After Fungie, it was only about 3pm. Too early for dinner, so we decided we would eat dinner back at the hostel and take a drive up Conor Pass, the highest mountain pass in Ireland. You take an innocuous road in Dingle called Spa Road and follow a small sign that points toward Conor Pass. I started to feel scared when we had started to leave Dingle and had to wait for a camper truck to pass. I felt nervous, an impending doom, as we queued at the side of a road that only narrowed as it got higher. The camper truck slowly moved by and I wondered why in God’s name was I always the first vehicle in the queue as this always meant that I would create a bottleneck of cars as I moved slowly along. We went up the road, weaving along the mountain until we reached the top. J kept exclaiming over the views, but I was pretty much white-knuckling it trying not to drive off the road! Had I only known that it would only get worse on the other side!
At the top, there was a little car park to pull off and take pictures. We took some time to take some photos and enjoy the magnificent views. It was cold and windy up at the top in stark difference to the warmth and heat down at sea level by the bay.
The kids, bundled up in their jackets, were buffeted by the gusts of wind as we looked down at the water on both sides of the peninsula. They were ready to move on and we piled into the car. On the way down the north side of the pass, there were a lot of signs saying “ACHTUNG!” and signs for vehicles to drive on the left side! It must be a problem if there were that many signs!
The way down was very steep with a sheer drop off on the left of us and we had to stop to allow cars moving up the road to pass. As we would try to move over into a bit of the shoulder (there really was no shoulder, just 12″ of extra dirt, as close as we could to the short rock wall that was the only thing between us and certain death below. The passing car was squeeze by, passing close to the wall of the mountain. It was so nerve racking! My stinky J was busy snapping photos and enjoying the view! I just couldn’t wait to get back down to the bottom.
When we finally reached the bottom, we headed over to Tralee to check out the town. But I don’t think we ever got out of the car. We drove along, weaving back and forth on the roads, but Tralee seemed more like a working town versus a tourist destination. So, it was back to the hostel for a top ramen dinner!