We travelled a mere forty five miles to our next destination, Castletownbere on the Baera Peninsula. The drive from Killarney took us several hours, the road twisted and turned its way south, through dense woodland, past hills and lakes. In some places the roads were very narrow, barely room for vehicles to pass and often no margins on either side of the road, just solid rock. It was a white knuckle ride, especially on a tight corner with coach loads of tourists coming the other way.
Our camp site was a mile outside town in the car park of the local golf club. The golf course was being used but not the club house which was left open at night for the campers to use the toilets and showers. Payment was made by putting €20 per night in an envelope and placed in an honesty box. We cycled into town to find something to eat. Fresh fish was the food of choice as Castletownbere was the largest white fish port in Ireland. We had a delicious meal at Murphys – two courses each including generous portions of prawns, crab claws, lobster and hake, all washed down with a bottle of PIno Grigio for the princely sum of £44.
Tony had had a sore eye for a couple of days and had consulted an optometrist in Killarney who, having given him a thorough checkup, assured him the eye was fine. Two days later Tony woke up to a very swollen eye and was sporting a unsightly blister on his eyeball. Alarmed, we located a doctor on the High Street and were able to make an appointment for later that day. He reckoned Tony was suffering from an allergic reaction to the drops the optometrist had used and prescribed steroids, pills and eye drops. There was no charge for the doctor’s consultation; the receptionist took Tony’s details from his European Health Insurance Card and the chemist charged a €5 Government Levy for the two items on the prescription. We wondered whether a tourist to the UK would have received such a prompt and cheerful service. In view of this medical emergency we moved the camper van from the golf course into the town centre and parked by the quay. It was not as pretty as the golf course but we were within easy reach of the bars and restaurants and medical help should we need it.