Rained all morning, wind blustering, by the time we got up to the causeway the bridge had been closed. Our driver Wayne improvised, and since we had extra time, we stopped at the Old Bushmill's Whiskey Distillery, for a few minutes in the gift shop. Of course, as we were heading towards Belfast, the skies cleared and the sun shone. Once in Belfast, he arranged an impromptu meeting, for those of us who wished to pay 10 pounds apiece, with a taxi driver who was a Belfast native, and who gave us his insights into the conflicts and history of Belfast, a VERY enjoyable and learning experience. Much of our time the driver Wayne was giving us histories about Ireland, and I hope the other people from various countries were able to understand and not miss out on his expertise. Overall, would do it again and hope the weather would be more agreeable, but this is Ireland, and winter, so it is what it is. Wayne's improvising made up somewhat for not being able to do the bridge, but it is totally understandable that in high winds safety is first and foremost, and it simply wasn't safe.
The tour guides took us all in hand from the moment we met them at the train station for the beginning of our journey, to the end when we returned to the train station 3 days later. We happened to have relatively great weather for January, wonderful others sharing the experience, and we stayed at a wonderful Hotel in Galway, the International Hotel. Getting up the stairs to get to the Blarney Stone was a bit of a challenge for these old knees, but it got done and was well worth it. The grounds around the Blarney Castle are exquisite. Don't miss the wonderful stores there too! As far as the Ring of Kerry, the walk to the waterfall/rain forest area was not long, but I plan to go back to spend more time hiking to see the volcano rim that you can reach with a longer hike. We simply didn't have enough time to do that. Highly recommend this trip, as a visitor you don't have to worry about a thing.
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