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Valencia

Blacks Guide to Ireland dated 1872

This is what it says about Valentia:

"Excursion From Killarney To Valentia"

Tourists who delight in coast scenary and have the time to spare, will be repaid by a visit to the island of Valentia. A mail car leaves Killarney every day at half past 7 in the morning for Cahirciveen, distant 45 miles. The fare is 5s, and the driver expects 1s to 1s 6d each person. The first half of the trip is rather bleak but affords fine views of some genuine Irish mud cabins-minus chimney, windows,chairs, minus everything of a civilized nature. Lough Carragh(where there is a good inn) may be visited on this route.

The latter half of the road winds around part of the bay of Dingle and abounds in views of the estuary. At places the road becomes very precipitous.To enjoy the best view the right hand side of the car should be preferred.

Arriving at Cahirciveen, the ferry must be asked for, which is about 2 miles off. On being rowed across, the tourist will find a good and clean hotel near the landing place. When there, he should go along the lower coast road and through the Knight of Kerry's grounds to the lighthouse, which stands sentinel of the bay. It is situated upon some rocks which "Cromwell fort" was built and over which Atlantic waves dash with the noise of thunder.

At the other end of the island is Bray head, rising precipitously 1000 feet out of the sea. The view from the point on a fine day is very fine. Fifteen miles out the Skelling rise like two gigantic Gothic houses out of the sea, and have, like all the islands in view, the most outre and fantastic shapes possible. All along the iron bound coast great rocky cliffs rise, and beat back the fury of the Atlantic waves Not with impunity to themselves, however, for one, the mountain whose form at one time having been completely washed away, and it now rises perpendicularlly out of the water. Looking from this point, one cannot believe it to be true what good authorities state, that all the estuaries upon the coast of Kerry were at a comparatively recent dry land and that the sea is eating away the coast at a fearfully rapid rate. A beacon tower rises from the summit of the head and although some of the natives speak of it as very ancient, it is evidently of comparatively modern origin.

A few years ago it was garrisoned by soldiers, who, what with fog and rain, alternating with rain and fog must have had a very pleasant life of it. The walk back to the hotel round the other side of the island will afford a variety of scenary. The entire walk will not be more than 16 miles.

To those who have not seen the Penrhyn slate quarries, the slate quarry at Valentia is worth visiting and the view from the hill above them wil repay a visit. To those who can do without a nights sleep for once, a night upon the Atlantic with the herring fishermen affords capital sport. The splendid appearance of the sea, which looks one mass of silvery light, and the excitement of catching fish by the thousand, well rewards one for all trouble involved. The waves are almost as big as houses and of sourse impart a very pleasant motion to the boat, and make one nolens volens contribute very considerably to the support of the piscatory tribes. The fishermen will not receive any payment, but a bottle of whiskey and some tobacco will prove very acceptable to them about 2am or 3 am. Indeed the true character of the native Irish is evinced very plainly in these out ot the way districts where they are not spoiled by the influx of visitors. They willingly put themselves to great inconvience without any idea of payment and seem affronted when it is proffered.

An agreeable excursion can be made to the caves near Donius Head. If the weather be stormy, it is dangerous to attempt going, as the waves then dash in with tremendous fury, and of course render it impossible for any boat to enter.

The hotel is very moderate in its charges and is distingushed by the total absence of the pulex irritans and all its relatives. The pedestrian which desires to get back to Killarney again will find it a good plan to go from Valentia to Watervile(Hartopp Arms) or Sneem(a small inn) then to Kenmare, Glengariff, the back to Kenmare and on on to Killarney.

Good luck Searching-

Bridget

Thanks to Bridget for contributing this!



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