We were meeting Jen and Sue in Dubai as they were flying in from Melbourne. Both our inbound flights trundled around the ground on arrival and then we were bused to the terminal. This all took time. Fortunately, our flight was on time arriving over Dubai and we got to the departure lounge witha bit of time to spare. Sue and Jen were nowhere to be seen. Everyone boarded the plane and still no sisters.
Eventually a stream of late ariving passengers boarded, among them Jen and Sue. Relief! Their plane out of Melbourne had been delayed by an hour.
Our passage through Dublin airport was fairly painless and we stopped for a coffee before heading out to catch the bus over to the station.
The train trip from Dublin to Tralee was pleasant and we were amused by the announcments in gaelic many of which seemed to finish with "here or there"but wasn't at all. We were all a little tired and it helped to keep us going.
|Sue and Trevor on the train to Tralee|
The train took us past picturesque farms and through a number of villages and the odd town. We were on an express so had only limited stops which was good.
The countryside was the expected green.
There was the odd shower of rain as we approached Tralee but this had cleared by the time we arrived.
The the help of a couple of locals we found The Imperial Hotel, where we were to stay for our first 2 nights.
After dinner in a nearby pub we all headed off to bed for a proper sleep.
After a very pleasant breakfast Trevor, Jen, Sue and Michelle (the 5th member of our party) headed off to Killarney for the day while I remained in Tralee.
Around lunchtime I headed out and wandered through the rather pleasant town park which had an area dedicated to the "Rose of Tralee".
|Just inside the entrace to Tralee's town park|
|The very impressive looking toilet block just inside the town park|
|The "rose of Tralee" statue|
|Yes, there were roses although only a few in bloom|
I continued my wander around the town and then it started to rain lightly and I headed indoors again.
We had been hoping to hear some live music on Saturday night. Lots of places had signs up indicating that they had live music. Unfortuantely for us the Eupoean football final was on and this meant that the music would not be starting until 10:30ish so we called it quits and headed back to the Imperial and bed.
Oh, it was light until around 11pm. The following photo was taken around 10:30pm from our window.
Sunday: walking day 1
After another substantial breakfast we dragged our luggage down to the hotel entrance and were collected and driven out to Camp, the starting point for the walk. Trevor was not up to the 17km walk with its ups and down and elected to go on the Annascaul with our bags.
|Sue and Jen getting ready to set off|
There wer some great views as we trundled along.
And many fallen down stone cottages ... replaced by much grander abodes.
Some of the laneways and roads we walked along:
The countryside was dotted with sheep
and, of course, mountains
We should have gone down and walked along Inch beach but the path had a gate across it and a sign that stated we should keep out and to be aware of the bull. Expecting another track further along to take us down to inch and the promise of a toilet and other facilities we continued on. We never did get down to the beach but we did had great views of it.
There are stiles in ireland, too, and here is Sue tackling the one we came across just above Inch.
We stopped for lunch on a grassy spot which was only a little damp.
We were quite close to Annascaul where we were stopping for the night. Even so, the long, straight downhill road seemed like quite a drag.
We were early. Our B&B welcomed guests from 4pm. We could have rung the bell but instead retired to the pub across the road for a coffee and a chance to put our feet up.
Annascaul's favourite son is the Antarctic explorer Tom Crean. Our nearby pub was the South Pole Inn and boasted live music from 5 to 8 on Saturday and Sunday.
With a bit of free time I set off to check out a bit of Annascaul. I eventually made my way to the local burial ground the the final resting place of Tom Crean.
|Yes, the burial gound was very uneven underfoot|
I finally caught up with the rest of the group at the B&B.
After some pleasant music across at the South Pole Inn, sitting in the warm sun, and a decent meal, we headed back to the B&B for a well earned rest.