Wednesday, June 6, 2018

stranger things...

Monday morning, after the bank holiday revelry, I figure we’d better get another room. Not sure about Janet, but MA can’t deal with it! We get a new room across the hall, identical but not connected to the courtyard/beer garden, get settled in and it’s like a whole new world! Lovely and quiet, you can hear a bit of traffic and the birds chirping, nice! The beer garden goes steady all day, varying acts from Irish dancing and Irish singers, everyone looks to be having a fun time and we’ve found a back way out to avoid the crowd!
We go on a local hike through part of the Killarney National Park, quite close to our hotel, our guide giving us little snippets of history and folk lore. We see herds of red deer, Kerry dairy cattle (for which the area is famous - totally

black cows with very rich milk that is used to produce Irish butter and other dairy products), people on horseback and in horse drawn wagons and lovely scenic views. We get a good overview of the area and an idea of what we can expect over the next few days. It’s beautiful and sunny, not too hot with a nice breeze now and then.
Returning to town, we stop for lunch at a cafe set up in an old house, very nice! I ordered poached egg on kale with avocado for lunch, feeling very virtuous about the kale - greens and veggies seem really hard to come by (€10, about $14).
A little wander around the local shopping fills the afternoon - lots of ‘Irish’ tourist shops with jewellery, Aran sweaters and of course, the shamrock-y and leprechaun stuff.
Quinllan’s seafood for supper - an actual salad (close anyway) with Atlantic wild caught prawns (we’d called them shrimp) - a very busy, family place with no liquor - very unusual! Again, people are so friendly, they greet you from the next table and ask how you’re doing and continue a conversation if you are willing! Funny thing I’ve noticed, the locals order deep fried battered fish and then peel the batter/skin off and eat only the inside white part of the fish...
Food prices in the restaurants seem to vary quite a bit, the average for lunch about €12-15 with dinners ranging from €15-30. A pint of Guinness is  about €4.95. Tipping is supposed to be based on quality of service with 12% being acceptable. The good thing about prices is that what you see is what you are charged as the VAT/value added tax is already included in the price. If you go to purchase a retail item, they will deduct the tax off the price and you have to fill out a form (which the merchant may happily give you or not) and you turn it in at the airport when you’re leaving the country. The VAT is 23% so it makes quite a difference as something marked €45 is really €36. 

That rounds out our day and we’ve logged about 15km.

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