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Gap of Dunloe -- Done Different

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We have two nights in Kenmare. The day before the first night we will drive around the Beara Peninsula. The next day we plan to drive around the Dingle Peninsula. The day after we will head up further north to County Clare. My husband would like to see the Gap of Dunloe and the second day would be our only opportunity. We do not want to see it badly enough to trump Dingle and take the day tour of bus to the cottages, walking/carriage, boats to Ross Castle.

I've had family friends that mistakenly drove it and couldn't believe it was actually considered a drive-able road and I've read reports that it wasn't all that bad.

There are two options I was considering. One (husband's choice) is getting up at the crack of dawn and driving it before others and the carriages get out on it. If this is doable, could you do it from south to north or is it really considered one way from north to south?

The other is stopping by after Dingle in the late afternoon/ early evening, parking at the cottages and hiking a ways along and then turning around and heading back to car. Is there a midpoint of glorious scenery we should try to reach? Or should we just take in what we feel up to before turning around?

I know both options aren't ideal but is it really, really foolhardy to consider?

Thank you!

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