Day 24 – The Killarney Lakeside Hotel

Well I haven’t blogged since Friday because we have been living in the Wild on the Wild Atlantic Way!! And have rediscovered our joint love of adventure.

We are currently sitting in the bar of the hotel in the title all scruffy and sweaty after a long cycle ride around the Lakes of Killarney. Think we might be the only non-residents but makes it even more appealing and the settees are really comfortable and the view of the lake stunning.
We camped rough for 3 nights over the weekend. The first night was at a Brit Stop pub – the Junction Inn where you can park in the car park for free – just had a Guinness in their bar looking out over the bay.Colin chatted to the waitress who told him they had had a wedding party turn up that had eaten all the food prepared for a different wedding party without the staff realising it! (Is there a lesson in that??)
We woke up to wonderful sunshine and drove off along the Dingle Peninsula – there were various warnings about a mountain pass to Dingle Town which was clearly too narrow for the camper. We decided to stop off for a Guiness and get some wisdom from the locals about whether Connors Pass was indeed passable in a camper van. Unequivocal – so Colin decided to drive up to it to see!! I was not prepared for how hairy the pass was – Rock overhangs on one side with a sheer drop on the other with no passing space for a long stretch – there is no way I would have done it but Colin decided to go for it despite several signs saying TURN BACK NOW!! And one guy coming the other way waving his hands frantically mouthing ‘No way’. Amazing exhilarating – our camper emerged unscathed to the top of the pass, it really felt like a significant moment.
After exploring Dingle we set off to Ventry and camped at a spot right next to the beach and spent the night listening to the waves and a flag pole chattering away in the constant wind. We woke again to amazing views over the water to mountains with wild cloudy skies.
The next morning we went into Dingle and to the Church of Ireland service – at the lovely manageable time of 12 o clock after putting the clocks back too. It was a peaceful service with communion, old hymns and presided over by Phyllis an elderly ordinand from Bournemouth. Would be good to pray for her – if can’t be easy being an English vicar in rural Ireland covering 3 parishes with numerous miles between. We drove off along the Wild Atlantic Way in the pouring rain to Inch Strand – a fantastic sand bar peninsula sticking out 5km at right angles with a Restaurant/bar called Sammys on the beach. There was also Sammy’s campsite, Sammy’s souvenir shop and Sammy’s holiday cottages! We found a wild camp spot on a wide lay-by high up above the waves and cooked beef pot roast for the evening and woke to the most amazing sunrise the next morning.
We drove down to the beach where Colin decided he wanted to walk to the end … We had driven the camper 1km onto the beach and I decided I’d had enough walking and would sit and drink coffee watching the waves. It seemed like Colin had been gone for ages so I decided to drive the camper up the beach to look for him – quite scary as the sand became really soft. I turned back as the tide was starting to come in really fast and panicked a bit when I realised how far I’d come. I drove back and parked up to wait for Colin no sign – with the tide was coming in very fast I decided to drive up the beach again to find him – as I turned I realised I was stuck in the sand with the tide nearly at my back wheels. Very scary moment!!! Had the presence of mind to dig out the traction mats Colin had insisted on buying and stick them in front of the front wheels – just sank further in … I was really jittery now and went to find help .. Found a sweet Asian man who held an umbrella over me and seemed to know less than I did about removing soon to be submerged camper vans from the sand – just then Colin appeared, rather wet and tired after his 10km trek along the sand and over the dunes, and got me to get back in with the traction mats behind the front wheels and I reversed as he pushed with the Asian guy. Out we popped from the hole — what a hero!!
I was pretty shaken up so had to go in to Sammy’s for a Guinness (Guinness seems to crop up quite often!!) ended up having a really good chat and praying with the actual Sammy – an Irish/Pakistani Anglican called Mahmoud who had a vision to travel and bring back stories to expand the borders of the Anglican church in Ireland. He was very much born again and wanted the Holy Spirit to change things in the church – however he said that when the Holy Spirit begins to blow through the church Anglicans often shut the windows! Before we left Colin prayed a blessing for him over the bar, the second person to do that this year apparently, and asked that his dreams would be fulfilled and he would no longer be a bit of a lost soul in Ireland.

Which brings me to our current post cycling round Killarney, something we tried to do 20 years ago with the boys and this time we completed it passing across the bridges at the ‘meeting of waters’ and viewing ‘Torc Waterfall’. To top it all as we ended at Muckcross House we saw a vivid double rainbow. All significant pictures for us of God’s promises and refreshing us with His living water. We have met so many people who have said “Ah you’re lucky with the weather, we had an awful summer”. We know God has blessed the trip with so much great weather! So now We are ready for a good sleep after enjoying adventuring together.

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