Tuesday, July 25, 2017

delightful Dingle

Off we went to "phase two" of the trip- centered in Dingle.... I had been in Dingle twenty years before when we had opted to drive the Dingle peninsula over the more popular Ring of Kerry.  This is a part of western Ireland renowned for its beauty and rightly so- I may have a few old photos from the much less tourist populated trip of 1997 and if so I will post them at the end of this entry.

Meanwhile we are off in the morning with a stop along the way at Molly Gallivan's Farm where we basically tour an historic farm that is in situ- not like the Bunratty Folk Village or the Muckross Farms of this area where things have transported to a spot to preserve them, this is an original property with the full family history.  It is now owned by a couple who are trying to keep it as it was so it can be preserved with all the farm activities intact.

Below Stephen explains how the still would be in the woods and out of site in case the priest came around - LOL

The view from the front of Molly's farm house- she ran a business with moonshine sales and a sort of road house stop while doing a bit of pig, sheep and chicken farming and peat harvesting etc...

below the peat drying in the wagon before being stacked alongside the cottage for heat and cooking use later

they of course run a very nice gift shop too LOL - with some really nice woolen items and and some lesser things as souvenirs as well-

there are many sheep in this part of Ireland so we see many things with a sheep motif or theme

in the yard of the cottage and shops there is a working still so that we can learn the process and also taste some of the wares -

below- how the heated distillates are transferred from steam to liquid - a heat exchange/cooling pipe of copper tubing inside a barrel of water and then at the other end we have the drip drip drip into the bucket

an interesting stop before continuing on in the direction of Dingle which we will reach quite late this afternoon.... We drive through Bantry and right past Bantry House and Bantry Bay to Kenmare where will stop for lunch.

Meanwhile here are some 1997 photos for the Bantry Bay and Bantry House etc...

above and below- literally noon photos of Bantry Bay in early July 1997

two days later we took a trip through the Killarney National Park 

you might be able to see from these photos - all taken midday at various locations during our 1997 trip - why I refused to return to Ireland for twenty years-  it was July 4, 1997 and it was 38* and raining as I hiked through the gap of Dunloe while my mother refused to get out of the jitney that we had hired to take us over the mountain to a pub pick up at the end of the trip.  We took a boat in the rain and then rode part way in the rain and then the guy said his horse was tired and so we all had to WALK the remaining miles ----  we both swore we would never return and my mother never did. LOL but apparently climate change has been a boon to Irish summers because we actually had decent weather this whole trip!

back to the present day-

In Kenmare we find an amazing music store where I buy a CD of John Spillane (first night private concert)

We head onward -  and our final stop just a few miles from Dingle is Inch Beach where there is an opportunity for souvenir shopping and coffee and "comfort" in the late afternoon. The beach time was limited but the wind was very very stiff and so it wasn't all that appealing.

later that day we were treated to another private concert of tow angelic voiced women Pauline Scanlan and Eilis Kennedy (known as Lumiere) and their terrific guitarist Donogh Hennessy-  sorry if my spelling is way off I don't speak or read Irish LOL (below Johnsmith introduces the evening's entertainment) it was scheduled for 7- 8:45 and dinner would be after the concert...

here is a small blurb form the Internet about the ladies - Together, they offer a distinctly feminine sound and feel, where voice is the primary instrument and Ireland as motherland is re-imagined. With Lumiere, the song and its delivery are the primary focus, technical concerns gives way to feeling as song and singer effortlessly merge.

we dined in the Skellig Hotel restaurant called the Coast Guard - and had an excellent (if pricey) meal

we both chose the fish and risotto for mains  I had the gravlax as a a starter (above)

 Phil's chocolate nut pie and my trio of ice creams (the dairy here is fabulous LOL)

and this was our view from dinner - the harbor at Dingle - because we are so far north the sun sets around ten thirty - which we loved!

tomorrow off to the Slea Head Drive with stops along the way - so stay tuned! More to follow....

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