Have you seen the Ring of Kerry? What’s it like?

Ring of Kerry, Co. Kerry

Ring of Kerry, Co. Kerry, Republic of Ireland

I left Cork late this morning with the intention of visiting the Ring of Kerry, located about 40 miles to the west. Like most people, I knew the name but had no idea what it was I was actually seeing. I was expecting an ancient ruin of some sort.

I guess I should have done my homework.

I arrived in Kilarny with little to know rain encountered. Kilarney is a cute, “touristy” town. I followed the signs through it, down N72 to N70, all of which pointed with arrows to the Ring.

I drove for what seemed to be hours, following the N70 around the Iveragh Peninsula. The signs kept going but the location itself was nowhere in sight.

Then I realized that the Ring of Kerry is not a location, but a road around the peninsula. 110 miles of it. And this is supposed to be 110 miles of the most spectacular landscapes in all of Ireland. To the left (when driving in a counter-clockwise direction), rocky crags and gorgeous hills. To the right, a phenomenal coast line of Dingle Bay and the Kenmare river.

This, however, is what I saw for the 4 hour drive of the ring:

That’s right. Fog and rain. For hours. The thing that cracks me up is that I mentioned to a number of people that I was hoping to see the ring sometime during the next couple of days. I heard responses such as, “Oh, the ring is awesome!” and “You’ll love it!” But throughout the conversations, I failed to understand that it wasn’t an archaeological site. It’s just a damned road. A windy, slow travelling, foggy and friggin’ wet one.

Note for future tourists: reserve the Ring for good weather. Pack a lunch. Make sure you have plenty of petrol. Bring some music, too, because Irish radio sucks.