After we left the lively town of Dingle, our next stop as we headed south was Cahersiveen. We didn’t even know how to pronounce the name of the town, much less what to do once we got there. Fortunately, the owner of our Bed & Breakfast gave us the low down on everything we needed to know once we got there. Cahersiveen is a super tiny town, but off its coast is Valentia Island and a bit further into the Atlantic is Skellig Michael. Valentia Island has an interesting history (it was the place where the first transatlantic cables operated between Europe and North America), along with its diverse landscape, which make it a great place to explore. We decided to tackle the island one morning before heading on to our last stop of the trip. When we started our drive it was so foggy that we could hardly see 10 feet in front of us, which didn’t bode well for all the amazing views we had been promised. We pressed on anyway. We stopped at all the different points of interest on our map and eventually got to the lighthouse. We parked the car and made the trek down to the peninsula. When we got close we could see there was a sign hanging on the closed gates. Not a good sign. We finally got close enough to read that the lighthouse was closed due to weather. The sky was dark, the fog was still holding up and the wind was howling pretty fiercely. Although I was slightly bummed about not getting to go into the lighthouse, being that close to the wild, angry ocean somehow felt even more exciting. I don’t know what it is, but being outside when the weather is so intense (when you’re somewhat prepared for it) gives me this thrilling rush. It feels like I’m pushing myself up to the edge and looking down a steep cliff. Then just when I feel like I’ve stayed there long enough to feel a small sense of accomplishment (or uncomfortableness), I walk away to a warm, dry car.
When we finished our sightseeing around the island, we took the scenic route to Cork. I’m not kidding when I say this route was the most scenic of all the scenic routes. It was also quite possibly one of the most windy routes I’ve ever taken (and I thought I had grown out of that car sickness thing). Even during the times when I had to lay my head down and close my eyes, I forced myself to peek out the window every now and then because I couldn’t risk missing any of the jaw-dropping views. I made a mental note of some of the places that I wanted to come back and visit someday (Killarney National Park, I'm talking to you). I mean, I knew Ireland had some pretty places, but it was so much more than I expected. There’s so many places to see and things to do that I didn’t want it to end. But I told myself that I wasn't saying goodbye forever, and someday I’d be back for more.
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