Saturday, July 4, 2009


Today we took a bus to Dingle. it was sort of a tour but more just a few people in a van with a driver. After a rocky start, we got on the road and it turned out to be a great experience.

Our driver wasn't the conventional tour guide who carried on a running line of commentary the whole trip. Since I was in the front seat next to him, I got to be the one he talked to. But his voice was loud and everyone could hear. So, I just asked a lot of questions during the drive. I learned lots. How to pronounce some Gaelic words; what kind of fish could be caught in the Low Lough and how many cyclists rode around the Ring of Kerry today (3000) to raise money for charity.

We woke up to blue skies which in half an hour had turned to pouring rain. By this time most of the cyclists were already on the road and streaming past our guesthouse. The tap turned off after an hour and we were outside walking along our street before breakfast was served. We had a full Irish breakfast this morning - my first experience with black and white pudding. You should try it if you get the chance - delicious!

Anyway, back on the road to Dingle. We went through the Conor Pass which is the highest pass in Ireland. The clouds were blowing by quickly and making lovely shadows on the mountainside. The shape of the mountains is a bit like a dish. The peak swoops down to a low flat part and then swoops slightly up at the shore. The photo above was taken at the Conor pass.

There were lots of sheep out grazing in the fields - high and low. Some were on the road, too. Our driver told us that we could expect to run into large flocks being taken down the road to the shearing pens. But we only saw a few. This fellow was up on the side of the mountain by Conor Pass.

This is a view of the beach at Slea Head. It has beautiful soft sand and is definitely swimmable. The openings in the rocks that look like doors were caused by the tectonic plates shifting millions of years ago. Dingle is the oldest geography in Ireland. It has also been used as a movie site. That may explain why it looks like the Ireland of my imagination. It is beautiful and gree n but sparsely populated. There were ancient "beehive" houses made of dry stone laid on a slope so that they are watertight. Some of the houses standing are 2000 years old. Not much is known about who the early people were, though.

The town of Dingle was a fairly large fishing port. Like everything else, it has suffered economically. But, the tourists still come and that is good for business. This is a view of one of the short streets. It's built on a small hill and all streets are short and curved.

There is also a thriving marina with both fishing and pleasure boats. We had a late lunch of cod and chips - very fresh - before getting back in the bus for Killarney. And I must report that Irish chips (French fries) are so different. It's all in the potato. We just don't have the same texture in ours at home.

Tonight we meet our fellow walkers. There's a special dinner to welcome and introduce us all. The next adventure starts tomorrow.

1 comment:

Joanna said...

Dingle looks beautiful, and so does the countryside around there. I especially like the beach at Slea Head. Hope your walking trip is lovely.


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