Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Ireland: the Skellig Ring, Ballenskelligs

Somewhere near Ballenskelligs, while looking for the turn for the Skellig Ring road, I caught out the corner of my eye a sign saying 'abbey'. I turned my head just in time to see part of a stone ruin flying by. Of course I was yelling, "Stop, an abbey!"

We pulled off, walked and found that the ruins was that of a fortified house, sitting just beyond a sandy beach. It was low tide, so the ruins were easily accessible. Tyler was off in a flash to investigate, closely followed by his Mom. I stayed well back to make a drawing.

Down the beach, in the distance to the right, was the abbey ruins. Tyler returned to say he and Gina were going to walk to the abbey. I decided to join them. Martin said he would drive the car to the abbey parking.

We walked across a field of tall grass and wild plants. Martin told me a long time ago to follow the sheep trails as the sheep always know the easiest way. I took his advice and the going was easy until we came to a riverlet that was emptying into the bay. It was low tide, but there was nothing to do but walk through the water, deeper than we wanted at some places. Our boots got soaked, and we squished the excess water out walking the remainder of the way to the abbey. We climbed over the rock wall into the burial ground. Old graves, uneven ground, and many small stones with no writing, some newer Celtic crosses from the turn of the last century were there as well.

It was a fun day of exploring, especially since the famous views, which make the Ring of Kerry so famous, were buried in fog.

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