Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ireland trip Day 5, The Dingle Peninsula, Co.Kerry, Ireland

 The day started out with a bit of rain, followed by a brilliant rainbow, but by the time we got the the beach at Inch the sun was full out.  The tide was way out.  Very hard sand, in fact a glider club had landed on the beach and loaded up their trailers and pulled out driving on the sand.  I love the pattern the tide left on the sand.
 Tourism is one of Ireland's biggest industries but it is late in the season and many stores and inns are closed for the year.  That doesn't change the beauty of the place and we have only time for a short stop. 

 As we travel west we climb upward and away from the sea for a while and  take a few moments for a "photo stop."  Don't the fields remind you of a crazy quilt?  Apparently, in the summer each of the fields will be different colored depending on what is growing but this late in the year it is all grass.  It's very restful on the eyes and stunningly beautiful in person.  Also damp.

 We soon enter the Dingle Gaeltacht-an official Irish-speaking region.  Here the signs are in the Irish and the Irish!  Mark tutors us on a few phrases, I mostly forget them as soon as we quit repeating after him!  The next stop is the town of Dingle.  There is a good harbor here and so there is a fishing fleet.  Some of the boats are flying both the flag of Ireland and another flag which I learn is the Basque flag.  The waters off the west coast of Ireland are some of the richest commercial fishing areas in the Atlantic and have been fished by Spain, England, Germany etc as well as Ireland for centuries.  I walk the pier looking at the boats, some have laundry hanging to dry on deck!  One boat is just in and is unloading the fish,  they filled this rig at least twice!  That's a lot of fish!

 This "Dog House" proclaims itself to be the "Farthest west dog house in Europe"  I have no idea if that is true.  

 The buildings of Dingle are brightly painted as they are everywhere here but I love the details!  The dolphins playing on the storefront are surely in honor of "Fungi" the Dingle Bay's resident dolphin.  Tours boats are for hire to go visit him.
 I think this must be a mermaid's hairdo!
 Even the smallest home on the tiniest alley in town looks freshly painted and is decorated with flowers.
 I have fish and chips for lunch,can't seem to get enough of them and this is water to cooktop fresh.  I had a nice chat with our driver,  Jimmy, while we ate.  Just questions asked and answered back and forth.  I guess we all learn from these tours.

We pick up our guide, Bernard Groggin, and head west again.  It was obvious that he knew a great deal about the area's history and so forth but he was boring in his presentation, yawn.  He pointed out a dirt ring fort as well as a stone one.  Also beehive house ruins.

 The Blasket Islands are just off the tip of the Dingle Peninsula, were once home to a few hardy familes but no one lives there now.  You can see the ruins of their homes in the second photo.  It is possible to get a boat out to the islands and I think there is hiking.  One of the islands is privately owned as a male bonding place.

 The Dingle Peninsula has been used for on location shooting of several movies, most notably Ryan's Daughter and Far and Away. You can look here for information on more moves filmed in Ireland.  We stop at a beach used in Far and Away for "Wave action" and it is pounding ashore as the tide is coming in!

 Our last stop of the day is at the Gallarus Oratory a very old monastic site, the building is made of dry fit stone and does not leak!  Behind the Oratory is Mount Brandon (and further north there is a town called Brandon),  I wanted to be sure and mention that just for my son, Scott, who uses his middle name.  His first name is Brandon.  I'm collecting places named for him, Grin.

After the Oratory it's back through Dingle town and on to Killarney--to pack.  Tomorrow we go north to Galway.

No comments: