A few days in Dingle...

Dingle Travel Blog

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Beach at Slea Head, where Ryan's Daughter was filmed.
Last year I spent a few days on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry. This is the south west corner of Ireland. Dingle is the main town on the Peninsula, and I stayed in a hostel there. This was the first trip I've ever done completely on my own. I ended up making friends along the way, and having an absolute blast! The scenery in Dingle is incredible. If you are ever fortunate enough to make your way to Ireland, do not miss seeing Dingle!

The weather while I was there was great. Well, Ireland standards it was good! It didn't rain much and it was sunny and a bit cloudy.  The temperature didn't get over 20 degrees  celcuis though, but from living in Ireland for a year, I no longer rate the weather based on temperature!

The first day I got there I did a tour of the west coast of the peninsula. The most westerly point is called Slea Head. It has beautiful cliffs and beaches, and a really nice view of the 7 Blasket Islands just off the coast. The movie Ryan's Daughter was filmed here, as well as parts of Far and Away. The Irish lead singer of The Cranberries has a house a few minutes away from the two pictures below.

There are quite a few monastic sites and ruins in this area. According to the tour guide, the highest number in all of Ireland. We stopped several times along the way to see stone house ruins, Ogham stones, and beehive stone huts. We stopped at Gallarus Oratory, which is an early Christian church, believed to have been built in the 7th century. It is in amazing condition....not a stone out of place! Not bad, considering it has been through about 14 centuries worth of Irish winters!

I made a few friends from my hostel, two lads from Dublin and a Scottish girl named Leigh. That is the beauty of staying at a hostel...you always can find people to go out for pints with! We went to a pub called Dick Macks, which is famous in Ireland. Outside the door of the pub there are stars in the pavement of all the famous people that have been there, including Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton and Paul Simon. The inside of the pub is pretty funny. There is an area where shoe repairs are done. And the room we sat in was a little kitchen, with a stove, what seemed like a kitchen table, and a piano! Went to another pub in Dingle called Foxy John's. When you walk into this pub, it is basically one main room. The counter on the left serves beer, and the counter on the right sells hardware! There is one man working there, serving both counters. I actually heard someone order a pint of Guinness and a pound of nails!

The next day I took a boat ride to the Giant Blasket Island, which is the biggest one of the seven Blasket Islands. It is the only island that once had people living on it. The island has been uninhabited since the early 1950's, and the island still has several ruins and abandoned homes. At its peak, there was about 150 people living on the island. The boat ride over almost killed me! Our boat held about 20 people, and the combination of the huge waves and the speed we were motoring at just about made me sick. I was terrified! But it was only 35 minutes, and it was well worth it once we got there. I spent two hours wondering around the trails of the island....along the cliffs, by a really nice beach, through several flocks of sheep, and through the ruins of the abandoned community. It was an incredible experience, and even better since the 20 or so of us were pretty much the only people on the whole island. The pictures are nice, but they don't do it justice. Being alone on a cliff (well, just you and the sheep!), over the Atlantic, hearing and seeing the waves...it was awesome!

Dingle is famous for Fungi, the dolphin that lives in Dingle Bay. The dolphin has been living there for 23 years! Boat tours leave from Dingle pier several times a day to see the dolphin. On the boat ride back to Dingle we saw Fungi! He swam right up to our boat, but I was too slow on the camera to get a picture.

As I mentioned before, if you go to Ireland, don't forget Dingle! Beautiful beaches and scenery, interesting history, great hiking trails, amazing seafood, and the friendliest people you will ever meet.

row-zzzzz says:
Posted on: Sep 10, 2008
goezi says:
Have to agree with you about Dingle countryside. It's a great spot.
Posted on: Aug 15, 2008
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Beach at Slea Head, where Ryan's …
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photo by: Nzelvis