As I’m writing this a thick mist has settled outside for the day and it seems fair to say that the summer has come to an end. It was hard to know what to expect from this summer, it definitely wasn’t going to be normal, but with Ireland emerging out of lockdown and our government encouraging people to staycation in the country, life was brought back to my tourist town. For the first summer in years I didn’t have a job and I was living at home, and I promised myself that I wouldn’t let this opportunity go to waste and I would enjoy what my area had to offer.
I managed to fit in a lot of activities at my doorstep that I’ve never managed to do before and maybe it might give you some ideas if you plan to staycation in Kerry this September!
Climbing Ireland’s second highest peak: my dad has been pushing me for years to climb Mount Brandon with him and this summer we finally got around to it. I was prepared for it to be hard, especially since I don’t do an awful lot of hiking. The hike is part of a Christian pilgrimage trail and fourteen crosses are marked along up the hill representing the station of the crosses. These were great to use as pit stops along the way to catch our breath (though I also took a good few stops in between each cross!). There is also white stakes in the ground with lights that guide you up the right path up the mountain, which is particularly helpful since Mount Brandon is known for it’s mist. We went on a beautiful day but the top of the mountain was still shrouded in fog, so don’t be holding out for an amazing view at the top but enjoy the view on the way up!
Kayaking at sunset: This evening activity was booked with Irish Adventures. We were brought out the harbor and made a an hour and half journey back and forth to the caves that loop in and out beneath the cliffs at the mouth of the bay.
It was incredible to see the scenery I’ve seen my whole life from a different vantage point. We booked the sunset experience and thankfully the weather was clear enough that we got what we signed up for.
Scenic cycles: I wanted to do more cycling this summer and . I made a trip out to the Killarney National Park with some college friends and we rented some bikes and cycled one of the routes. Turned out we had taken the hardest biking trail in the park, it took us two hours and there was a lot of hills, but the views of the lakes and the mountains made it all worthwhile. Another rare sunny day this summer my brother and I biked to Ventry, which is a small village by the sea. You can take the main road back there, but there’s a back road that brings you the same way and much quieter. We took this to get to our destination of the local pub where we stopped for lunch and a pint.