The final leg of our trip took us to near the Dingle Peninsula, and within easy reach of Killarney National Park. The park is much more mountainous than what we'd seen in Ireland, and we were keen to explore. Dodging the spring weather we managed two good day hikes in the park along with poking around when the weather didn't cooperate.
Our first big hike took us from the famous Muckross House, a large mansion built in 1843, now part of the national park. After passing through the gardens we made it up to Torc Waterfall then over a ridge with amazing views of the many lakes of the park.
|Rhododendron, originally planted in the gardens, it has escaped into the mountains|
|Yellow Flag Iris|
|The Muckross House|
Our other big hike was the Gap of Dunloe. The walk up a narrow road took us to the "Gap," a mountain pass that separates the MacGillycuddy Reeks mountains from the Purple Mountain Range. Not satisfied with just a simple walk up the road to the Gap, we added a climb up on the high mountain ridge above, where we nearly got blown off the top in what I estimate was 60+ mph wind gusts. We quickly scampered back down to a lower and safer elevation to finish our hike. Too much fun.
|The farmers spray paint their sheep with unique colors so they know who's is who's|
|Large Flowered Butterwort|
|Common Spotted Orchid|
|We visit Ross Castle on a rainy day|
Our final destination in the area was a drive around the Dingle Peninsula. We had a perfect weather day for the beautiful sights.
|Chandler finally got to hold a lamb|
Returning to Dublin the following day, we made a stop at the Rock of Cashel, which dates back to 5th century. St. Patrick himself was reputed to have been there.
|Castle at Rock of Cashel|
On our last day we visited Dublin Castle and the Chester Beatty Library, which we highly recommend if you are in Dublin.