Tour de Dingle

Trip Start Aug 30, 2010
1
6
15
Trip End Dec 19, 2010


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Where I stayed
2 Hostels

Flag of Ireland  , County Kerry,
Monday, September 13, 2010

Thursday night was "Trad on the Prom". We got dressed up and the bus picked us up at our apartments.  "Trad on the Prom" took place at the Salthill Hotel.  Finn (one of our 2 advisors) met us there.  It was an API event put on every year.  It was a big deal.  People from all over the world were there to see this performance.  It was traditional Irish instrument playing, singing and dancing.. along with some story telling about Ireland's history.  It was a beautiful experience.  I'm not ashamed to say I had tears in my eyes during the last song sung by Sean Costello.  Costello has the most talented voice I've ever heard live.  We wern't permitted to take photos during the performance so..
http://www.tradontheprom.com/show.html

Friday we met Charlotte and Ann-Cecille and Charlotte in Eyre Square for Brunch.
Later, 7 of us took the city bus from Galway  and started our long journey to Dingle...

We went from Galway City to Limerick, Limerick to Tralee, then finally Dingle.  It took about 9 hours (including layaway).  We checked into the Blackberry Hostel.  The owner, Dave gave us the code to let ourselves in because he was out at the pubs.  We actually didn't even see the guy until the morning when we paid and left (very trusting guy).  After leaving our bags on the bunks we hit the town.  We got some food at dimly light restaurant called the Blue Zone.  It had couches for chairs.  Jazz was playing while couples lounged with books and glasses of wine.  I ordered cake instead of "real food" partly because it was cheaper and partly because I was expected to bike THIRTY MILES the next day.  I also ordered an Irsih Coffee which I ended up gifting to the only male with us.  I quickly found I am not a fan of whiskey.  We followed our ears and ended up at http://dickmacks.homestead.com/  It was a TINY pub.  We couldn't all fit in the door because it was too packed.  Inside was a band of 3 men and one woman.  There was a fiddle, accordian, guitar and.. shakers(?)  Some sat on the bar with their empty pints lined up.  They sand songs about Dingle but ironically the first song was "Forever Young" this was a singalong for sure.  I believe we were the only non-loclas besides some obvious Yankee cap sporters.  We also stood out because we were all MUCH younger than everyone present not only in the pub, but in Dingle.  Next stop was John Benny's. http://www.facebook.com/pages/John-Bennys-Pub-Dingle/109220025765306  More great music.  We decided to retire after this since we were to be up at 8am to rent bikes and cover the entire peninsula....

3am gave us a little scare.  Most of us were newbies in the hostel experience so we were already on edge a bit...  So loud pounding on the door is not very comforting.   When we thought more ratinally we figured it was a group of hostel-stayers like us who got drunk and didn't remember the code to get inside.  When they finally got in, they decided to congregate in front of our bedroom and yell like at a sporting event.  I sensed an Irish accent, but then I heard German. (who knows!)

My alarm went off at 7 and I climbed down from my suprisingly comfy bunkbed.  The rounded up the troops and went downstairs to meet and pay Dave... he was extremely enthusiastic about telling us where and what to do while in Dingle.  He did tell us that Dingle "sleeps in" so no place will be open til atleast half nine.  We wasted time enjoying the beautiful view in the bay.  Dingle reminded me of a small fishing village where everyone knows everyone.  The place where we hired the bikes was simply a man's garage packed with bicycles.  It was only 10 Euro for the day.  (Boy, did we get our money's worth!)  Once we got out of town there was more Atlantic ocean, cattle, and rolling hills.  This little cycle turned out to be a workout... and a half.  It was a pleasant surprise to find the last 5-10 miles were steep hill.  Not complaining though. The scenery was worth it... even though the roads were not "bike friendly" (certainly not friendly when an out of place tour bus zoomed around the corner and nearly pushed off the cliff to plunge, bike and all, into the clear ocean.

This day happened to be September 11th.  It felt wrong not being in the United States for this.  In some way I felt guilty.  I asked the group if they'd like to have a moment of silence during our lunch break.  It would be between 8 and 9 am in the States.  As I sat on a corroding rock wall facing the Atlantic, I stared across the water to where my home is.  I thought about that day, the indescribable terror and tragedy that also uncovered the heroic hearts and a sense of "we’re all in this together"...never forget

We made dinner that evening in the Hideout Hostel's lovely kitchen.  It was a cultural expereince if I've ever had one.  The cozy kitchen brought together Americans, Irish, Germans, Russians and Italians all cooking side by side- sharing ingredients and waiting their turn for the oven.  Second night for the "rural pub crawl".  We walked into where ever we heard music.  Not suprisinglty we were the only crew under the age of 30... not counting an Asian girl, probably my agewho decided to make it known to everyone that she is the definition of a tourist.  She was taking pictures of EVERYTHING inside this one pub... she also made it a point to rise off her barstool and jam her camera practically in the faces of the musicians performing.  I found this comical.  I wonder if the locals did....



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Comments

Dad on

I can't wait to hear more about the trip. Talk to you soon.
Love you!

Nancy Torpey on

WOW! That chocolate @ the Blue Zone would drive your Uncle Bill crazy! He's our chocoholic!
All looks and sounds wonderful Brianna. Take care. So long for now.....
Love,
Aunt Nancy

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