Day 2 of our Irish Vacation was on my actual birthday on October 3rd. We left our hotel in the beautiful city of Killarney and spent the day driving the “Ring of Kerry” which is a scenic road that loops around the peninsula in the county of Kerry. We saw some beautiful scenery, and watched a fascinating dog sheep-herding demonstration. The weather was the worst we experienced in our time in Ireland with some rain. Even though we could not see very far in distance in most places, the rain, clouds, and fog added an unique vibe to our day’s trip.
We left at 10am and arrived back to our hotel at 6pm. The round trip was about 120 miles.
The goat statue? This is the town of Killorglin. Each August, the oldest fair in Ireland is held in honor of the King Goat. A young school girl from one of the local schools goes with a group into the mountains to find a small goat to bring back to the town. It is placed in a large cage and lifted into the air where it is celebrated for 3 days. The legend of the origin of this fair goes back to early 1600s when the English army led by Cromwell was taking over Ireland. As his army advanced to the town, a small goat was scared by the army and ran into the town in the middle of the night waking up the town’s people. Thinking it was strange that a goat was making so much noise in the middle of the night, the people knew it had to have been scared by the British, which gave them time to hide from the army where they survived the night…..whatever….sounds like a good reason to have a pint of Guinness.
Our mid morning stop for Irish Coffee
A little Irish Coffee? Coffee + whiskey + cream
Later in the morning, our tour stopped to watch a local sheep farmer demonstrate how his border collies herd sheep. The shephard also explained the different breeds of sheep that he has that are found throughout Ireland. And, he talked about how he trains his dogs to herd and how much open land he herds.
It was raining during our stop, so we are under a shelter watching. The shepherd stood at the bottom of the hill and gave commands to his two dogs to go up the hill to the sheep and make them come back down.
In Ireland, there are no predators (foxes, wolves, etc). So, the sheep see the dogs as a threat, therefore the dogs are able to make the sheep move with commands and whistles. Amazingly, these commands were not “yelled” but just spoken, and both dogs knew what to do….even having the ability to separate two sheep from a group of about 10.
The dogs never paid attention to the audience of about 20 people looking, as they never stopped watching the sheep
A statue of Charlie Chaplin in Waterville, Ireland, where Chaplin lived for many years before his death
One of our stops during the day looking out into the Atlantic….you can tell, not a great day to be outside.
Even on a cloudy, rainy day, the green of Ireland is always on display.
The fog in the background gives an eery feel with this picture.
I can’t remember where this little town was that we stopped for a break, but I absolutely loved this bridge covered stream.