Dingle Peninsula, Republic of Ireland

Nearing the end of the All Ireland Rocker trip with Busabout / Shamrocker Adventures. Today we explore the Dingle Peninsula, a stretch of land jutting out to the sea that like most of Ireland is breath taking and green. It should be noted that the ring road around the peninsula while 2-way is generally taken only in one direction by the locals and tourists in the know, that is because for most of the journey its a cliff-side road without a lot of room for modern traffic to allow for casual passing.

First stop on the ring road was a farmer’s estate where for a few euros you can pay to explore the Beehive huts (Clochán), the old farmhouse and pet baby sheep. Expecting a bit of a tourist trap I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually pretty straight forward process. Pay to enter and explore at one’s leisure. The baby sheep where in one section and as long as you were gentle you could pick up one for a photo.

They don’t mince words… exactly as advertised… also historic Beehive Huts

But for a bit of culture I did manage to drag myself away from the cute baby sheep and check out the Beehive Huts that are another staple of the area history.

Next stop on the Dingle Peninsula is Coumeenoole Beach, first we stopped for another photo opportunity then headed down to the beach itself.

Overlooking Coumeenoole Beach

Its quite a trek down to the beach from the parking lot, I opted to grab some more photos and a awesome time-lapse using my iPhone and the DJI Osmo Mobile 3 which makes up my micro travel kit for photographers.

Next we headed out to the point of the peninsula, it got very craggy out there and the wind did start to pick up but was not unmanageable, again weather seemed to be on our side (fun note, the north side of the island was getting pelted by heavy rain so weather is highly variable on the emerald isle – I just got really lucky and I’m sure that luck with eventually run out… cough spoiler cough cough). The Devils Horn as the region is known is quite something, and looking out to the ocean you can see some islands which were used in a recent Star Wars movie.

At the start and subsequent end of our trip around Dingle is the small town of Dingle. Known for its dolphin Fungie that lives out in the bay I had to take a look and see if I could spot the elusive critter.

They even have a statue by the marina honoring their unexpected town mascot
Dingle Harbour / Marina
(J/K – Photoshop is my friend – But I fooled a bunch of people on the bus!)

We did stop for lunch in town, so several of us found a nice place called John Benny’s Pub to have some lunch at the recommendation of our tour guide Gemma. I had the fish of the day and chips, which came with peas as the veggies.

And that was it for the Dingle Penisula, a great day exploring a unique region of Ireland. Along the way we did drive by the famous “Rose Hotel” and stop in town for a rest break. I managed to find a rose bush and an old car to take pictures of… but otherwise short break.

Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland

Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge, Northern Ireland

It was a tight squeeze on our schedule for the day but we got to the ticket wicket before last call, got to the bridge before the closing bell and got to wander around the small bit of land on the other end of the bridge. Then, I got to be the last person on the bridge as staff were closing down at the end of another day. A rather interesting feeling to be all alone at the end of the day at a major tourist attraction with no noise but the gentle ocean breeze where, only an hour earlier, the population of a small town had been on the same trails.

Getting to the ticket wicket was only the first step. Getting to the rope bridge was the next challenge as the rope bridge is some distance from the ticket wicket along a trail that skirts the shoreline offering many opportunities to see the beauty of the shoreline of Northern Ireland. My family headed along ahead of me knowing well my habit of stopping often to snap that one more shot with a glance back from time to time to make sure that I hadn’t stepped off a cliff.

The path to the bridge is wide and easy to navigate. A set of steps takes one to a lower level part way down the trail.

The bridge itself is not terribly scary but has enough sway to it to test the resolve of those who might be a bit sensitive to hanging out some height above the sea water splashing below.

I had time to look over the cliff edges one more time and then we had to clear the island and let nature be alone with nature.

Alone at last, I savor the moment while staff do their thing to close things down for the night. Then it is the trek back along the now empty trail to the parking lot.