Our first stop towards Dingle was Inch, a place recommended to us in Galway. A little narrow road took us in, and we were met by the sight of a long sweeping sandy beach with mountains wreathed in cloud behind. We were excited to see a host of motorhomes parked on the beach and, thinking we’d found a pretty cool wild-camp, drove onto the beach too. Then we saw the sign declaring that overnight parking on the beach was prohibited. Damn!
So, leaving those naughty motorhomers to their criminal activities, we found ourselves an alternative park in a lay-by perched over the beach with a great view.
The next day, we drove into Dingle along a rather spectacular road, winding along the coastline. We pulled over quite a few times along the way to enjoy the scenery.
Arriving in Dingle, we walked around the colourful little town for a while, in the mist. Lots of craft shops, among other things. Katherine found us some cushions for Nettle, with much glee.
We set off down the peninsula, following that great craggy coastline that spoils us so. We stopped over to visit a pre-1200 AD ‘ringfort‘ (or ‘bee hive huts’), piles of loose stones comprising huts and fences. Man, what a gloomy existence that must’ve been.
With the hour getting late, we decided it was time to stop for the night, so we pulled over in a lay-by beside the road, overlooking the water. This wild-camping thing is just brilliant:
We set off again the next day…
…and found Slea Head just around the corner, a little sandy beach with surprisingly turquoise water framed by crags, and a rocky point, leading back to green fields dotted with sheep.
Funny to think that if the weather here was any more palatable, the place would probably be transformed by condos and resorts — as it is, there are just a few farm houses. Unspoilt. Hooray for the rain!
It being quite early, there was not another person in sight; we had a breakfast of tea and toast parked overlooking Slea Head’s beach.
We finished our driving tour of the peninsula, making our way back to Dingle.
We found a park just outside town, and walked in once evening had set in looking for a pub to enjoy some live traditional music and Guiness. We wandered into the first one we saw, and had ourselves some homemade-style apple crumble for dessert, and an Irish coffee (actually, yuck. Whiskey in coffee is not for us!).
We got ourselves a couple of Guinesses (there’s our Vegemite replacement right there) and two musicians started up — a man playing guitar who looked like he’d just walked off the farm, and a young lass with a fantastic lilting singing voice. They were brilliant.
Meanwhile, we met another patron who introduced himself as Patrick, and lived in a village outside nearby Limerick (he was visiting Dingle, and was going to hitch-hike back home the next day). We shouted him a pint and chatted (sorry, shared craic) for a while; he suggested a few places we shouldn’t miss on the Ring Of Kerry, our next destination.
And that was it for Dingle — we excused ourselves and walked back to Nettle to sleep, then drove off the next day.