Moving On Down the Road

Trip Start Sep 10, 2009
Trip End Oct 10, 2009

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Flag of Ireland  , County Kerry,
Monday, October 5, 2009

This has been an incredible day! After leaving the Oakfield, we drove through Kenmare for the last time, and set our course for the Dingle Peninsula. While driving through Killarney National Park, we stopped at Ladies View. It got its name because the view so impressed the ladies-in-waiting of Queen Victoria when she visited it. We had been the only car on the road, and we were the only ones in the usually crowded car park. When we stood outside, it was so quiet we could hear the sound of Torc Waterfall far away in the distance.

We drove down the mountain to the waterfall, which we didn’t see on our last trip through three weeks ago. Due to the lack of recent heavy rain, it was not the full and raging torrent we remembered from five years ago. It did provide a nice setting for a morning walk, though, and we had it all to ourselves.

On our way into Killarney, we passed a field and John spotted a stag. He quickly turned the car around and we went back to take a picture. What a magnificent animal he was! He posed for me, and then we went into Killarney for a bit.

John needed a new book, so we went into the bookstore we remembered from our last visit, then walked the streets of the town for a while. Some say Killarney is quite “touristy”, and in some ways it is, but I like it. It’s a town where, when food is served, the server says, “Cheers”. The people are friendly and helpful, and there’s a sense of vitality to the town. We did a little bit of shopping and then stopped in a restaurant for coffee and scones. We had wanted to eat dinner there three weeks ago, but they were closed that night.

Our hunger sated, we drove on to Dingle, which is our favorite place in Ireland. I think that Dingle is the quintessential Ireland--everything that is associated with Ireland is here, and it’s absolutely beautiful. There are castle ruins, over 4,000 years of history, vibrant green hillsides, tall brown mountains, monastic sites, cliffs, forts, and the beautiful ocean. We drove the peninsula with the Slieve Mish Mountains on one side and Dingle Bay on the other.

We wanted to walk the beach at Inch, which is almost five miles long, but the tide was out, and we thought we’d do it another day. We did drive down to Menard Castle, or what is left of it. There’s a lovely little beach there near some cliffs. Finally we came into Dingle Town, a lively fishing village with lots of pubs, shops, and music.

Dingle also has a famous resident. Fungie the Dolphin lives out in the bay, and boats can be hired to go see him. We booked the 2:00 sailing with about 25 other people, and as we left the harbor for the more open waters of the bay, Fungie made an appearance. He was being very shy today, showing up once or twice then leaving us to wonder where he was. After an hour and with some help from another boat, we got a good look at him as he swam alongside the boat. The captain was happy I’m sure, since there’s a “no Fungie, no pay” policy. Fungie finally went off to be by himself, so we docked. We found a pub for a snack before going to our b&b and checking in.

We’re at Cill Breach House (Kill V-rack) with a beautiful view of the harbor and the bay. With binoculars, we can probably see Fungie for free! Our hostess is Angela, and her dog Holly is the official greeter.

We drove back into town and went into a few shops. Dingle Crystal has some lovely things, and we talked for a bit with Sean Daly, the cutter. He signs each piece, and each one is truly a work of art. There are also some very nice woolen stores here, and we’ll surely see most of them before we leave.

Dinner was at Murphy’s Pub, and it hasn’t changed in five years. We just ordered soup and sandwiches because the full meals are too much food. Funny thing--one can order just about anything on a sandwich but fish. I’ll have to see if they’ll give me just fish without the chips tomorrow.

A few shops had remained open for the evening, and it would have been unfriendly of us to pass them by. The combination of the sea air and the tired muscles from the boat ride finally brought us back to the b&b.

In the lounge we met couples from Kansas and Virginia who are finishing their time in Ireland and flying home from Scotland. We enjoyed talking to them, and now I think we’ll call it a night.
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