A Stone's Throw

practice your aim. you never know when you'll spy 2 birds at once.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

kiss what?

October 16, The Dingle Penninsula

The adventure continues.

Crazy turn number 109. Yesterday I teamed up with Aaron, a musician/carpenter from Washington State, and two Cali surfers, Reed and Nial, who had a car and took off across Ireland.

Many times, if I blinked I missed the towns we passed through, but I wanted to see the ocean and the west coast. It is quite harrowing to drive in this country, most of which is covered in twisting and turning roads that have no shoulder, and naturally no room for mistakes. A lot of the landscape of mid-Ireland reminded me a lot of parts of upstate New York, Tennessee, and bits of the midwest.

The colors are turning here in glorious fashion, making for a stunning visual journey, especially as we passed Cork and into Blarney to visit the Blarney Castle. At first I wasn't too keen on visiting the often-spoke of Castle, but my opinion changed. Blarney Castle is a mighty, once-beautiful and well-cared for relic that affords a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside thatr is in near complete display of Autumn color.

Why kiss the Blarney Stone? I have no idea, and the map guide never gets to that. A gimick maybe. I didn't want to even think of all the lips that had been there before, so I will move on. Surrounding the castle is a fantastically tended wilderness walk that takes you over mysterious streams, through majestic pine groves, and among what are considered the remnants of a druidic culture that used the ancient rocks and trees in their mystical practices.

Leaving Blarney, we moved north on stomachs of ham and cheese sandwiches and coffee, through the county and past the beautiful lakes of Killarney and into the Slieve Mountains. The Slieves reminded me of some of the mountains in western Wyoming and on a smaller scale, parts of Scotland's highlands.

We reached the town on Inch and stopped at the Inch Penninsula where it was said to have great waves. The locals said that it did indeed have such waves, but what took my full attention was how beautiful the coastline of western Ireland is. All of what is said of the west coast came true in that moment and all the travels to get there was worth it.

The town of Dingle is a sleepy place of 1500 people with 53 pubs. Strange ratio, but we found one with authentic Irish music to have a few pints to take the edge off and turned in.

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