick's Church, which replaced Killowen, was consecrated in 1858.

On my way back, I passed a Kenmare golf course that I know my father would love to play on. Gorgeous grounds!

When I hiked back into town, I was surprised by all the hustle and bustle. I learned that people come out and that Kenmare starts to wake up for tourist season the day after St. Patrick’s celebration.

Now I am enjoying lunch for the last time in Ireland. No breakfast so I am starving, but I went to The Coachman’s and ordered a house salad with curry yogurt dressing and brown bread. Brown bread. What can I say about it other than – delicious. Very light and fantastic – Just what I need to keep going.

I have some more walking, weather, and scenery to enjoy before I return to the cottage to pack for my trip home.

I did not leave the pub after lunch and go back to the cottage. As I left Coachman’s and started to walk toward the pier all the sudden there was this honking on the street and someone shouted my name.

Wait a minute! I don’t know anyone in Ireland.


My UK friends, John and Linda were driving down Henry Street and shouting for me. They pulled over and got out. It was as if I ran into longtime friends. They had just been talking about me and wondered if I survived my 38 kilometer walk and made it back alive and then there I was in my blue Gore-Tex and backpack, and funny blonde hair walking down the road. Just like they found me two days before.

I wish I had a picture of John and Linda, but I do have a picture of Moll's Gap.

Moll's Gap is named after Moll Kissane.

Moll's Gap is a pass on the road from Kenmare to Killarney. On the Ring of Kerry route, with views of the Macgillycuddy's Reeks mountains, the area and its shop and retaurant is a panoramic spot where you can see the rocks at Moll's gap are formed of Old Red Sandstone.

They packed me into their SUV and hauled me off to Moll’s Gap for lunch. Since I had just eaten, they ate and I drank a Coke, but all three of us chatted. Afterwards, they returned me to where they found me, we exchanged contact information and they invited me to stay at their vacation cottage the next time I go to Ireland. How cool is that?

OH! Linda had read the first chapter of Never Tempt Danger and liked it so far. She said, “It started off with a bang.”

I went back to the cottage and packed and at half five (that’s 5:30 American speak) I walked back into town to pick up a print of Gleninchaquin from Eoghan. The numbered and signed photograph is my treat to myself for walking that wicked long (38+ kilometer/26 mile) hike two days ago. My legs are still mad at me for it.

My last dinner in Ireland was at Casey’s. A place recommended by my UK friends and the owner of Skyline Gallery. It consisted of a pint of Guinness and unbelievably the best dang vegetable soup and Caesar salad I have ever had. The vegetable soup did not consist of a bunch of vegetables in broth, it was literally pureed vegetable soup and very tasty. I ate the entire bowl!

The Caesar salad was unique because it not only had pan-fried chicken on top, but there was good Irish bacon on top as well. No, I could not eat the entire salad, but not for lack of want.

Now that I have fed myself on Guinness it is time to go back to my cottage, finish packing, and get some sleep before my long flight home tomorrow.


Anonymous July 4, 2011 at 7:16 AM  


colleen September 9, 2011 at 12:21 PM  

you went to the best part of ireland!!! kenmare is the diamond of ireland!! my family is from there and i would move there in a heart beat!!! loved reading about your trip!!!

Denise September 9, 2011 at 12:35 PM  

Colleen -

I would move there in a heartbeat as well. I cannot wait to go back!

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