Las Chicas dive into the Irish experience and drive on the left side of the road to the far southwest region of Dingle. After a fabulous beginning in Dublin, we search for the more traditional side of Irish life. We are enchanted from the moment we arrive, with this picturesque view of the bay from our room.
We take advantage of the remaining light, after a long drive, and explore a bit of Dingle:
Local yarn shop window display
Harbor and misty hills of Dingle peninsula
In the evening, we take in some traditional Irish music at a pub recommended by our hostess, a longtime Dingle resident. The music begins around 10 pm and features only one musician playing the concertina, guitar, mandolin, whistle, and drum, occasionally accompanied by a friend in the crowd, singing all the while:
One of the best parts of our visit begins early the next morning with a 50 km (30 mile) bike ride around the peninsula. Following the advice of the bike shop proprietor , we head to Slea Head Drive, a circular route around the peninsula, but in the opposite direction of cars, and more importantly buses.
View from Slea Head Drive
Monk’s Way marker, a path between religious sites
We find the back way (free) to Gallarus Oratory. Gallarus means “home or shelter for foreigners”, for pilgrims who traveled from outside the peninsula.
This ancient building, circa 500-800 A.D, shows little sign of wear, and no sign of leaks despite the lack of mortar being used in its creation.
Gallarus Oratory, 500-800 A.D.
We also see the Gallarus Castle and friendly neighbors:
Gallarus Castle, circa 15th century
We find what remains of Reask Monastic site, an example of a small monastery from the Middle Ages, with mention of a possible earlier pre-Christian purpose for the structures.
We enjoy the dazzling scenery,
and make our way back to town as the fog rolls in.
While we tend to avoid the common tourist traps in our travels, we decide to spend part of our last day in Dingle out on the water in search of Fungie the Dolphin. The stories vary, but most agree that this dolphin, who entertains visitors in the wild everyday, has made Dingle his home for quite some time.
The boat ride is the best part, and we enjoy brief visits from Fungie. It proves difficult to catch a picture or video of Fungie. But a Dutch couple has made it their daily pastime to swim with Fungie, and you can enjoy photos and videos on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/12FungieForever12
We speed along next to another boat of Fungie fans.
Cliff view from our boat.
We leave the charm of Dingle, and head next to the Connemara along the Wild Atlantic Way.
© 2015 by Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds. All rights reserved.