June 4 -- Ring of Kerry

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Sunday, June 4. We left Ballymacoda and and drove into Cork, where we visited the Cork City Gaol, complete with audio tour, somewhat creepy replicas and recreations of life in the gaol in the late 1800s, and graffiti from the political prisoners held here during the Easter Uprising.

Holly had just discovered her potential Irish heritage on this trip and was excited to see the name "Barrett" (her dad's last name at birth) among the graffiti. Perhaps there's a genetic explanation for her interest in politics and protest?

After an overpriced-and-unsatisfying lunch at Luigi Malone's (apparently the Carlos O'Kelly's of Ireland), we headed out through County Kerry to the Ring of Kerry. The landscape along here is really amazing; it changes from farmland to rolling hills to stunning cliffs overlooking the ocean. Eventually we headed out the Skellig Ring to our destination for that night: Beach Cove B&B, situated on the Ring between the tiny towns of Ballinskelligs and Portmagee.

When we got to Beach Cove, we were delighted to see that our cat drought was at an end! They had a mother cat (dubbed "Meow Meow" by Holly) who'd just had three kittens (who Holly named "Freckles aka Fierce", "Li'l Smokey", and "Old Blue Eyes"), as well as a white female (dubbed "Dirtball") who was extremely sweet but more than a little mangy-looking. Dirtball was kind enough to accompany us on a walk down to the beach, since she happened to be going that way anyway.

We had dinner in Portmagee, where we checked out the boats we'd be taking out to Skellig Michael the next day.