A loud, possibly sad, cow woke us up before our alarm. We got ready and had breakfast – fuel for the boat trip! Drove to the marina in Portmagee to find our “ship,” the Anchorsiveen. 12km = 1 hour ride out to the Skellig Islands. Paused at the smaller island; the puffins had already left for the season so it was covered in stinky gulls instead. Corrie did NOT make it to the islands without getting seasick. Yup. She donated all of her breakfast and unhelpful ginger pills to the Atlantic.
Finally made it to Greater Skelling/Skellig Michael. The landing was rough, and Corrie barfed on some small pink jellyfish, but was super happy to reach solid ground! Sat for a bit to catch her breath, then we both started the 600-step climb. Had to stop at the first turn because Corrie had a meltdown and cried (boats are not her thing and neither are heights we’ve extremes of both) but then felt better and kept going all the way to the top! Spent awhile checking out the monks’ “beehives” and graves and paths, etc. Took a polaroid (yeah, a polaroid) with a friendly girl from San Francisco, Helen. I took a LOT of pictures while Corrie rested, then started the climb down. Made it to the bottom safely (yes, obviously, because we lived to tell about it, but this is just for the record). Corrie chatted with their equivalent of the park ranger and found out they work for 2 weeks on, 1 week off, weather permitting, from May 1 to October 2. This particular guide had been doing this for 10 years, and the guide at the top had been doing this for 30 years! Had a less “eventful” ride back to the marina, but still rough. Ugh.
Drove back out of the Ring of Kerry, and made it to Blarney Castle and JUST had time to climb the stairs to the top and kiss the stone! Quickly checked out the gardens, but everything closed at 18:00, so we trudged back to the car and drove to Cork and met our host, John, at Kent House B&B. Got dressed up and headed back out the door for a fancy dinner at Fishy Fishy (bucket list item – check!). It was busy even though it was Tuesday, but we made the most of our 45-minute wait by trying some local beer (Kinsale Pale Ale) and gin (Kinsale Black) at the bar. Great dinner, long day!