Monday, August 17, 2009

Ireland Pt. 10

Ireland Pt. 10


Walk Till You Drop
Pat and I had a wonderful breakfast at Milestone B&B, where we are staying. We finally met Barbara, who is just as nice as Michael. Michael booked our tour around the Peninsula with Dennis and his car. We wanted a change from being bus bums... I don't even wanna think about how much time we've spent sitting in buses. Dennis would be picking us up at 3pm, so we had until that time to shop and walk around.

We were really interested in doing the walk to the lighthouse. The path was such, that you could just walk and end where ever you wanted. Well we've become quite the fan of walking around and discovering, so we figured, we'll walk till we're tired and then see what happens. We walked along until we found a beach. The weather was gorgeous! We could either walk on the elevated grass with the stone wall, or we could walk on the beach. We thought it might be faster to walk along the beach so that's what we did.

The beach was nice for the most part, but eventually we got into a really wet and slippery area. It was full of moss and slippery wet rocks and some seaweed stuff that looked like giant grapes which popped when we stepped on them. I did a lot of...ewww...that feels gross, that sounds gross too... we slipped a few times too. We would look up at the elevated grass and wonder whether we should have chosen that path instead, but we couldn't change our minds now.

That area finally cleared up and we were back to normal, rocky beach. We took a lot of nice scenery pics and we had been walking for over an hour. We got to the ruins at the end of the island. We seriously walked a far, far way....all the way to where the islands were divided. We climbed up to the ruins and found another secluded beach on the edge. We also found some rabbit dens! Some people were swimming, but we just went down to see the shore. We decided to head back, as we hadn't shopped around yet and time was running out.

We took the elevated grass way and even walked by some bulls and cows that weren't fenced in. It seems all the owners of the lands figured people would walk along there anyway, so there were areas to get through each person's private property. We did get through a tied up gate though. Made it back to town and a had a delicious lunch in the Dingle Crystal shop/cafe. Yes, in Dingle, there are stores that are half store/half a tanner shop/cafe, etc. So random!

On Being Brown
We arrived back at the B&B half an hour before our tour would start. We were surprised to see we had both tanned a little more. I really should have worn my contacts, because I have a bit of the glasses tan going on. It's not overly obvious but oh well. I find it all very amusing. Who goes to Ireland and gets a tan?

What crazy weather is this? It feels like summer, but I'm not complaining. The Irish people themselves are surprised! This time last year, it was busy raining for 8 weeks straight every day. Lucky us! Mind you the weather changes with a flip of a coin...which you'll soon read about!

Touring with Dennis
Dennis knows his stuff about the Dingle Peninsula. We drove up Slea Head, to the town of Ventry. We looked at the Dunbeg Fort which is a promotary fort. He showed us the bee hive huts, which are like their form of native tents, but instead are made of piled rocks without mortar. Dennis says that the reason for all the stone barriers, is not to divide land, but to clear the fields. Where there is field, it means that people were moving the rocks. We went to the beach where Ryan's Daughter was filmed on the Coumeenole Strand. He told us about a lake at the top of the mountain which has a stream that flows down to connect to more water at the bottom. We drove over the stream too, and it flows under a rock bridge, which is called the upside down bridge. Dennis took us to Dunmore Head which is the most westerly part of Ireland.

We saw the Blasket Islands from a distance. Pat and I now have a fascination with them, because they are empty now. No one lives there anymore, because it became too hard. The Blaskets had their own culture and stories. In fact, they knew that things were changing so the people of the Blaskets, asked the three best storytellers to collect all the information and write about it. Those three books became best sellers. Since then, more people from the Blaskets have written and they have the highest concentration of writers in Ireland. There is only one remaining survivor of the Blaskets now. Pat and I wrote down the titles to look for.

We were able to see the three sisters, which are three peaks/cliffs. We saw the sleeping giant in the water and the rest of the Blasket Islands. By then the weather started to get cloudy and then the rain began. Unfortunate, because we could have done more, but the weather wasn't cooperating. We drove by Dolores' house...Dolores, the lead singer of The Cranberries. Her home is huge and she has a stable for her horses as well!

It was a nice tour and I hope to visit Dingle again, so that I can see the rest of it. Dingle is a relaxing place to be. The scenery just calms me and makes me relax. I would like to stay here for a week next time. Dennis drove us back. We took a break and then headed back out in the rain. We ate at Global Village Restaurant and the food was excellent. We were going to go out for drinks again, but the thought of trying to find a cab in the rain and still having to pack, as long as the early morning start made us change our minds. We trudged home in the rain.

We had left a note for Barbara and Michael telling them that we would take the 7:15 am bus to Tralee. When we got back the note was under our door. Barbara said that they usually woke up at 6:30 am and they would drive us to town for the bus. They'd also make us breakfast! They are truly good hosts!

The next email will be the last for this trip. Thanks for hanging around so long and reading them!


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