We spent the day driving around the Ring of Kerry which is a 111 mile long circular tourist route in south-western Ireland. We had a glorious sunny day. The views were beautiful. Sometimes it was all Don could do to keep from begging the bus driver to stop because we were passing by so many pretty pictures.
We stopped at the Kerry Bog Village a reproduction of an 18th century famine village. It was extensively researched prior to being recreated and the dwellings are exact replicas of those used in Ireland in the 1800’s. The village worked on the barter system. The thatcher had the best house (3rd picture) because he was able to work outside the village for actual money. The 2nd picture shows the peat that is still used today to heat houses and create electricity. The village also has Kerry bog ponies (4th picture) which were almost extinct. In 1994, there were only 20 of them in all of Ireland. Conservation efforts have brought them back to the correct levels.
Our next stop was very interesting. It was with a sheep herder. He had 12 kinds of sheep that he showed us, then he gave an excellent demonstration of how the border collies help herd the sheep. These dogs were amazing, working alone or as a team to either a whistle or spoken command. The demonstration went on for about 20 minutes — the poor sheep were probably ready for a break from being herded after that.
After lunch we made stops along the road to take pictures. Leslie, the sucker for animals, paid 1 euro so she could hold a baby lamb and get her picture taken. All the water in the pictures is the Atlantic Ocean. It was so beautiful and reminded us of the Caribbean in several places. The 14th picture could have been taken in Antigua. The road is very narrow and the buses all go counter clockwise while the cars go clockwise. It is good to be in the bus because you are bigger, but it was still scary to see how close we came to the cars on the road when passing each other.