Sunday, December 11, 2016

The castle gate and the rally Dacia

After three days in Sneem, the IHC/IAF field meet relocated to Moyvalley in the Irish Midlands. Jessa and I, however, opted to stay on in County Kerry for a few more days. We've still got plenty of pictures, mostly from the Ring of Kerry and the Skellig Ring, so I'll try to post some daily (roughly in order) until we run out.

On the road between Sneem and Kenmare, Jessa spotted this structure and insisted we go back for photos. I don't know if this was a legitimately old building, and if so what it was—I can see elements of house, castle, and church—or if it was constructed as a folly, but it now serves as the front gate for an estate that evidently faces Kenmare Bay. Prime real estate to be sure... (If anyone from County Kerry chances to see this and knows its history, please let me know.)

This, incidentally, was our transport whilst in Ireland: a slightly battered Dacia Sandero. This little Romanian car is almost entirely without amenities—the driver's seat didn't even recline, as far as I could figure out—and I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss my Subaru.

But, without going all James May about it, I must say the little Sandero did win my grudging affection. Its small size was welcome on the narrow roads—on blind corners, I advised Jessa and any other passengers to "Think skinny thoughts!"—and its light weight and low gear ratio, while not ideal on the motorways, were well-suited to mountain driving. In the end, we dubbed it "the rally Dacia", and I felt a tiny bit wistful at the end of the week when we finally dropped it off at the Dublin airport.

[More shots of the rally Dacia in the highlands, and more thoughts from May.]

Enormous thanks, by the way, to young Mr. Farrell (no relation so far as we know) who figured out a way to hire us a car without blowing our budget completely out of the water. We owe you one, mate.

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