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Dingle report # 3 --Slea Head & more

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Dingle report # 3 --Slea Head & more

We took a 4 hour tour with Denis Ryan ( see review ) on Sunday June 12. When he arrived at our B & B with his red umbrella and long white hair, I knew he would be easy to be with. I rode in the front seat with him, and my husband sat in back. No microphones, just quiet conversations.

I consulted my journal to be able to write this, but am not sure of the exact oder, but here goes. We went to the former Lord Ventry's estate ( now a school) to see the ogham stones. I knew you read from the bottom up, but learned that then you read from the top down . The ground stones had an amazing shape,-- almost like an elongated baking potato but the writing is well worn.

We rode along the Slea Head Drive, and stopped for pictures. My first glimpse of the Great Blasket Islands thrilled me. Denis told us a lot more detail about the islands, and answered all questions.

We also stopped at the white stone monument for more pictures. The Sleeping Giant Island really does look like a man.

At Dun Beag, we all walked down the path to the fort. Denis pointed out the spaces in the stone path that now exposed the underground escape tunnel We explored every inch of the fort, and looked down the cliffs to the crashing waves

It was a joy to have Denis and all he knows to ourselves. We didn't have to rush to meet a schedule, and were able to stay at different places as long as we wanted.

We also explored a cluster of Beehive Huts. He pointed out how the builders left a stone or two sticking out for a foot hold while they were building them, in order to reach the top.

A tour bus pulled up, and the people got out and took pictures and left. That's too superficial for me. I was surprised to realize the huts could be more than one room. All day we had an off and on misty rain, but I don't melt. It was quiet and snug inside one of the Beehive huts.

It cost us each 2 Euros to go into the group of Beehive Huts, but I got to meet Maura, the older woman whose land they are on-- As a native New Yorker, I was happy to hear that she uses the admission fees to fly to New York to visit her children and granchildren every year,

As we rode along, I mentioned my cat, Riley, so Denis played a song "Riley" that his a capella group sings.

We also saw a GAELTACHT Summer School, where teenagers come to do total immersion courses in the Irish language.

Of course we went to the Gallerus ( sp) Oratory, and spent time inside, and learned about the graves and the kneeling stone.-- and the construciton, and I used my usual dozen questions we also went to a small beach whose name didn't make it into my journal notes

We stopped at a small shop for pastries and tea. It had a gaily painted sign outside, with the letters painted in a sort of modern day illumnated style. Very good food, and good conversation. And they have a book store there too.-- and the name of this shop ALSO didn't make it into my notes.

After Denis dropped us off at our B & B, we rested a while and then walked along the Strand to the Marina Inn for dinner. I must lhave liked it, but it must have been ordinary not special pub food. Now, I'm not saying it was bad food, but that meal isn't one I remember in great detail.

We lost our table when they started mving things around to set up for the musicians. We had another one given to us. We never saw the name of the group of musicians, but they were very good. The pub got so crowded that we could barely hear the music. We went outside and sat on a bench that backed up to the llarge front window, and SURPRISE, without the crowd noise, we could hear better. So we stayed there and enjoyed the music. Eventually we started walking back to our B & B for the night. Jameson's certainly sooths the body

Western Ireland...
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1. Re: Dingle report # 3 --Slea Head & more

Glad you got to do the trip in detail, thanks for posting! My guess is that the beach you saw was Winestrand?Or maybe Com uí Neol-down a very steep path overlooking the Blaskets?

Florida
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2. Re: Dingle report # 3 --Slea Head & more

not a steep path,, but very steep cement/concrete steps down from the bluff.

We didn't go down -- much as I wanted to ----as the rain decided to return then I'll have to check my camera to see if the Blaskets are off in the distance.

Ellen

Ventry, Ireland
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3. Re: Dingle report # 3 --Slea Head & more

Lovely report again, Ellen. I will be retracing your steps next week, as we have some family members visiting for the first time. I'll feed them a Dingle Pie in your honour.

Had you a clear view of the Sleeping Giant from the beach with the steep steps? If so it was Clogher Strand. We often go there in the winter if it is stormy, as they waves hitting the cliffs are a magnificent sight

Here's a youtube link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbDQeGz8Gno

Western Ireland...
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4. Re: Dingle report # 3 --Slea Head & more

Spot on ,Soonas, sounds like Clogher alright,I sat out there one day in my togs with a book, bus load of tourists in fleeces,hats and gloves arrived!

Florida
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5. Re: Dingle report # 3 --Slea Head & more

You've nailed it, Soonas. I checked my camera and can clearly see the Sleeping Giant out there. That storm looks magnificent. And now I know the name of the beach.

I did have on a fleece jacket and a Jaguars baseball cap, but it was warm that day, so I unzipped it :)

. It was only cold the day we arrived in Dingle....when we stopped at Inch Beach, the wind was so fierce I almost lost my will to live :) I kept muttering , "Sweet Jesus." Have been away from NY too long-- they say the blood thins :) But it was 55 F the next morningoutside of our B & B--- and we came from 95 F Mind you, I prefer the cooler temps. Makes me feel alive.

Don't you guys count the "wind chill factor?" The winds at Inch had to be 25 -30 MPH that day. :)

Ellen

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6. Re: Dingle report # 3 --Slea Head & more

Does anyone know the name of the shop we stopped at? With the great sign out front? And a room full of books?

Worcester...
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7. Re: Dingle report # 3 --Slea Head & more

I will also be in that same area ...Slea Head , one of the most beautiful places on earth in just about 10 days.I will be visiting family in Ventry. Thanks for the trip report...it brings back such wonderful memories !

Maura

Florida
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8. Re: Dingle report # 3 --Slea Head & more

There are still so many archeological sites that I want to visit, but I don't regret doing what we did in depth. And there is always next year. :)

Thank you for your kind words, Maura.

Phoenix, Arizona
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9. Re: Dingle report # 3 --Slea Head & more

Thanks for your report, Ellen. We took a tour with Denis in May. Your stops sound very much like ours, and we also enjoyed our 4 hours with Denis. His tailored tour was exactly what we hoped for, even if the weather wasn't.

We also stopped at that shop for a snack - Ashley and I split a delicious coffee cake. Definitely worth a stop. But sadly, I don't know the shop's name. If no one else can answer that, you can always email Denis.

On our drive from Kenmare to Dingle, our stop at Inch Beach was much like yours, too. The wind off the ocean was blasting sand at us, giving us absolutely no reason to get out of our car. So I took a single picture through our windshield, as we sat in the parking lot. Still a memorable stop, though.

Thanks again for your report and many insights. They jog our memories and give future visitors much to look forward to.

Jim

Ventry, Ireland
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10. Re: Dingle report # 3 --Slea Head & more

I'm traying to geta handle on the shop you mention, Ellen. Was it on the Slea Head route? If you can recall what sights came before it or after it, I could maybe identify it. There aren't that many shops out that way

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