We headed out for a drive around the Dingle Peninsula.

It was the most glorious day. The weather in Ireland isn't all drizzle and gloom.

We saw lots of the reeds that are still used for thatched roofs. Reportedly, thatching came back in vogue when fireproofing techniques were improved.

Another roadside shrine


Dingle is still heavily agricultural. Before the Famine, seaweed was carried up the hills and used as fertilizer. Now, the fields are mostly for sheep and cows.

This mother donkey didn't seem to appreciate her baby's attempts to initiate playtime.


Our first stop was Dunbeg (Dún Beag), an Iron Age promontory fort. It sits on the top of a cliff, which gave it a great view of the surrounding area (not to mention of invaders from the sea).


View from the fort


Beehive huts were a dime-a-dozen

on the Dingle Peninsula.


A view of Skellig Michael

in the distance (we think)




Slea Head is at the end of the Dingle Peninsula. The drive down to the beach there was rather exciting. It was all worth it when we got to the bottom. What a view!!!


The Rick Steves guidebook recommended a visit to the Great Blasket Centre. We were glad we went. It was fascinating. Great Blasket is an island off thee coast of the Dingle Peninsula. People lived there, following the old ways, until they were removed by the government in 1953. Visitors from England and other countries had brought literacy to the Island in the early 1900s. An amazing number of the islanders became published authors. The Blasket Centre celebrated the heritage of the island.

Gallarus Oratory

Tom napped in the car while Sue explored the area around this 1300-year-old building. It was built by early christians. There were a number of artifacts around the site. It started to rain, so it was good that the building stood up to its claim of being watertight.



Kilmalkedar Church was nearby. It was once part of a 12th-century complex of religious buildings.

Ogham stones

The marks on the edges of stone are characters from an alphabet that was used in fifth-century Ireland.

Known as ogham, the 25-letter alphabet was supposedly inspired by Ogma, god of eloquence.

  • Ogham was carved and read from BOTTOM to TOP. (Also carved, occasionally, right to left).

  • Also written as ogam or ogum, it is pronounced "AHG-m" or "OH-ehm."

  • Ogham served as an alphabet for one of the ancient Celtic languages. Its origin is uncertain: it may have been adapted from a sign language.

  • Current understanding is that the names of the main twenty letters are also the names of 20 trees sacred to the druids. Some authors have suggested the existence of a 13 month calendar which shared some of these names.

  • A 15th century treatise on Ogham, The Book of Ballymote, confirms that ogham was a secret, ritualistic language.


An ancient sundial

Supposedly, the hole in this stone was used to seal a deal in ancient times. Modern-day tourists use it to renew their wedding vows.

We headed down to the Ring of Kerry. We didn't drive around the entire Ring, but we saw some of the sights. First stop: The Bog Museum.

Knowing very little about what might be entailed, Tom suggested driving to the Gap of Dunloe. It was said to be spectacular. The guidebooks steered us away because it's usually overrun with tourists. Due to the bad weather that day, we almost had the place to ourselves. If only we had thought to check the petrol gauge before we decided to drive over the gap...

The road just seemed to keep going  and going and going...

We saw some ruined buildings, but we didn't see any signs of current human habitation. We drove for miles and miles and miles (kilometres and kilometres)...


Eventually, we did find a farmhouse that wasn't posted with "Keep out!" signs. The nice folks steered us to the nearest petrol station in Blackwater. We didn't know if we were going to have enough petrol to get there. Also, Tom was feeling unwell and needed to find the nearest ... accommodation. It was getting dark. We had to drive over the Ballaghbeama Gap, which seemed to be in the middle of nowhere. Who knew that such a small country would have such a large national park (with so so few signposts)...

We got back to Dingle very late - after 9:00. We were afraid that we wouldn't find anywhere to eat. We lucked on to a seafood restaurant, Out of the Blue. They were still serving dinner - thank goodness! The place looked like a shack outside, but inside was quite nice. The food was out of this world. The fresh fish came right off the pier across the street. We really should have taken a picture of our plates, just to show the amazing presentation. Each main course was surrounded by 10 or 12 little mounds of extremely colorful (and flavorful) side dishes. Yum!