I truly wish I could have spent more time in Killarney.
When I first arrived I asked random people on the streets to point me in the proper direction and I made it after a quick walk without any problems. I even picked up a fellow backpacker along the way. Ross from Liverpool was to be teaching English for three months in a small village nearby. Unfortunately for him, all the buses and trains to this area were suspended for the rest of the weekend so he was stranded.
He accompanied me to my hostel so he could use wifi to figure out his situation. It was nice to have someone to walk with. After I settled into my room, I decided to head out on the town to find some traditional Irish music. Ross was still in the lobby. He was waiting for a taxi that was due to arrive in 45 minutes and he invited me along for a Guinness in the meantime. We went across the street to an old man bar (my favorite kind over here… The old men are so friendly and have great stories) and he kindly gave me a half pint (which is silly because the day before I was scolded that girls are only allowed to drink halves. Apparently it is unattractive and inappropriate for girls to drink fulls. I think it’s dumb) and I got to hear his whole life story which was incredibly interesting.
Apparently he is a travel photographer and has been backpacking the world for about 3 years. I enjoyed his tales and upon departing he left me one of his photographs from his travels to India. I love the people I meet while traveling. Once he left I called it an early night and went to bed.
The next day was my tour of the Ring of Kerry. I went through O’Connor Autotours with John O’Neill as the driver. He was magnificent. And so skilled in driving a giant coach through those winding and narrow roads. At one tight squeeze he shouted, “All I’ve gotta say is damn, I’m good!!”
He saw that I was a solo traveler after our first stop and can you believe it, he invited me to sit in a special single seat in the very front right next to him and right in front of the giant window. Perfect full view!!
The tour was great because not only did we just stop at some beautiful sights, we also toured a famine village and watched a show of a shepherd with his border collies.
On top of that, I also experienced my first Irish coffee (it was delicious and definitely woke me up and warmed me up) and Irish stew at a place along the cliffside.
Here is a look at the beautiful scenery from the cliffside restaurant:
The tour was from 10 to 4:30. It was excellent. I’m glad that I befriended the lovely Mr. O’Neill too… After the tour he took me to some old castle ruins so I could get some photos. I had about an hour until my train. We shared a couple pints of Guinness and then he was completely incredible: he ordered me a taxi to take me to my hostel to pick up my luggage then take me to the train station. Amazing. This made my life so much easier and stress-free. Wow, I am so lucky and so glad for the kind hearts of the Irish!
Then I began my journey to Dublin. I had a small fit of emotion on the train because I just felt so sad to leave.