Peter and I left Cork in our Nissan Micra for Killarney National Park and the Ring of Kerry on the left-hand side of the road, just as the signs stated.
This was our first full day trip in our problematic rental car. It had an alignment issue, power steering that was failing, and it was powered by squirrels. Every corner took a great deal of strength to turn the wheel. In hindsight, we should have exchanged the car for one that worked properly.
Our first stop was to Torc Waterfall located in Killarney National Park. The park is the first established national park in Ireland. It was created when the Muckross Estate was donated to the Irish state in 1932.
If you enjoy hiking, Killarney National Park is the place for you!
It is out of character for us to pose for photos, much less pose as mermaids on rocks in photos but for some reason we found this funny. There was a viewing platform slightly above the rock we were posing on and frustrated tourists were standing on the platform watching and [patiently] waiting for us to finish our model shoot.
Below is a short video clip of Torc Waterfall. The rushing water is very loud. When posing on the rock, we could not hear each other even though we were only a few feet apart and we were screaming.
After our photo shoot, we ascended a long set of stairs alongside the waterfall and found ourselves at another viewing platform with an excellent view of Muckross Lake.
Ring of Kerry
Feeling as though we had conquered Torc Waterfall, we hopped back into the car and set out to drive the Ring of Kerry – all 100 miles of it.
We had been driving for about 30 minutes on tight roads and we’d yet to see a spectacular view so we decided to cut our Ring of Kerry drive short and turn around. In total, we drove about 30 miles of the Ring of Kerry.
We ate a pub lunch in the town of Kilmare and then drove to Staigue Fort. The fort dates back to the late Iron Age (300 and 400 AD) and was thought to be a defensive stronghold for a local lord or king.
We stayed only for a couple minutes. There isn’t much to the site and the weather had turned very cold and windy on us and daylight was fading fast.
From Staigue Fort, we drove back to Killarney National Park and stopped at Moll’s Gap for a quick photo and then continued onwards to our hotel in Cork.
To see all that County Kerry has to offer in a single day is not feasible. I regret not spending two full days exploring this area of the country and driving the full Ring of Kerry, stopping at seaside villages along the way.
If I had a redo of our day trip, I’d split Killarney National Park and the Ring of Kerry into individual day trips.