Ireland - Gap of Dunloe Tour

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Apr 6th, 2004, 12:21 PM
  #1
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Ireland - Gap of Dunloe Tour

Has anybody taken this tour on their own, or do you have to book through a tour company?

I am driving from Castlegregory in the morning and don't want to be pushed to getting up, rushing through breakfast in order to get to Killarney to catch a 10:00am tour bus.

Is it possible to drive straight to Kate Kearney's Cottage, hire a jaunting car or buggy to take us up to the lake, catch the boat across the lake, and catch transport back to the Cottage to get our car, paying for the whole thing up front or paying individually???

Still up in the air concerning walking from the cottage up to the lake through the Gap or taking the buggy. It's about a 6 mile walk -- is it an easy walk or an up/down hill walk? I guess weather will also have to be factored in.
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Apr 6th, 2004, 12:44 PM
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Hi Budman:

I'm certain it can be done on your own though I'm not sure what it will take to get a ride back to your car. It shouldn't be impossible. As I remember, the boats through the lakes leave at about 2:30. That is one connection you don't want to miss. You can also do it in the opposite direction and take the boat ride first. You'd have to park at Ross Castle. The number I found for what I believe is the Killarney Tourist Info is 353 064 31023. I would give them a call and ask a few questions. I agree that it would be an early start to catch a tour by 10:00 AM from Castlegregory. Much of the beiginning of the trip is driving through Killarney traffic picking up other passengers. We felt rushed leaving from Kenmare.

As far as the walk is concerned, there is definitely some uphill climbing, but we had to get out and walk the steeper parts to spare the nag that was pulling the cart. I'm not sure I would have had too much problem keeping up with her at virtually any point of the uphill trip. Down hill was faster in the jaunting car.

With the jaunting car, we arrived with about 1 hour to spare before the boats left. Quite a few people walked it and I would consider it if I did it again (which I probably will). Our driver was not particularly enchanting.

Bill
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Apr 6th, 2004, 12:59 PM
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Hey Budman,

There are a couple of local companies that run the loop in both directions, and they seem to run it as a full loop with three main segments.

Depending on what time you walk up, the trip could be heading in either direction. They all offered the option of coming right back to your starting point. What we did was walk up to a little tourist office just up the main street north of Kenmare Sq in Killarney. You will able to book the two "ends" of the trip there. They took us on a small bus over to Ross Castle along side the lower lake. From there, we boarded a open wooden boat that took us up the lake while the pilot fished for salmon. My wife assisted in reeling in the line when he needed to steer or to launch into a story No word on whether he would have shared the fish.

Once at the landing point on the upper lake, there was a pavilion where you can get a sandwich or a hot drink. You then walk around back where there are a group of fellas who are standing by next to their carts or holding leads of ponies. If I recall correctly, these guys get paid seperately, but they'll tell you at the office how much it will cost you. At the other end of that ride through the gap is Kate Kearney's cottage, with of course, a gift shop and snack bar. Within a few minutes, a little psuedo-antique bus will stop to drop off passengers that are heading round the opposite direction and pick you up, if you're ready to go. Those passengers will engage your cart or pony to go the other direction.
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Apr 6th, 2004, 01:09 PM
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Unless it changed in the last 18 months or so, you can actually drive up or down the Gap (may be closed on Sundays). The road is quite narrow in places, esp higher up, but it's just about passable with care. There are a couple of places where you can park and get out. From the top, past the church, the road continues past the Upper Lake and eventually joins the Ring of Kerry Road near Ladies View. Worth if you are pressed for time or when it's wet.
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