I'd been looking forward to arriving at this day of photos so I could marvel at them again. The place was just magical...
We awoke in the B&B with a long drive ahead of us and with the rain outside, really didn't want to get out of bed. But, of course, we were expected for breakfast at x time so staying in our cozy room wasn't really an option. The breakfast was actually wonderful and our host kept trying to feed us more and more...it's a good thing we got our big breakfast in before another big day of hiking! Looking through the guest welcome book at the B&B, we had come across a pamphlet for a massive waterfall not far from where we were staying. Even though our day's destination was in the other direction, we didn't know what else we'd do for the day and decided to head out to Gleninchaquin Park. The road there was absolutely nerve-wracking, barely big enough for one car to drive on...let alone two cars to drive past each-other. For a while (it seemed like a long trip, driving so slow on that tiny road) we weren't sure if we were on the right path, but then out of the fog the waterfall appeared in the distance. Finally we reached the gate and went in, but quickly learned that this wasn't a typical park...it was someone's family sheep farm, which happened to have a spectacular waterfall in the middle of it and they were kind enough to allow guests to visit for a small fee. All I want to know is, how do you end up with THAT piece of property?
It took a few minutes to find someone to take our money and tell us what to do, and when we did find him his accent was a bit hard to understand. There was a parking lot right next to the falls which we drove to, and a map of all the different trails one could take around the hills. It was drizzly and a bit breezy, but after the previous day at Mizen Head, it was nothing. The waterfall was only part of the splendor and beauty of the place, crashing down the rocks at full force (the farmer had said if we'd come a few hours after the rain stopped, it would be all but dried up...so it's good we came in the rain!) and filling the air with mist. All around, tiny waterfalls were coming down the mountains and with fog-shrouded peaks, I thought I might be in Hawaii (based solely on photos I've seen, since I have yet to visit). Sheep everywhere, foxglove and other beautiful plant life...it was wonderful. We hiked up and around the backside of the waterfall and by a few lakes and my cameras kept very busy (still have film to share). At the top we stopped for Cadbury bars...because you have to stop on EVERY hike for a Cadbury bar (my favorite part!).
After we'd had our fill of wandering, we got back to the car and changed from wet clothes for the drive to the midlands. The drive through other parts of County Kerry to get there really made me wish we'd had more time in that part of the country. The view out the window was stunning and kept getting better around every turn. Next time, a prolonged visit there is in order!