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The Gap of Dunloe
is a narrow mountain pass
A mountain pass is a route through a mountain range or over a ridge. If following the lowest possible route, a pass is locally the highest point on that route...
between Macgillycuddy's Reeks
MacGillycuddy's Reeks is a mountain range in County Kerry, Republic of Ireland. Stretching slightly over , it includes the highest peaks in Ireland and the only peaks on the island that are over . The highest of these is Corrán Tuathail or Carrauntoohil , followed by Binn Chaorach and Cathair na...
(west) and Purple Mountain
(east) in County Kerry
Kerry means the "people of Ciar" which was the name of the pre-Gaelic tribe who lived in part of the present county. The legendary founder of the tribe was Ciar, son of Fergus mac Róich. In Old Irish "Ciar" meant black or dark brown, and the word continues in use in modern Irish as an adjective...
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...
. It is about 11 km (6.8 mi) from north to south. Within it are five lakes: Coosaun Lough, Black Lake, Cushnavally Lake, Auger Lake, and Black Lough (north to south). These lakes are connected by the River Loe. Between the first two lakes is an old arch bridge called the 'Wishing Bridge' so named because it is said that wishes made while upon it are destined to come true.
The Gap has long been a popular tourist attraction. The road through it is narrow, winding, and difficult for motorised traffic, so the most popular form of transport for tourists is the horse-drawn trap, a cart where up to four occupants sit facing each other. There are also riding ponies for hire. The trap and ponies are guided by the Gap poneymen who are from families that live in and around the Gap. The poneymen use a rotation system called the Turn which determines who takes the next customers. The Turn has been in existence since the 1920s and is passed down in the families to the next generation.
Bikes can also be rented in the town of Killarney
Killarney is a town in County Kerry, southwestern Ireland. The town is located north of the MacGillicuddy Reeks, on the northeastern shore of the Lough Lein/Leane which are part of Killarney National Park. The town and its surrounding region are home to St...
and ridden through The Gap. More recently, tourists have visited the Gap as it was a location on Irish film The Crying Game
The Crying Game is a 1992 psychological thriller drama film written and directed by Neil Jordan. The film explores themes of race, gender, nationality, and sexuality against the backdrop of the Irish Troubles...
. The Road through The Gap from a popular starting point, Kate Kearney's, down to Lord Brandon's Cottage, is about 11km long, and contains a 500-foot elevation. Many people hike or bike the route.
The old red sandstone
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains.Most sandstone is composed of quartz and/or feldspar because these are the most common minerals in the Earth's crust. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow,...
cliffs of the Gap of Dunloe are a popular location for rock climbing
, the main climbing being on the western slopes, mainly of horizontal cracks, and so depend on cams for protection
To make climbing as safe as possible, most climbers use protection, a term used to describe the equipment used to prevent injury to themselves and others.-Types of climbing:...