We followed the north shore of the River Shannon and encountered our first sandy beach at Ballyonion. Bounded by high cliffs at each end, a small surf was rolling in. We couldn't imagine the temperature of the water - it certainly didn't look inviting - but some hardy people were venturing in.
Down the road was Tralee and we found a campsite right on the edge of town. A ten minute walk through very large and beautiful park brought us into the centre of town. In the park was a magnificent rose garden - the town having been memorialised in the song "The Rose of Tralee" and there is an annual contest for young girls to be crowned the Rose of Tralee. A quick look in the local cathedral as we passed showed us a simple, light-filled interior with two sublime marble angels holding bowls of holy water at the entrance to the central aisle.
We wandered around a very quiet town - it was a Tuesday, it was after closing, it is a country town - and found a pub to have dinner. I had a dish of the best, tastiest mussels I have ever had anywhere; I will be looking for them again! Later we had tickets for the National Folk Theatre, the Siamsa Tire (pronounced 'sheemsha teeray' ... I think). The performance was a story of the Blasket Islanders, who lived until the early 1950s on islands just off the coast to the west, using traditional song and dance. Riverdance it definitely wasn't, and it was superbly produced and presented. The theatre which held about 250-300 people was packed (as it is apparently every night), mostly with people from the huge tour coaches parked outside in the car park. In fact we were lucky to get tickets at all and only because of a cancellation.
Walking back at nearly 11 at night presents no problem at this time of year. With the solstice only a few days ago, it is still light and only getting towards twilight well after 10pm. No navy-blue dark till nearly midnight at these latitudes!