The Dingle Peninsula and Ring of Kerry are magical places. This is the Ireland we'd expected to see and it did not disappoint.
The landscape varied from rugged coastline to grazing land with a whole lot of history thrown in for good luck. If not for the signs indicating we were approaching Dunbeg Fort we would have driven right past. The fort is not visible from the road, and in fact blends in as if camouflaged.
It isn't until one almost reaches the cliff that the iron age fort becomes visible. Built for defensive purposes the huts and stone wall built around them date back to the 8th and 9th century.
To the right of the Stonehouse Restaurant is an audio visual centre for Dunbeg Fort. As the ticket booth is across the road in a tiny wooden hut most people (including ourselves) purchase our tick and venture down to the fort. What a mistake! The short video presentation makes the fort and the people who lived there come alive. The powers that be really need to remedy this (or put the ticket booth inside the audio visual centre) as it would enhance everyone's understanding and visit.
The cafe is charming and we stopped for a cup of tea and homemade scone with jam. Dee-lish!
Further along are the Fahan Beehive Huts. These are far from the cliffs and involve walking up a steep incline from the parking lot, but the huts and views are definitely worth the effort.
Continuing westward the road hugs the coastline and guardrails are rare.
Off in the distance are the Blasket Islands.
As we were driving along the road and stopping every so often to take photos a guy on a bicycle would do the same. From Sydney, Australia he asked John to take a photo of him at the Beehive Huts and we met again at this hairpin curve in the road. He requested another photo be taken with him standing in front of the cross for his mother who is "very religious". When we commented on his stamina for such a ride he mentioned it was his "day off". He's actually walking the other six days of the week!
We wished him the best and before he got back on his bike he offered to take a photo of us. He also advised us to visit Australia...gosh. Twist our arm!
The road around the Dingle peninsula is narrow, yet more and more tour buses are making the journey. It is an unwritten law that motorists and tour buses do the circuit route clockwise, but every now and then a driver does it the other way around and the result is a major stoppage of traffic. There is no where to turn around, no where to back up. We even found it difficult when passing another car and often pulled over, tucked in the side mirrors, held our breath and hoped for the best!
This little cluster of buildings is a tourist trap in every sense, and yet also a much needed vantage point to admire the Dingle coastline.
The northern coastline of the peninsula is even more rugged than the southern.
The final stop of the day was the Cul Draiochta B&B in Cahersiveen. Of the six bed and breakfasts we stayed in this was our favourite. Ann has hospitality down pat and goes above and beyond to make her guests feel welcome. She even instructed me on how to pronounce Cul Draiochta (Cool Drath-taa)
|Cul Draiochta B&B|
|Queen en-suite room|
|With the most incredible view!|
* * *