26 June 2006

Kenmare --> Galway

Left Kenmare this morning.
What a lovely place that was. The owners of the BnB advertise that they have "probably the best view in Ireland", and I think they're right. We took dozens of pictures from the balcony at the front of the house....evening, afternoon, morning... I'll post them when we get home.

We found a fantastic little bistro in Kenmare, called Bacus. Tod, Sean and I went there on Saturday night for a light supper. I had an amazing carrot-ginger soup. We saw that they were open for Sunday brunch, so we tried to eat a relatively light breakfast, and went there around one-ish. I had French toast made with brioche, Tod and Katy had waffles. Katy actually managed to eat a good portion of her waffle and keep it down. Sean had a hot roast beef sandwich, but had trouble eating it because the Irish don't seem to like the idea of giving customers knives that are sharp enough to cut meat. (Everywhere we've been, we've been given butter knives only.) Before we left, we made a reservation to have dinner there Sunday night.

Katy was starting to run down, so we took her back to the BnB before we went for our cruise around the Bay. Tony, our host at the BnB, had sung the praises of the tour operator, and he was right. Raymond, the skipper, is a marine biologist, very much in to conservation, and very knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of the area. His assistants were two young men named Patrick and Sean, who appeared to be around 10 and 11 years of age. They served us orange juice, when we set off, and later went around with candy. About halfway through the cruise, they served us tea, coffee and cookies, and then went around with a bottle of what Raymond called "medicine" (rum) offering us each a capful to flavour our hot drinks. (As far as I could tell, they didn't offer any to the kids who were passengers.) On the way back to the Pier, the boys performed for us. Sean sang an odd ballad about a monkey, a spaceship and mountain dew, and Patrick played the button accordion.

We did manage to see some seals, but since it was high tide, they were swimming rather than sunning on the rocks. Tod and Sean got some shots of them poking their heads out of the water. We were told there was one mum with a pup, but I didn't get a glimpse of them. Tod got a picture of a white horse on one of the small islands. At least, we think it was a horse; we didn't see a horn. The cruise was supposed to take 2 hours, but it was closer to 2 hrs and 45 minutes.

On the way back to the BnB, we stopped to see the stone circle in the middle of Kenmare town. Fairly small as stone circles go, but very cool nonetheless.

Back at the BnB, we watched the Canadian Grande Prix with our host, and then went for dinner. It was a great meal. The menu concentrates on foods made with fresh, organic ingredients, and they were nicely prepared and presented. This was, I think, the first time we actually had dessert after a meal. I had a wonderful chocolate orange truffle cake, Tod had a berry crumble, and Sean had homemade vanilla ice cream that really tasted like vanilla. Katy was feeling a little tired by this time, so we went back to the house. While Tod and Sean and Tony watched soccer, I went out on the balcony and took lots and lots of pictures of the sun setting on the Bay.

It was sunny this morning, so before we headed out to Galway, I took about 10 more pictures of the Bay.

The first part of our drive consisted of very narrow, twisty roads. We saw cows and sheep, and once actually had to wait for a sheep to cross the road in front of us. I didn't have my camera, and I'm not sure if the kids got photos of it or not.

We're now at an Internet Cafe in Galway, having checked into our BnB and had lunch. Heading up to Ardara (Donegal) tomorrow, where we will spend 3 nights.

Friday will be our longest day of driving, from Ardara to Shannon. We'll fly out of Shannon Airport on Saturday morning.

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