Monday, August 12, 2013

That time we decided not to pay for anything: Kenmare

Now way down south in Ireland is something called the ring of Kerry. The first time I heard of this was while doing a bit of research pre-Ireland (yes, I did consider doing some planning at one point). I assumed it was something to do with a fairy tale perhaps, a ring of mushrooms or something similar that you'd go to see for an afternoon. Well. It's not. It's a route that's about 180km long covering some of the best views in Ireland (reportedly). The road between Killarney and Kenmare covers some of the ring so off we went to Kenmare!

We again got lucky, this time with timing. Kenmare had some kind of festival happening. We decided to check it out later but first we sussed out a nice place to sleep and test drove it (quick nap).

That paw print is E's dog blanket (it turns out a sleeping bag liner alone isn't that warm and all she could find was a dog blanket) which is facilitating my nap.

When we did head back in we were greeted by a band of drunk Dutchmen playing jazz! Quite a sight!

 E used her Dutch connections ("Hi, I live in Tilburg") to get us an introduction.The introduction led to me attempting to play a trumpet. I succeeded! (Read: I made a noise that wasn't musical in the slightest, but a noise!)
 This actually isn't relevant but has an amusing story. There were a few bugs about so we were putting on bug spray, including on our face. One of the musicians sprayed E's face but after she shut her eyes another got very close to her face with a trumpet and TOOT - she jumped back about a foot!
 We wandered about, had a dance and a drink. We chatted to the musicians for a while and it turned out one of them, when not being a musician has a PhD in neuroscience and is interested in the relationship between quantum physics and neuroscience which he doesn't think has been explored. (This sounds ridiculous but I swear he knew what he was talking about!)

 Outside the bar below we bumped into a guy we'd met earlier and asked for directions. It transpired that his name was Finbar and he was a twit! He lied about his age and what he studied (20, law - neither true) in order, I assume, to impress us! I also stupidly chatted to him about where we were planning to sleep and at 3am there was a loud crash and my name being called and a drunken Finbar appeared with friend in tow who we couldn't get rid of for thirty minutes! Incredibly annoying when sleep is hard enough to come by! That said, the grass we were sleeping on was thick, and the sleep we did get was decent.
Our campsite the next morning.
 The nearby view.
We didn't dally long in Kenmare and started hitching by this church reasonably early (especially when compared with most of our start times!) We were planning to head to Kilkenny which did end up happening via a somewhat circuitous route involving Killarney, which is where the second bit of luck involving Killarney comes in!

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