We had a choice to make: continue on the road around the Beara peninsula, complete with ocean views but auto traffic, or take the mountain pass in the middle of the peninsula to limit both ocean views and auto traffic. Easy choice for me. Fewer cars means more fun.
The Healy Pass turned out to be a fantastic climb. The grade was mild and there were no hedgerows to block the views. It reminded me of the passes you see during the Tour de France. This pass was admittedly a lot shorter than anything in the Alps, but what it lacked in elevation it made up for it in beauty.
After the pass we started our way on one of Ireland’s main tourist attractions: the Ring of Kerry, a road that follows the coast around the Iveragh Peninsula.
At first we were unimpressed. The road was busy with auto traffic and we didn’t really see the coast until we passed Sneem. Once we hit the coast though it was quite the looker.
That night we stayed at a holiday park tucked in a cove out of the wind. It had a sand beach and a bar. The water was too cold for a swim but the bar was nice for a pint and a chance to be indoors for an hour. When you’re outside all day, there’s a real pleasure in getting out of the elements. No wind. No sun. A little luxury goes a long way.