Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Ring of Beara

The Ring of Beara
The weather may not have been at its best but it never closed in completely and I enjoyed my recent trip around the spectacular Ring of Beara, including a highlight visit to the fascinating Copper Mine Museum in Allihies. Came over the spectcular Healy Pass and down from Adrigole and the first stop was the main town, the fishing port of Castletownbeare. It was busy at the quayside with the catch being loaded onto the lorries. There was a little market in progress on the square with vegetables and plants on sale and also some buffalo meat.

 Next, I made a detour to Dursey. Well, not quite. Got as far as the cable car. There was a large gap in the schedule (no crossing between 11.00am and 2.30 on weekdays), so I had to make do with a look across to the island where nowadays just six people live.
On then to Allihies and its colourful houses and a colourful fence also! The drive up along the West Coast of the peninsula is a very scenic one - I even heard one Kerry person say it is better than the Ring of Kerry - and keeps you close to the sea for long stretches.


Broadhaven Bay, close to Allihies.
 The Copper Mine Museum in Allihies is well worth a visit. Not the biggest but there is a lot of info there and some interesting artefacts from those very tough times where the young weren't spared as you can see from the list of fatalities above. A bit of an eyeopener to say the least.
Copper ignots

There are many connections between the mines in Cornwall and Allhies and, surprisingly, between the little village and Butte (Montana). Check it all out here. Better still, go and visit. And while you are there, why not sample the food at the Copper Cafe (re-opening at Easter) and then follow the Copper Mine Trail, a terrific walk with great views.
With the cafe closed at the time of my visit, I had to do without my cuppa. But not for long. Got a warming cup of hot chocolate at the post office in Eyeries, another colourful village. Here too there is a well maintained public toilet on the main  street.



An isolated house on the drive.

Now I was still heading back into Kerry, though still on the peninsula. Next stop was at Cloonee Lakes (above) and then it was on to Kenmare via the coast road through Kilmackillogue and Tousist.

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