Ginger count: 8 regular gingers
The day’s agenda: Charles Fort and Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare
We began the day by roaming around the charming little square of Kinsale. I purchased some wool socks and a family crest pin for friends and then proceeded to leave them on the counter of the store. Thankfully, I remembered about five blocks later, so I retrieved the items successfully. In the words of Dani: “I thought you only had issues with leaving behind food leftovers at restaurants.” Nope…
After we decided to leave Kinsale, we headed toward Charles Fort, which was built by the English in the 17th century and used until 1922, at which point the newly-independent Irish decided to fill the structure with straw and burn it, which took three days. Oh, the Irish. It was declared a national monument by the Irish government and restoration began. Most of the outer ramparts of the structure have undergone restoration (well, it won’t fall in on our heads at least), but there is still quite a ways to go.
Charles Fort is also situated on a bit of land jutting out into the ocean so there were some pretty incredible views.
While perusing the fort, there were also some wild Dani and Miranda sightings. The wild Dani in her natural habitat is a gregarious and outgoing creature that is easily lured into view by the presence of either Cheez-Its or whiskey. Caution, the wild Dani has been known to bite at times. The wild Miranda is a more elusive creature, preferring to creep on people from a distance. However, she can be lured out by the presence of adorable fluffy animals or the smell of fresh coffee. The wild Miranda has been known to have random spazz attacks that result in the flailing of limbs, so it is best to keep a safe distance. Okay, I’m done being weird now (actually that probably isn’t possible).
After Charles Fort, we decided to go on a short walk nearby to see the coves near the fort itself. I was able to climb down some sketchy rocks to get right on the beach. We saw some jellyfish bobbing in the water and could see the floor of the ocean at parts; the water was that clear. It was neat.
After that, we hopped back into Seamus O’Toole and headed for Kenmare, which we were told was situated in the mountains. We opted not to take any windy roads as Dani gets carsick and I don’t like dealing with vomit. Nonetheless, it still ended up being a pretty drive with quite a few of those famous narrow, windy Irish roads. I didn’t crash into anything or run anyone off the road! Little accomplishments.
We stopped for lunch in Ballyvourney at The Mill Inn. The food was delicious, but the service was slow. I have noticed that here in Ireland the waitstaff tend only to bring more drinks, the check, etcetera only when asked. I guess it may just be more laid back, although it has taken some getting used to (patience is not my strongest attribute). Ballyvourney also has a local craft brewery called 9 White Deer, although we didn’t try any of their products.
A quick note on the weather: every single day we have been here we have enjoyed sunny weather The locals, when not commenting on our strong American accents (???) are shocked at the niceness of the weather. I guess Dani and I brought the Colorado sunshine with us. (:
We finally (after getting lost again) found our way to Sheen Falls Lodge, where we will be staying for the next three nights. The Lodge is incredible. We got a complimentary upgrade to a suite, and have a beautiful room. (I am not worthy…seriously. The bathroom has a bidet in it, and I am both intrigued and terrified of it.) The Lodge itself is only 25 years old, built at the site of a 200 something-year-old fishing lodge. We are right on the Sheen River, and there is a waterfall (I was a tad bit skeptical) that we can see and hear from our room.
After getting settled, I decided to go for a run. I asked for a running route and was told to take a particular road, and it was 5-6km long. I figured that would be no big deal. What I didn’t take into account was the number of hills on the said route. Like 34 stories worth of hills. I’ll be feeling that tomorrow…
After dinner, Dani decided to make friends with the bartender and coerce me into being social (Ewww, being social is hard) so I drug myself down to the friendly bar in my pajamas and slippers with my computer so that I could catch up on this blog. Am I classy, or what? It was fun though, and I had another pint of delicious Guinness. I also convinced the bartender to bring me marshmallows and popcorn. And then give me the rest of a peach he was using for a drink. He was a pretty cool dude.
We have massages and horseback riding scheduled for tomorrow. There’s also a lake/river bottom thing on the property that looks low, so I think I may walk across it for funsies. Yay for relaxing!
Over and out.