County Kerry By The Numbers

A quick recap of the week we spent in Co. Kerry, expressed in numbers

0 – number of marine fish that showed any interest in me fly-casting freshwater trout flies to them from some slippery rocks in the heavy wind, in on again/off again rain.


still better than a good day at work though

1 – number of judgmental seals that stopped by to criticize my fly-casting technique.


an unimpressed dog mermaid 

2 – total number of coral beaches in Ireland. Our cottage was within walking distance of one of them — the one located near Gleesk Pier. Here it is, in all its glory:


scene of a spectacular beach wipeout

The beach will be remembered more for what happened there than for its un-immense un-sweeping goldenness. We had walked in the direction of  “one of Ireland’s two coral beaches” and knew that it was somewhere very nearby. But as we stood in an oceanside field, we weren’t sure exactly which hill to walk over or which corner it might be around. It was a soft, rainy day, and the only other person anywhere in sight, a kindly old man in desperate need of an orthodontist, saw our puzzlement and came over to help us, bless him. He led us over exactly the right hill and showed us the beach, explaining what exactly is meant by the term “coral beach” and chatting to us about the area. The trouble is, before we would get to the coral beach, I, in one of my finer moments, would put my left foot onto an indescribably slippery rock and shift all my weight, of course, onto it. As the left foot surely began to give way, I thought, no trouble, I’ll just anchor the right foot down on this piece of gra–. I couldn’t finish the thought before my left leg had swiped my right leg completely off its purchase and all that was left for me to do as gravity took over was to clutch at invisible safety ropes and, when that failed, to look over to Meg, defeated, and knowing I was going down. Going down hard. Down I went. Looking about as graceful as a camel on roller skates. Meg was in danger of stopping breathing she had begun laughing so hard. I was on the ground, the lower half of me in the fetal position and the top half splayed out like half a starfish, if that’s even possible. The old man, well, the old man just planted his walking stick firmly into the ground, leaned on it, looked up to the sky then down at me, and said, “It’s slippery there, laddie. Yer’ll want to watch yer footing.” Thanks.

1.5 – pints of Guinness comprising a typical Currie order. By the end of our week in Kerry, however, Meg had decided it was time for her to graduate to full pints, and so with a spring in her step and a lilt in her voice she finally went up to the bar and said, “May I have two whole pints of Guinness please?” And then after a pause, “Oh wait.. Full. I should have said full, huh?”. I gave the bar lady the old “it’s OK, she’s with me” look. We all smiled. Everything was fine.


don’t look so afraid Meg, it’s not a whole one

213 – and counting, number of photographs of sheep Meg has taken on this trip. After Ireland, this number should start to taper off. Fingers crossed.

IMG_7677 - Version 2

not baaaad

999 – emergency services phone number we would have had to call if something went wrong at our isolated cottage, and we would have had to give the following as the address. This is from the instruction booklet for the cottage:


name redacted to preserve weirdness

5000 – give or take 1000, number of years ago these rocks were moved and tilted into place to align with the sun to create a primitive calendar that I still don’t understand.


to align with the sun? in Ireland? — what were they thinking?

Umpteen – more pictures of our time in Co. Kerry you have to wade through before reaching the end of this article.


the remote cottage, somewhere nearish to Gleesk Pier

IMG_7495our nearest village, Sneem, silver medal winner in 2008’s Tidy Towns contestIMG_7718 IMG_7642 IMG_7631 IMG_7593 IMG_7585 IMG_1534 IMG_7528 IMG_7526 IMG_0010

Categories: Europe, Ireland

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2 replies

  1. i really enjoy this blog, you are going to all the places my wife and i want to journey to

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