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Using the tent as a base to explore around the coast of Co. Kerry

After the first few days were we did very little except chill and and recover from the ordeal of getting there, we started to explore out and about. First stop was a castle we could see from the campsite, we had no idea how to get there but we just drove in the general direction and found it easily.

Ballycarberry Castle

The side of the castle facing the sea


Mannix Point continued - welcome to the Twilight Zone

I read some reviews about Mannix Point Campsite before I went, to be honest they were the sole reason for choosing this site. One of the comments said that Mannix Point is like a Twilight Zone, you lose track of time. Another said it was like the 'Hotel California', as the famous track goes, '' can check out any time you like, but you can never leave'' but in a good way (not a creepy way as the song suggests).

Well I did lose track of time, and what day it was too. It became unimportant until we had some dates to work with which were the local arts and music festival which co-incided with the last weekend of our stay.

I also lost my two teenage boys, I barely saw them unless they were hungry - if they turned up it must mean it's dinner time. They had a great time hanging around the 'common room' and the campers kitchen, gently playing one of the guitars that were hanging on the wall, or taking in the 10 minute walk into the town.

Here's some photos of the campsite, our pitch, and the pitches around us.

 Got a nice pitch, no 6, right in the corner with a tap right beside us.

The kitchen comprised of two 30 litre boxes, one food and one non food. The non food had cutlery, utensils, plates, mugs, torches, clothes pegs and all the other little bitty things you need to go camping. The food consisted of tinned soup, Supernoodles, juice, dried pasta, rice, olive oil etc etc.

View from the tent. Twice a day the local sailing club held lessons on the shore directly in front of our tent. The water is actually part of the Atlantic Ocean, this is an estuary with another headland across the way. To the left is open sea.

As the week went on we got a variety of neighbours, some short stay and some longer.

We got great use out of the firepit, most of the evenings were sat around watching the flames, better than TV any day! 

This is the common room, or sitting room of the main building. This room was used for playing cards, reading, charging phones and laptops, and at the weekends things tended to get quite musical as people enjoyed a good Ceili.

Free wifi too! 


Trip to Mannix Point 2011

So it came around to that time again, the 'big' holiday! We headed off on Monday 18th July to Mannix Point campsite, which is on the Ring of Kerry, in the Republic of Ireland. The reason I chose here is because of some fantastic reviews I found online, which convinced me that there was something special about this area that was worth exploring.

There was quite a bit of preparation for this trip, the work seemed to take most of a week before hand what with cleaning up the house, washing all the bedlinen so that it would be fairly fresh to come home to, laundry and ironing and packing clothes. Then there was the actual packing of the boot, I'd decided to take the big canvas frame tent, Stan (the man) Evans as the space would be useful when going away for longer. The grocery prices in the south of Ireland are expensive and so I was taking all my barbecue fuel, groceries and some cooked meals for the first few days. The problem with all of this of course is getting it into a hatchback, and I have to say this caused quite a bit of head scratching. I know that I'm supposed to leave a space in the car so I can use the rear view mirror, but there was no way I was able to do that in the end. I just had to hope I didn't get pulled over.

I had worked out that the journey would take six and a half hours. In reality it was more like eight and a half hours and I have to say the journey was a hard one, slightly stressful as there are two toll roads and one e-toll road where you have to call in to a garage to pay retrospectively. I was incredibly tired as I had got zero sleep the night before, due to being all excited about going on my holidays!

And then on top of all that when we arrived it was to stormy conditions, and the metal poles of the tent were damaged as we attempted to put up the large tent. We abandoned the efforts to pitch it and just rolled it up roughly to bung it back in the car. I then pitched the smaller pop up tent which is in theory a four man, so at least we were able to get to sleep that night. We had no dinner as we'd arrived quite late, and then any food we had was packed under everything else in the car. We just did without and concentrated on getting some rest as it was so late.

The next morning Mortimer, who owns the campsite, took me, poles and all up to a local garage. The mechanics had a vice and so they quickly unbent the damaged poles and we finally got to start our holiday properly.
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