There is a legend that McCarthy Castle is haunted, and that the ghost particularly likes blondes. I am not blonde, MK isn’t particularly blonde, and we didn’t know any blondes on this trip. In fact, I’ve never found a record of McCarthy Castle being haunted, I’ve just heard the rumor. So who knows if it is haunted or not. Either way, it isn’t actually a castle, people just call it that–it’s actually a tower house, and it often goes by the name McCarthy Mór Castle or Ballinskelligs Castle, since it is located on Ballinskelligs Beach. The beach is quite pretty, both sandy and rocky, but rocky with the nice smooth stones that are like big pebbles, not the craggy sharp rocks that you find elsewhere (like, say, the California coast).
The tower house itself is not that big, and it is missing quite a lot of its walls, all of its roof, and quite a lot of the second floor. There are random piles of stone throughout, and our tour guide was quite worried that someone might fall off of it. Being the absolute rebels we are, we went ahead and hopped up approximately eighteen inches to stand in one of the delightfully broken down places so we could take pictures of each other against the ruins. Really, Ireland has so many beautiful ruins to take pictures in. One could have so much fun just planning otherworldly photoshoots.
Speaking of otherworldly, the ghost never showed up, despite the fact that there were a couple particularly annoying blondes who could have done with a good scare. MK and I considered walking back to Cahersiveen instead of taking the bus, but no one knew how many kilometers is was back to town, and the majority of the party seemed divided between thinking we were three miles away from town and eighteen miles away from town. Just in case you aren’t familiar with walking distances, three to four miles is about how much you can do in an hour, at a good walk. Eighteen miles is something that only seasoned hikers should attempt in a day, and I’m not aware of that many that would be up for it when it includes hills. At the time of this discussion, it was about three in the afternoon.
MK and I decided to take the bus. An hours walk? not a big deal. A six or seven hour walk with no water bottles or snacks? Yeah, no. We’ll take the bus.
A lot of people decided to walk.
It was around eight when they got back, hungry, sweaty, and tired. And dinner was pretty much over. Apparently none of them had much prior hiking experience, which makes me wonder how sore they’ll be tomorrow.
I think we’re due to visit some cliffs tomorrow, and if I remember correctly, they’re up a hill that the bus can’t make it up.