Traveling with siblings is not all shitz and giggles. Initially I had considered changing roommates every stop to provide a break from one another as well as one-on-one time with someone else. It was determined that the guys were more compatible roommates so that didn’t happen. Then toss everyone into a small metal container on wheels along very narrow and hair-raising roads, little sleep, and perhaps a touch of missing home and the result is attempting to juggle cats with their tails tied together. I have never been good at juggling so my best shot was changing roommates for the night. Ah, but I have gotten ahead of myself.
Today’s agenda was driving the Slea Head drive out of Dingle. It is a beautiful drive on a clear day but we were going to give it a try in drizzle. There were still sites we could stop and explore; it was just that the spectacular views would be missing.
We were tired when we got up for breakfast. After eating it was an easy agreement that we’d all lay down for a while to rest up for the day. All except for Seana who opted to go shopping. The agreed upon time of departure was 11:00 a.m. I was thankful for rest. I got up at 11:00 and the boys were in their rooms but Seana had not returned from shopping. We had plenty of time for our expedition so I just returned to the bed to await her arrival.
Once Seana had returned I remembered that I needed a quick shower. I was delighted to find a hairdryer in a drawer in our room. A short time later we were traveling Slea Head. The first place we stopped was at a collection of Ogham stones. Ogham stones are estimated to have been created around 500 B.C. and represent the earliest form of Irish writing. We moved from there to a warm cup of coffee just across the street from Dunbeg Fort. Thought to have been constructed about 1,000 B.C., the Bronze Age fort has been closed to the public for a while due to deterioration. We were told it was to reopen in two weeks.
Right around the corner from coffee are the Famine cottages. A short hike up the hill leads you to cottages that were inhabited during the famine. There are very informative displays inside as well as one very active mouse! It was a worthy stop although definitely in need of a little tender loving care. The old woman mannequin appeared to have lost a foot to the elements.
Next was the Fahan BeeHive Huts. Dating these huts is difficult because the skill of corbelling has existed in Ireland for more than 4,000 years. Most believe these huts were built in the 12th Century. They are made with dry stonework and only one of the huts at this site still had a roof. We spent quite a bit of time here, mostly trying to get photos without other tourists in them. It takes patience or acceptance. Most remarkable was that the sun was actually fighting to be seen!
We wound around the peninsula stopping occasionally for great scenery. We could actually see Dunmore Head which an hour before would have been completely shrouded in mist. We parked the car and walked part way down the drive to the beach. By then it was quite glorious. We lingered for the perfect shots.
I recalled a wonderful post card from Ireland with sheep coming up man-made trail from the sea. I only recently determined that it was taken at Dun Chaoin Pier. It was my fifth trip to the Dingle Peninsula and first time stopping at the pier. It’s very picturesque and I imagine stunning when there is a brilliant sunset. From the pier we headed to the Blasket Island Center for a film about the island off the coast. The island was heavily studied as the form of Gaelic spoken there was extensive and well preserved. There were also multiple authors from the island, perhaps most notable was Peig Sayers. The island was abandoned in the mid-1950s.
From there we found the free entrance of Gallarus Oratory lined by rows of fuchsia. Unfortunately, the fuchsia are just beginning to bloom but several blossoms teased us. This is believed to have been an early Christian site probably constructed between the 7th and 8th Centuries.
We headed back to Dingle and after some rambling up and down the streets, settled on the Adams Pub for dinner. We ate well and headed back to the hotel for an early night. The kids are not getting along harmoniously so I’m hanging with one of the guys tonight hoping that a good night’s sleep will help this tension dissipate. To make this even more stressful, I am aware that Bill’s flight to JFK has been delayed due to storms on the east coast. Currently, Delta is claiming he’ll arrive 40 minutes before his flight to Shannon leaves. We’ve been in that position before and our arrival was days later and a different airport. Oh, and by the way, my international phone service has just quit working. Hopefully, I’ll stay connected to the hotel WiFi long enough to find out he’s on the way.
Sending every ounce of positive thinking in Bill’s direction tonight!