Finally here in Annascaul after months of planning and dreaming. My next book, The Carver Affair, a Victorian crime novel, is partially set in this wonderful location. For the next couple of days, I will be exploring locations with a very good friend of mine.
We left an overcast Dublin early this morning but by the time we had reached Adare, Co. Limerick, the sun was shining on our road trip. A brief pit-stop here and then onwards to Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula.
An hour and a half later we arrived in Annascaul, having braved the twisty road from Tralee. It was worth it though – the views were amazing towards the bays of Tralee and Dingle, to the north and south respectively.
Then the adventure began in earnest. A setting for a romantic scene I had in mind needed to be explored. My dear friend persuaded me that the walk to Annascaul Lake was much longer (and up hill!) than I believed so we wimped out and drove! So glad we did – I’d still be walking back down.
The lake is nestled between some high cliffs and mountain peaks, dark and mysterious and reflecting an impossibly blue sky. It is perfect for what I need, though I think I’ll allow my characters to get there on horseback as opposed to shank’s mare.
On the way back to Annascaul village we decided to investigate Tom Crean’s burial site. For anyone who doesn’t know, he was part of the Antarctic expedition led by Sir Ernest Shackleton, on the ship Endurance (1914-16). He was born in Annascaul and ran away from home at age 15 to join the British Navy. Little did we know that we were about to enter one of the strangest Irish cemeteries I have ever seen. Due to the rocky ground, all the graves are above ground, almost like miniature thatched houses!
Then it was back to the village for some refreshment. And there could not be a more fitting place than The South Pole Inn, named in Tom’s honour! Looking forward to tomorrow’s adventures, whatever they may be.
Lovely pub! Did you know that Tome Crean built that pub himself?
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Didn’t know he built it but knew he owned it!
Loved the pictures!
Having the possibility to visit a place we’ll be using in a story is such a treat. There’s so much we can learn that we would never otherwise. I had the pleasure to have that experience when I visited Dun Angus years ago.
And you know? I did the Ring of Kerry last September with a couple friends. Beautiful place. Such a shame we did it the wrong way: with a bus and in just one day. I really hope I’ll have the chance to do it again, in a different way.
It’s a pretty special place. So many little details come alive when you visit a location. Really helped me build my plot.