Tiny roads, fast cars and fantastic views

Dingle Travel Blog

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Big road by Irish standards

People who made my travels more enjoyable: Nikki (USA)

http://lenouveaumonde.co/eire-fuar-ach-alainn/

I woke up around 8:30 and proceeded downstairs to the dining room of our B&B. I'd never stayed at a B&B before so I wasn't totally sure what to expect. After helping myself to tea and toast, I was offered a "Full Irish". I insisted that I really wasn't that hungry, but the owner persuaded me to try a "small taste". The small taste include blood sausage, mushrooms cooked in butter with salt, a fried egg, sausage links and a fried tomato. My arteries began to clog as I ate. Either way, it was delicious and I was happy to have tried a traditional Irish breakfast. Once the owner heard we had been to Left Bank the night before he joked with us about how hungover we must be (neither Nikki nor myself were particularly hungover).

Yay the beach, just kidding, it's absolutely freezing outside
We told him it was more jet lag than anything else, but he couldn't resist joking with us. Before we departed we asked for some directions. Since Ireland has limited road signs, and I'm guessing pre-EU most of the highways didn't have numbers, directions are given in this form. Go to town A, turn right, head for town B, take this roundabout, go to town C. By the time he finished the string of instructions I couldn't remember the name of town A, so we decided to just follow our handy google maps.

The drive from Kilkenny to Dingle was both long and terrifying. To give some perspective, imagine a small road in America.
View from our B&B
Scale that down, remove the shoulder, replace any sidewalk or guardrail with rock walls or poorly trimmed hedges then increase the speed limit to 60. In America the flow of traffic almost always exceeds the speed limit, in Ireland its impossible to even drive as fast as the speed limit without being completely reckless (motorways excluded). At one point we found a 1 lane dirt road with a speed limit of 80 kph (50 mph). After about 4.5 hours and some close calls Nikki and I arrived safely at your B&B in Dingle.

We parked our car and proceeded to check in to the B&B. We were frantically greeted by the owner who told us we'd have to wait a few minutes for our room. Naturally, we decided to wander around the grounds rather than sit in the waiting room. The view was spectacular, hardly a cloud in the sky, with a clear view of the Dingle bay.
Dingle town
The owner returned and told us the condensed history of Dingle. He seemed very intent on talking about how Dingle bay is inhabited by a friendly Dolphin known as Fungi (I had heard about this Dolphin numerous times, and it didn't seem particularly interesting). I was much more keen on hearing about the ancient history of the area. Luckily, he went on to explain about the ruins of two light houses and made mention of some archeological sights on the peninsula. Immediately afterward, we checked in to our room and got back in the car. Destination Dingle peninsula!

Before we ventured out on the peninsula, we stopped in town for a quick lunch. After filling our bellies we took off down the road. We started on the 40KM loop, following the signs for Slea Head. This was, in a way, the most terrifying part of my trip to Ireland.
Beehive huts
The road was insanely narrow, there was a decent amount of traffic and at one point the road had washed out (I wasn't planning on fording any streams in my 2-wheel drive Opel). Even worse, the traffic ran in two directions. Several times we had to pull over while other cars tried to squeeze by. Luckily there was a rock wall that prevented me from falling into the ocean! For Top Gear fans, think the Bolivia episode and the most dangerous road in the world.

After several miles we reached the bee hives. No they were not actual bee hives, but huts resembling bee hives. They are known by their Irish name, Cochlan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clochan). The history of these huts is fascinating and I spent a good thirty minutes wandering around. I laid down in the grass, enjoyed a brief respite from the wind and tried to imagine how people from the Bronze age could survive in such a climate.
Most frightening road in Ireland


After leaving the Cochlan we continued down the road, stopping every few minutes to snap some photos and take in the beautiful scenery. After about an hour we completed the terrifying portion of the drive. Both of us were exhausted and just wanted to get back to our B&B. We turned left, following a sign that said "An Daingean 7km" (Dingle is one of the special regions of Ireland where Irish, rather than English, is the official language). After about 5 minutes on this road we saw another sign "An Daingean 10km"... Nikki and I thought this was a bit strange, but continued. 5 more minutes... another sign "An Daingean 10km"... Obviously we had misinterpreted the meaning of these sign. The sign didn't mean "if you follow this road for 7km you will reach your destination", it meant "this sign is 7km from your destination, however the road you are turning on to will, in fact, lead you away from that destination"!

After another half hour of driving, we made it back to our B&B.
So bright!
The rest of our evening was very uneventful. We had dinner in town (at a Chinese restaurant), and went to bed early. I knew the drive from Dingle to Galway, with a stopover at the Cliffs of Moher, would be equally grueling.



alicegourmet says:
I like B&B...of course, only those fancy American hotel will have a healthy option on the b'fast menu! :D
Posted on: Jul 27, 2010
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Big road by Irish standards
Big road by Irish standards
Yay the beach, just kidding, its …
Yay the beach, just kidding, it's…
View from our B&B
View from our B&B
Dingle town
Dingle town
Beehive huts
Beehive huts
Most frightening road in Ireland
Most frightening road in Ireland
So bright!
So bright!
Dingle church
Dingle church
Dingle Peninsula more dogs :)
Dingle Peninsula more dogs :)
This drive was scary
This drive was scary
There are no trees so all the wall…
There are no trees so all the wal…
Crystal clear
Crystal clear
I love dogs
I love dogs
Irish Breakfast!
Irish Breakfast!
No trees, many houses were made of…
No trees, many houses were made o…
More dogs!
More dogs!
Ocean views
Ocean views
Stone walls in Dingle
Stone walls in Dingle
More stone walls
More stone walls
More ocean views
More ocean views
and more...
and more...
Beehive views
Beehive views
More of the famous beehives
More of the famous beehives
Beehives
Beehives
Gorgeous
Gorgeous
Scary scary road
Scary scary road
The water is so clear!
The water is so clear!
More ocean
More ocean
Even more ocean
Even more ocean
Maze of rock walls
Maze of rock walls
Houses on Dingle peninsula
Houses on Dingle peninsula
House and walls
House and walls
Cliff diving anyone?
Cliff diving anyone?
Breathtaking, but I cant say Id …
Breathtaking, but I can't say I'd…
Sheep!
Sheep!
Dingle Hotels & Accommodations review
Beautiful views, but a bit over-priced
The Pax House B&B has a bit of a reputation online and in travel guides. It's prominently featured in Tripadvisor, Lonely Planet and Rick Steves' Guid… read entire review
Dingle
photo by: Nzelvis