After the wettest night of the Irish adventure so far the time had come to say goodbye to Nagles campsite an head on over to Wavecrest Campsite in Caherdaniel. Don’t get me wrong, Nagles campsite is very good but I was ready to leave, and would have happily done so the prior day. We had done everything we wanted to in Doolin other than fish – but this is only because I couldn’t find a suitable spot close enough to the water’s edge, despite spending several hours searching. Had I not pre-booked and paid for the stay at Nagle’s campsite a few months ago I would have left the previous day, but hey ho. Four nights was simply too much.
Packing up in the wind and rain is never fun, however it did ease up just as I drove over the motor home service point to empty the tanks. The cloud didn’t lift though and the visibility across the pier was terrible. In fact, it was so bad the ferries were sounding their fog horns – something we hadn’t heard before.
Turning out of Nagles campsite the sat nav found signal and displayed the 157 miles to Wavecrest campsite. I was apprehensive about this journey since it involved part of theRing of Kerry, and what I had read about it I had it in my mind the roads were going to be very narrow and tight (just wide enough for one vehicle), twisty and also slow. I am not a fan of single track roads and after my experience in the Lake District last year I have a bit of a fear of them.
Regardless of my nerves/apprehensions we were going to Wavecrest and we were going around the Ring of Kerry.
The Lonely Planet guide suggested driving clockwise around the Ring of Kerry which, as I found out on the internet many months ago, is against the flow of tour buses and coaches. Everything I had read online basically said you’re stupid travelling clockwise around the Ring of Kerry and should go with the tour buses and coaches.
I was secretly hoping to get caught behind a tour bus for three reasons. Firstly, being stuck behind a tour bus would keep me slow and there would be no pressure from other drivers to go faster than I wanted to. Secondly, I could follow the bus through the single track sections – no one argues with buses, and if you can get a bus through the gap there would be more than enough room for my little Accordo. Thirdly, driving slower would allow me to enjoy the view.
The journey to Wavecrest campsite was going to take us down the N67 (Wild Atlantic Way), N85, M18, N18, M20, N21, N22, N72 (start of the Ring of Kerry), N70 (Ring of Kerry). I know many people would have taken the Wild Atlantic Way to the Ring of Kerry, but we didn’t want to spend hours driving down tiny little roads to get to a busy campsite that could potentially be full and have no pitches on our arrival.
I appreciate the views would probably have been better following the Wild Atlantic Way (although some of the views on the route we took were stunning!) but we wanted to get to Wavecrest to get a pitch. We had travelled along some of the Wild Atlantic Way and we had little interest in doing more of it. Besides, we were going to navigate the Ring of Kerry, where the views (as we found out) are something else!
The journey to the N72 was easy and quiet. No matter how much driving I do around Ireland the quietness of the roads never ceases to amaze me. Even on a sunny(ish) Saturday afternoon there was hardly any traffic. We did have one dilemma on the N67, and that was the loss of one of the fridge covers. Whilst it was annoying (and it is going to cost us however much to replace it) in the big scheme of things, and thinking about what could have gone wrong, this was no big deal.
Supplies had run low during our trip so on route we had to get some food. I really didn’t want to drive the Accordo around a super market carpark, I have witnessed some sever damage to vehicles in supermarket car parks and I don’t want the Accordo to suffer the same fate so I vowed never to enter a supermarket carpark in it. Consequently, we found a large(ish) service station with a shop and bought some supplies from there. This was far from ideal because the lack of meat on offer (there was sausages and bacon – neither of which my better half is keen on) meant we were facing a vegetarian diet for the rest of our stay in Ireland – unless we went out for dinner of course.
Driving through the small towns and villages I kept an eye out on any side of the road parking we could quickly jump in and then have a bit of a search for some kind of food shop. We drove through several places where there were food shops but there was no parking, or by the time we had seen the shop and spotted the parking it was too late. Driving past a Tesco supermarket (the first one we had seen in Ireland) I offered to turn around and run the carpark gauntlet but the negative response from the other half, followed by “we need to get there” was all the instruction I need. Whilst driving through some small town I noticed a Tesco sign with an arrow pointing the way on the side of a building and just before it was a huge layby which was virtually empty. If I wanted to eat meat over the rest of our Irish adventure there was only one thing for it – just turn in to the layby without saying a word, which I did. The better half was dispatched to Tesco whilst I stayed with the van and, long story short, I was going to get to use my canine teeth over the rest of our Irish trip. Result!
As we reached the N72 and Killarney and followed the brown signs to the Ring of Kerry the traffic significantly increased. The time had come, it was time for me to face my demons and drive around the Ring of Kerry. The Sat nav was trying to send us clockwise around the Ring of Kerry since this was the quickest way to Wavecrest campsite. The plan was to travel the entire Ring of Kerry anticlockwise, i.e. the long way to the campsite.
As we commenced our drive around the Ring of Kerry the traffic seemed to almost disappear. Okay, there were some vehicles on the road, but not many. In addition to this, the road remained two way with plenty of room. I did encounter one or two sections that were only wide enough for one vehicle, but these were bridges and very short. There were a few tour buses around but all the ones we came across were parked up in laybys giving the passengers a leg stretch and chance to take in the views and capture a few photos.
ll the fears I had about driving the Ring of Kerry were dumbfounded. Driving the Ring of Kerry I had to ask myself what was going on? Where are the single vehicle wide sections? Where are all the slow tour buses? Where was all the traffic? It was a sunny Saturday afternoon in June and there was very little traffic. The thing that made me laugh is that man of the roads back home where I am from are narrower than the section of the Ring of Kerry from Killarney to Caher Daniel, and man of the roads back home are also far busier too.
The only criticisms I have regarding the section of the Ring of Kerry we drove is:
Almost the entire Ring of Kerry is stunningly beautiful however where the beauty really goes up a notch is when the rocky shoreline and islands come in to view, which is a few miles from Caherdaniel and around Castle Cove/Derrynane.
I have to admit that when I saw the Wavecrest campsite sign on the side of the road there was a moment of disappointment that the drive had come to an end, however it only lasted a few short minutes as the realization that we had made it in one piece kicked in and also that we would finish off the rest of the Ring of Kerry after our stay at Wavecrest Campsite.
The footage above is just a taster of what you can expect driving the Ring of Kerry. To see the entire playlist of driving the Ring of Kerry follow this link.
About the author
A total motor home newbie with a six year camping background in a folding camper. A keen blogger sharing my experience of researching, choosing, buying and owning a motor home. and every thing that goes with it.
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