Kerry, Day Nine

Time to venture out, and to one of my favorite spots. Since the road to Torc Waterfall is especially windy, BW and I switch positions—so I avoid car sickness.

Both Kat and I suffer from it, so she’s behind the wheel, and I’m front seat passenger.

It’s a gorgeous drive. Some rain, some sun as we wind along with Magillicuddy Reeks rising and spreading, the land below vivid green, dotted with sheep—and goats. 

The hills go rockier and rougher for a wonderfully wild view, and at a view—Ladies View—we pull off for a look.

The view. Photo by BW

What a look, there’s miles and miles of green and rises, the spread of steel blue water below clumped with green knuckles of tiny islands. It’s all windswept, managing to be dramatic and pastoral at once.

What catches me is a huge old tree with big, curved branches spreading low, dipping over the ground and the rocks it grows out of. Or the rocks grow out of it, that’s the beauty.

I know immediately this will find its way into the next trilogy I’m mulling. We take pictures as the boy sleeps in the car with Jason and Kat taking turns sitting with him.

And now we wait for the book. Comment by Laura/Photo by j a-b
The sweep of land. Photo by j a-b
Yes, BW is really that tall. Comment by Laura/ Photo by j a-b

Back on the road and we pass another spot that grabbed me years back and became The Valley Of Silence in my Circle Trilogy. That wide, deep dive of land, the spears and tables of rock inside it, the majesty and grumbling desolation of it still grabs.

And on we go. The road narrows, narrows until it’s as skinny and sinuous as a snake. In and out of tunnels carved into the rocky cliffs—and the drop on my side is pretty forbidding.

I’m amazed how Kat manages it, skimming the low rock walls on the right, slipping by with a breath between the cars, coaches, lorries coming on the left.

We agree it’s like Mario Cart.

There’s heather and gorse pushing out of rocky hillsides, and tall, tall, thin pines thickening into forests.

When we get to Torc inside Killarney State Park, the lot’s packed.

The stalwart Kat weaves through, circles around, creeps and maneuvers, and we find a spot where someone handily just left.

Time for rain gear as it’s drizzling a bit.

Inside the magic of the forest where the faeries live, the light’s a quiet, luminous green. Those tall, wind-sculpted trees are coated with moss, and the whiskey-colored river runs fast.

Flow. Photo by BW

Here, Griffin decides Nana should carry him, so I haul the boy while he laughs, babbles, points. We discuss the faeries on the way through and to the falls until my arm gives out, and I do a pass off.

See Nana? See? Photo by Kat

The waterfall rushes down the rock cliff, full of sound and hurry as it spills white into the river. Little falls leap along and create small pools where I’m sure the faeries swim.

The boy is thrilled, can’t say enough about the water, the sound, the river. He must share his thoughts with Nana whose arm’s recovered enough to hold him again. 

Note: I do no upper body lifting other than Griffin these couple weeks!

It’s a beautiful spot, well worth the snaking drive.

Bending to the river. Photo by j a-b

Back through the forest where a tree reclines over the river. Griffin walks, delighted to do so, holding Mama’s hands.

We go through a tunnel, watch a few jaunty carts with their pretty horses, say hello to a big friendly dog.

Happy, happy travelers. Photo by Kat

Into the car to drive back to Kenmare for a late lunch. We’re behind a little white car packed with people for a bit—a car that started out driving on the wrong side, made its shaky way back to the left. We’re concerned about them as the driver’s obviously new at this, and likely terrified.

When we turn off, I hope they get where they’re going without incident.

There’s a street fair in Kenmare—and apparently it’s also Donut Truck Day. We wander by the white canopied stalls. I buy two very nice wooden spoons. I can’t resist a good wooden spoon.

Lunch time where the boy goes starry-eyed over our waitress. She’s sweet with him as he flirts—and he offers her his prize squid or octopus—we’re not altogether sure. When he offers her the second squid, I tell her I think they’re engaged now.

He eats heartily, as do we all, and pauses once when he spots his current love way down the other side of the restaurant.

He wants to walk off the meal, so I’m happy to walk him around the place, outside, back, and to a table of teenage girls having a lively time of it. They give a communal AWWW! 

He talks and flirts and charms, but his heart is taken by our waitress.

After lunch we walk the short distance to a stone dance. It’s every kind of wonderful, with two faerie trees for hanging wishes.

The stone dance and faerie trees. Photo by j a-b

The place makes my skin hum—and Griffin is an instant fan.

The stones are humming, Mom. Photo by Kat

Home again. A nap for the boy. I catch up on emails, do a little work.

I think to take a walk as the evening’s pretty gorgeous. A light drizzle, but that’s no problem, not when the air’s so fresh, the flowers so pretty.

I don’t get a quarter mile before the drizzle turns to actual rain.

So back I go.

Now that I have your attention Grandda, let me show you what to do. Photo by Kat

More play time with a happy boy who’s so easily amused and entertained. Mama feeds him, Nana walks him.

I show his parents how you can hold one of his hands, reach your other out in front of him. He’ll take several steps forward.


Another pretty morning. BW joins me for the last thirty minutes of cardio, and a ten minute core session. Good for him!

Some packing up to do today, maybe some laundry. And maybe I’ll get that walk in before we head to Mayo tomorrow.


In today’s #randomkatness: Be Ware

Bonus Griffin photo:

I’m still a cowboy, Dad! Photo by Kat

30 thoughts on “Kerry, Day Nine”

  1. Trees and water are two of my favourite things to see and in the art work on my walls. What beautiful scenery your photographers have captured. I can’t wait for those trees to make an appearance in one of your trilogies.

    Griffin continues to enchant. What a happy baby!

  2. Your descriptions of the area is like magic, we can almost see the wee Faeries dancing along making that beautiful boy laugh and smile. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    1. Was womdering if you would get into Killarney Park… love that corner of Ireland… but now you are heading to Mayo… home of my O’Malley ancestors and Grania/ Grace the Pirate Queen….my fondest memory is climbing to her solar in one of her keeps…

  3. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos! Can’t wait to see what the beautiful views inspired in you !

  4. The falls remind me of Cunningham Falls, and the other falls that I can’t remember the name of in Catoctin State Park. Love all of these pictures and your narrative, probably as close as I’ll ever come to actually being in Ireland.

  5. I love following your trip. Sounds and looks like so much fun. Love the pictures and especially those of Griffin. When we drove through the Florida Everglades, we saw many old trees growing in strange ways just as the picture of the one you posted. Have to admit though that I never thought of fairies because we were to busy watching for snakes and alligators.

  6. Loving your daily adventures. I can just imagine what an awesome trilogy this visit to Ireland could produce…your daily news and pictures take me there with you all. Griffin is totally darling in his expressions and laughter…

    Looking forward to your time in Mayo..

  7. Love the pictures of the beautiful scenery. Stone dance, fairie tree Love it! The picture of BW & Griffin priceless. Hee Haw Griffin – on to tomorrow’s adventure. Enjoy!

  8. my kids and I went to Ireland in 2015 and did a personal Nora Roberts tour, stopping at many of the places mentioned in her books. 🙂 Tea at Ashford Castle, Ardmore, etc. We also went to Killarney State Park and the Torc waterfall. Breathtakingly beautiful country. Love revisiting it through the travelogue.

  9. It’s wonderful to read. Makes us all feel like we’re there. Interesting facts about places you’ve used in your books and that adorable Cowboy! Safe travels.

    1. Killarney National Park is one of my favorite places in Ireland! I climbed to the top of Torc Falls and a guy had stripped naked to swim in the pool up there. Brrrr! Thanks for sharing your travels!

  10. Now I know why the circle trilogy got me so much. My dad’s homeplace is 30mins drive away.

  11. Loving your adventures and so glad you chose to go back to Ireland. I am reading again my favorite Circle trilogy and was hoping that your trip would inspire another story in Ireland. Seems maybe it has. Yay!
    Griffin is a beautiful boy and so fun to see some of his antics. My grands aren’t little anymore, so just a wee bit jealous.
    Thanks so much for sharing these days with us.

  12. Love that Griffin! Such a happy child. Your pics are gorgeous and you’re getting a lot of good background for a good book. Can’t wait!

  13. Your pictures are everything I dream Ireland is!
    Absolutely spectacular! I can also picture Eve, asking “Why?” “Are there really fairies?” “No cows, right?”

    Griffin is certainly a good traveling baby. He enjoys his food, his surroundings, and charms everyone he meets, especially the ladies!

    BW is certainly tall! I see why you get him shoes where you know they have stylish ones, in his size.

    Keep posting, we all are enjoying. I too suffer from car sickness. If I’m driving, I’m okay because I’m concentrating on the road. Would be afraid of driving on the left, though.

  14. Awesome pictures!! Who could resist Griffin? You just want to pinch those cheeks!! And that smile…wow watch out girls!!!

    1. Could be: Watch out for people who steal a car battery, damage your window and run away!

      But maybe just: don’t leave valuables in the car.


  15. Loved, loved, loved the tree growing out of the rocks or the rocks growing out of the tree! As always, the photos are gorgeous! Griffin, the happy boy, charms everyone, as usual. Happy boy with his Dad! Happy travelers! Happy fans sharing your lovely vacation! Thank you! I look forward to the next book set in Ireland.

  16. Have so truly enjoyed your trip notes! Feel like I was able to go along for the ride! Isn’t is nice that Griffin is such a good traveler! Know you’re having the time of your lives; thanks for this!!

  17. Griffin is such a sweet, happy baby. You are blessed to be able to take such a wonderful trip with your family. Thanks for all of the beautiful pictures. I’m sure we will meet this location again in a book.

  18. I loved all your photos, but my favorite is the stunning waterfall one, called flow. i look forward to your daily update. Thanks

    1. A new trilogy is coming!! This makes me so happy to hear! All of Nora’s stuff is great, but my favorite will always be her trilogies- especially the Irish ones! I hope to read more about your inspiration and will be looking for it in books to come!

  19. Griffin’s such a sober boy – LOL. It’s a joy to see him and seeing the love. Awesome pictures! Safe trip to Mayo.

  20. So beautiful!! Griffin literally makes me crack up every time XD Massive level of cuteness.

    Just curious: Does Nora ever inspired to write/start a trilogy based off of a place or does the idea/character come first and then the place?

    Stories being inspired by places is a very intriguing concept.

  21. I’ve been to the same stone circle in Kenmare. I had to go around the circle to touch each stone as they all had different levels of electric buzz and a couple even hummed. It was magical. I would like to return there one day.

  22. I didn’t realise that The Circle Trilogy was written around Kerry- or The Kingdom as it is also known as??. My father came from just outside Killarney & my brother & I go back every year to visit relatives. I will be looking at Ladies View a lot closer from now on & Torc Falls also??. ????????For the news of a new trilogy set in Ireland hopefully. With lots of Magick – yes? ❤️❤️❤️

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