Off the beaten path...as in 'out in the middle of nowhere'...sits this beautiful little church, on it's own little island in Gougane Barra Lake. St Finbarr's Oratory, founded in the 6th century, is surrounded by incredible natural beauty and a deep sense of holiness, enhanced by the Holy Well nearby and the circular Stations of the Cross with small recesses called chapels.
I was so torn, wanting to set up my paints and wanting to walk and explore the area. The wind and some spitting raindrops convinced me that the best choice was to go in and have some hot coffee and fresh pastry in the little tea shop down the road. Good thing, too, because there was a brief, but torrential, downpour!
Sometimes ambitious day walks pay off in big ways! We took a very long walk just outside of Killarny, visiting the abbey ruins, edging Lough Leane and Muckross Lake, crossing Brickeen Bridge through native forest. Most people do this on bicycle or take a boat from Killarny. I confess, there were moments of envy when someone casually pedaled past, especially after mile 3. We stopped for a well-earned lunch at Dinis Cottage (yay!) and then discovered a tiny trail leading through some thick woods with a little sign saying "meeting of the waters"...where the Upper Lake flows into Muckross Lake. Oh my! It was so lovely!!
Thank you so much for reading!!