Last week, when staying at respite, the weather was wishy-washy and although we had been thinking about going to Killarney National Park (where the Sea Eagle's have been re-introduced since 2007, and I would've loved going here) we decided that 3 hours in the car would be too much for me, in the end, we picked Kenmare. Elena showed me a leaflet of the Druid of Kenmare; a place to stop near Kenmare town, with farm animals, a viewpoint with a large druid sculpture out of wood. Respite only has domestic television, and so I had watched Sky News' forecast eagerly on Sunday before I'd leave the next day. Tuesday was supposed to be OK at first with rain coming down from the north later in the day. Radio Telefis Eireann's forecast was for showers that Tuesday.
Mist and drizzle was about and I kept telling the others that we'd be alright. After all, it was just a low hanging cloud, wasn't it?
When we were driving through the mountains, I spotted a Bird of Prey suddenly, hoovering above the valley. My view from the car is very limited. My wheels are quite high; the seat a lot higher than the car seats. This means that I cannot see everything out there, and that I spot things quite late because I have to keep my neck/head bent forwards in order to look out of a window/windscreen, and see more than the roof of the car.
Therefore, I saw the bird only when I was looking over my shoulder by pure chance, and when a sudden pang of pain got into my neck. It was quite light brown, and colourwise it looked more like a Red Kite. I'll have to get in touch with the Irish raptor group, if Red Kites have been spotted this far south.
We stopped at the Druid of Kenmare, where the large wooden Druid sculpture (sorry, no picture) keeps watch out over these lovely mountains,
At the shop, the owner said that people with wheelchairs had gone uphill before, to follow the walk to where the animals are housed. The path up was gravel, and anyone using or working with people in wheels, will know that you should avoid gravel! Then why did I go up? Stupidity? Stubbornness? Or a combination of both? The animals? The path had a nasty looking curve to the right, and although going up in speed, worked my wheels uphill, the underllying roots which stared at me briefly, and I got a chill. Getting down again would be a very hard and tedious job. We saw a lazy white donkey, 2 Ducks; only one was willing to pose after a summer of pleasing tourists.
And then we had a shock; this poor Pig, locked in a tiny space, and looking very fed up with life. The Donkey and the Ducks had a small field for themselves; yet this poor Pig was enclosed within a tiny space. And what for?
What I do not understand; this place is a tourist shop and how can you show this animal publicly, when it's not properly cared for? Poor thing.
One of the two Ducks
More company at the French chocolatier,
Where Sarah cried out:
"Yoke, you are not taking pictures of this horse's nostril hairs!"
(actually, this Horse kept eating my joystick! after it had removed my towel from my leg. The Horse also kept moving forwards, and the poor Donkey had no chance to come to the fence.
After a very big lunch, which included a delicious baked haddock on my plate, we headed back. Sean suggested taking the Healy Pass, and Sarah, who has a thing for waterfalls, kept pointing them out and pausing at them for pictures. So here's just one of them.
The mist/rain had stopped a couple of times, but the mountains were still predominantly hidden at the top. Plus wet windows, taking pictures wasn't that easy.
Waterfeature for Sarah