0930: touched down at Cork airport. Queued for hire car collection (about 30 mins) and then hunted our hire car. See driving tips for lots of useful information, including hidden extras of hire cars.


1030: drove on R600 to Kinsale (photo above) since it avoided going through Cork city; the airport is on the road and you simply turn right once you leave the airport complex (left to Cork city).


1115: arrived at Kinsale, asked in local shop about parking and got parking disc (this system is common in most Irish towns). Walked around beautiful Kinsale and had lunch there.


1330: left Kinsale on R600, stopping to admire views along the way.


1430: arrived at Skibbereen for afternoon tea and a look around. Quite a few monuments to the first major rebellion against the British in 1798.


1530: left Skibbereen for Mizen head, the most south-westerly point in Ireland, encountering very little traffic on the open road. However, the road west of Schull was narrow but it was from here that we encountered the abundant foxgloves in the roadside hedgerows (a sight once common in the UK, but quite uncommon now, due to road widening).


1630: If the weather is good, a stop at Barley cove is recommended on the way to Mizen head. We had a look in the visitors' centre at Mizen head. Unfortunately, it was pouring with rain (ask yourself why the fields of Ireland look so green as your airplane lands), so we didn't stay too long. The bridge to the lighthouse was closed for repairs in any event.


1700: left Mizen head and headed through Durras for Bantry. Stunning views along here - however, the roads were quite bouncy on this stretch, another reason for taking your time. Don't hire a Ferrari if you have a bad back - the extra hire cost for a 4x4 might be worthwhile!


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Munster tour day 1: Cork airport to Bantry