Our longest outing from Eyeries was the drive up to Kenmare and then down the Ring of Kerry as far as Derrynane.
For me, the planned highlight of the trip would be seeing the Skelligs (above). The larger of the two rocky islands (Na Scealaga) Skellig Michael – known to many for scenes in two Star Wars films – is a UNESCO World heritage site. It is home to a 6th century Christian monastery 160 metres above sea level on the lower of the islands two peaks. The larger peak rises to 218 metres. The island’s other inhabitants include puffins and many other bird species. Little Skellig, 134 metres high and 1.5 kilometres ENE of Skellig Michael, is Ireland’s largest gannet colony.
The largest town that we passed through on our way from Kenmare on the Ring of Kerry was Sneem, photographed above from the banks of the river that flows beneath the bridge on the N70 main road to the Southwest.
My wife and daughter (Dawn O’Shea (as she was then), pose in front of the brightly coloured pub in Sneem that looks as if it were named after her.
This village green could as easily have been photographed in England as in Sneem.
Given my own surname of Murphy, my co-passengers insisted that I included the photograph above.
I took this photograph on Derrynane beach just before a lifeguard challenged me, wanting to know what I was photographing with my big lens (it was a Pentax 70-200 f/2.8 lens). I explain explained that I was photographing my wife and daughter but also trying to photograph the Skelligs. I pointed to two islands out to sea. I showed him my images on my preview screen. He seemed satisfied but informed me that those were not the Skelligs. He pointed to, what I now know is, Abbeynane Island that I could reach by a 15-minute walk. He said that from the high point of the island, connected by a tidal causeway to the beach, I’d be able to see the Skelligs and photograph them. So, I walked and took the featured shot for this page and the image below of the ruins of Abbeynane Abbey.