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Baile an Sceilg to An tSnaidhme, Co. Kerry, Ireland - 31st July 2017

We're only in Ballinskelligs for a single night, but that still leaves half the next day to explore the castle and the old monastery ruins down on the beach. After that, we head up the coast to Sneem. On the first evening in Sneem, we meet up with Philly and Davida and glimpse one of the town's features - a real "ghost estate", or Eastát na Sí (Fairy Estate in Irish). Hundreds of such estates were built during the Celtic Tiger boom, where runaway spending with few controls saw no bounds to developer optimism. They were all swiftly abandoned when the financial crash of 2008 hit, which left around 23,000 houses on 620 ghost estates empty, without tennants or buyers. Many of them have now been demolished but Sneem's Pairc na Solas remains for now, its one-decade-old buildings now being reclaimed by nature or cracking open where they are subsiding back into the bog that was hastily filled to build them on. The whole scene is powerfully apocalyptic in a "28 Months Later" kind of way.

next album: In The Sneem, An tSnaidhm, Kerry, Ireland - 1st August 2017
previous album: Liverpool to Baile an Sceilg, County Kerry, Ireland - 30th July 2017

The boys in our Ballinskellig hostel room

Fred and Harry do Lego

The boys look at a sign about fishing

Ballinskelligs Castle on the beach

The lifeguard hut

The low clouds cling to the mountain top

Wind-blown grasses and Ballinskelligs Castle

Isobel and Fred roam around

Fred climbs round the outside of the castle

The landscape is split between sunshine and shadow

Ballinskelligs Bay

We walk around on the spit

Fred roams

Fred finds a massive bit of seaweed that looks just like a snake skin

Loads of stripey caterpillars in a bush

Two people walk on the spit

Fred and Harry find a sand-sculpture octopus

Down at the tourist information kiosk and café

Some girl does cartwheels in the sea

Ramblers on the beach

The old Ballinskelligs Abbey

Fred adds to a cairn

Harry poses on some breakwater

We head off to Sneem and see some nice views on the way

We stop for a look at stuff

Isobel walks around

Harry - totally disguised as Spider-Man inspects some Hydrangeas

Dramatic mountain landscape

More scenery viewing

We arrive at our apartment which has possibly the best hotel window view ever (at least so far, and ignoring the cars)

After we drop all the stuff off at our apartment, we head into 'The Sneem'

The first glimpse of Pairc na Solas Ghost Estate

More finished but empty housing

Cat and a wood-burner

Isobel and Harry

Table Cat

The houses in Pairc na Solas are 70% off their 2007 prices, which broadly dates their construction

Family gathering round Philly's

The old shop next door

We have a buffet dinner at James and Harryana's apartment, next door to ours

Empty ghost houses

Nature reclaims what would have been the estate's main street

There's a big pile of rubble on the street, like a hurriedly-built barricade against mutant zombies

The Sneem from up the road towards the Sneem Hotel

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The boys in our Ballinskellig hostel room