I absolutely loved where we stayed on the Beara Peninsula! It kind of had the feel of campgrounds we've stayed at in the mountains at home, with the big hill being the background.
And at the top of the hill were sheep the first night we were there. Yes, my fascination with sheep didn't wane as the trip continued!
|This is a zoomed-in picture of the same hill, on the same day, as the first picture|
But enough about that! Just as we've done the whole trip, we didn't travel to the Beara Peninsula with any plans except that we knew we'd have to drive to Castletownbere. There are a couple of ferries that will take you over to Bere Island and we talked about taking one over, but to drive the van over was €50. With the other ferry we would have parked the van before boarding and walked anywhere we wanted to go. There was one thing that CH was interested in but it was closed. So, we decided not to travel to the island and to just stay in town.
|Castletownbere is the largest fishing port in Ireland|
The first stop was a church sitting on a hill. Built in 1912, I would consider it a "newer" church, especially by European standards. It was pretty impressive with steps going up to it and a bell on the side of it.
|Church of the Sacred Heart, Castletownbere, County Cork|
We strolled into MacCarthy's Bar for lunch. There were a couple of other people in the bar: a man from Chicago whose wife was from Castletownbere, and a young woman from Wales. She was traveling around Ireland by herself. She was just lovely to talk with!
|MacCarthy's Bar, Castletownbere, County Cork|
|MacCarthey's: Traditional Pub that's been in the family for 4 generations|
We drove to Dunboy Castle first, only we didn't realize we were there. After doing some research, this is definitely it. From what I gather, people call Puxley House "Dunboy Castle".
|The ruins of Dunboy Castle overlook the Bear Island Sound|
|The castle was built in the 15th century|
|In 1602 Dunboy was part of the Seige of Dunboy|
|The English Army reduced the castle to ruins during the Seige|
It was a nice little find. The parking lot is small and isn't paved. We ran into a couple of people on the trail to the ruins but other than that, we were out there alone. After that, we were on our way to Kilcatherine. At one point I asked CH to stop so I could jump out and get some pictures. These are views I don't ever want to forget:
Between Dunboy Castle and Castletownbere, we saw a British couple who were also staying at the campground. They rented a camper as well but from a different place. We saw them walking along the road and as we passed by & waved, I wondered what they were doing because I didn't see anything of interest. I found out when we got back to the campground that they had swapped mirrors with a car. They stopped, the car didn't. The lady said that when they stopped to pick up what they could from their side mirror, she noticed a lot of glass but it wasn't from their mirror. The bottom of theirs had broken free and they were able to put it back on.
We misunderstood where Adrienne told us to go. She told us "Kilcatherine Point" so that's what we put in Google Maps. We passed the church and kept driving until we couldn't drive any further.
We turned around and headed back to the church; the views were stunning. I expected someone to come out and ask what we were doing that far out, but my guess is that they're used to that happening.
|I tried to crop it to get a better look...it's hard to tell!|
|Could this be Ireland's oldest cross?|
|View from inside the church looking out|
|The water really is that color!|
Adrienne (from MacCarthey's Bar) told us that during the excavation in 1990 tunnels were discovered. It is thought that the Vikings made them so that their wives and children could escape to the sea. The sign that is onsite said that it is believed that nuns occupied the church and the tunnels were built for them.
Another thing Adrienne told us was that man who spent his time between Kilcatherine and NYC passed away when he was in Ireland. He was buried so that his body faced NY, while all of the others are facing the other way. She challenged us to find him. When we were there we didn't find it but, as luck would have it, I captured it in a picture! That same picture also has (I believe) the oldest cross that I showed above.
Our day completed, we headed back to our campground for the night. The next day we were headed for our last planned campground (after a little detour).