Dingle, hopper

Jan 14, 2015

In case you missed it, part one of our Irish adventure. 


After Rock of Cashel we loaded back into the cars and headed off for our home the next few days in Dingle -- from Kilkenny to Dingle was about 3 hours or so, weaving through quaint towns, and roundabouts. Ireland loves themselves some roundabouts. This was the only time we had rain during our trip, which boded well for us since it was during our travels. I napped to nature's lullaby.  Everyone wins.

Sunset was upon and those darn roundabouts really are confusing (especially in a foreign language), so despite turn-by-turn directions from our host, we stopped in downtown Dingle to double check  because it was pitch dark out. Thankfully a kind lady helped us and turned out our directions were correct and we were on course, so we followed them, verbatim, to the house. 

Here are the directions -- hats off for that kind of detail with nary a street number.


The best way is to take the N18 from Shannon to Limerick it is well signposted, so just keep following the signs for Limerick. (Google directions get very complicated, so i would not go there, but a copy of the map is no harm, with the directions I am giving you.)

As you are coming close to Limerick (you do not want to go into the city centre), you will begin to see signs for Tralee, Cork and Killarney, You will follow the signs for Tralee N21. There are two routes to Tralee, so be careful to watch out for Tralee, Cork and Killarney signs. You will stay on the N21 all the way to Tralee.

Once in Tralee, you will be looking for signs to Dingle (An Daingain), which is the N86. The N86 will bring you right into Dingle (AnDaingain).

There will be a fork in the road about 8-9 miles outside Tralee. One is the N86, which veers to the left and the other is Connor Pass. Please take the N86 if weather conditions are not to good.. The Connor Pass is a beautiful route, if it is a beautiful day, with no fog, rain.... If any of these conditions exist it can be very dangerous at the top of Connor Pass. In both instances (N86 or Connor Pass) follow signs to Dingle (An Daingain). 

Once you are in Dingle (An Daingain) follow the the Marina (waterway) leaving town. You will then come to a roundabout in approximately 1 mile. 

Follow signs for Feothanach (so go straight through if you came along the waterway). 

You will travel approximately 6 miles and there is a fork in the road. 

Stay to the left at fork. 

You will then travel approximately 3 miles (you will pass a school, local hall on right and couple hundred yards down the road there is The Cuinne Pub (pronounced Cuneya) on the left.

Just before the pub there is another fork in the road. 

Stay to the right. 

You will then pass over a little bridge and approximately 100 yards after the bridge there is a curve in the road. You will be taking a left turn at the curve in the road.

Your vacation home is the third house on the left. Please note that there is a house at the curve, the second house is at the top of the hill and your house is directly behind the second house. You cannot see your house very well from the road. You literally will be doing a U-turn into the driveway just past the second house.


Accurate down to the kilometer. Whomever penned that is my spirit animal.

Somehow Eric (brother #3) got lost (poor guy was so uncomfortable driving -- opposite side of the car and road), so a group went to look for him and another to the local bar (post house tour) when I got sick. SUPER sick. It was horrible. I spent the remainder of the evening in bed. Robyn was so kind and somehow found some sprite, but my stomach was having none of it. The next day I was fine, a bit dehydrated and my stomach was super sensitive (PB and crackers saved the day), but all was well thankfully.

Back to the house tour.

The housekeeper was welcoming and super helpful with the lay of the land (we got there at night so we had no idea where we were).

All bases were covered -- extra water heaters (and boosters) so everyone had a hot shower, how to use the electronics, tour of the house, where trash goes, etc. She even left the essentials: coffee, cookies, milk which was epic and awesome considering we arrived after stores closed.

Meet, Baile Ghaith (pronounced "balla gaw")

Backyard patio
I still dream about this house. 

That  body of  water is the Atlantic Ocean.  


I could live there, obviously. I've said a million times, vacation rentals make a vacation. It truly feels like home.

Mark and I stayed in this room, upstairs. 

Living Room
Each bedroom had an en suite, plus two additional half bath off living areas.  

Palatial, without being over the top. Perfect for a group our size, cozy enough without being on top of one another

Entertainment Area

Those windows are magic.

Step 1: open window

Step 2: push open for mini balconies. 

A hot mug of tea and I had a grand time right here.

Kitchen dreams are made here. It was literally the size of a studio apartment with windows on three walls.

Many a yummy meals in Dingle.  Emily (my sister law), made french toast one morning, and Deb made beef stew. 

Also, brown bread is a food I vehemently stand behind now, and I want to eat it everyday.

Town of  Ballydavid
Looks like a postcard. It felt like -- peace.

My heart was very happy in Dingle.


Somehow we couldn't figure out the dryer (so.many.knobs), so the laundry line came is handy.

A man that does laundry. Deb taught her boys well.

Ever since we saw the house online I was salivating over the fact there was a hiking (read: running) trail steps from the house. It goes without saying I HAD to find it.

The trail was plush. So plush it was reminiscent of trail running, on down pillows.

Instead of breaking an ankle, I trudged along slowly, and took lots of selfies.

I came to a locked gate and turned around, in doing so running into an adorable elderly gentleman and his dog who said "that was a quick". After I explained the gate was latched, he matter of factly said "unlatch it, the trail goes all the way up the mountain, the gates are just to keep sheep contained."


At that point I was already gone for about 30-45 minutes and without a phone (I just use wifi abroad), so I headed back so no one would worry.

Grabbed anyone willing, and set back out on the trail. This time through the gates.

Robyn, the sheep whisperer.

Deb and Rex, my mother and father in law. 

Big hearts, those Pipers.

Shopping (Strand was lovely), lunch at the Chowder Cafe (chowder was insane),  and ice cream in town (the house was on the outskirts of town in Ballydavid). 

Mark got my birthday gift, brillant, because what better gift than something Irish.  He did good. 

Gotta teach em' young.

When a ball rolled into the hole, she'd erupt in giggles and clap.

Snacking + Reading

Since my first run didn't actually get very far, I decided to pound the pavement up Slea Head Drive to get in a training run.

Unbeknownst to me, the dingle marathon was the day we departed Dingle. Had I researched better I so would have stayed behind a few hours and run it.

Next time.

I set off, telling Mark my route: right out of the driveway, taking a left at the fork and that I'd be back in an hour or so (I was hoping to get in 8-9 miles).

The roads, as I've detailed before, were tiny. one US lane = two lanes in Ireland. There is no shoulder. Marathoning training or bust I decided against ipod+headphones, opting to blast the countryside with whatever music was on my iphone through the speaker.

The cows loved it.

Once I got my rhythm (of not be hit by a car, speed limits are a suggestion), it was fantastic. Seeing the town on foot and shaking out my legs from all the travel via planes and automobiles was perfect. 

At the fork I went right, Slea Head Drive is super windy and one lane over a cliff, gorgeous, but nowhere for me to be on foot. Passed a b and b and briefly thought of going in to use their wifi and tell Mark where I was, then thought better of it, and pressed on. Little did I know, upon my return he was walking out the door to come find me because he was worried since" I have no sense of direction" and I'd been gone for almost two hours. Oops.

While I was running, a group (remember there were eleven of us?) decided to do Slea Head Drive (its a driving tour stopping at a ton of notable places) and had packed lunch while I showered.

Reading about St. Brandon

Beehive Huts

Mark said, post this on Facebook with the caption "our new home"

Lunch on the beach. Those chips...

Fairly certain I housed 2/3 the bag alone.

We only got semi stuck on the one lane road (massive tour buses were afoot), did some hiking, and got about 2/3 around before we headed back. Beautiful drive, definitely recommend.

Back in Dingle proper, we took in a boat tour and some live Irish music...

We saw Fungie, the Dingle Dolphin.  Family fun for everyone with history facts and spectacular views.

A dog, on a donkey.

I'm always happy with ice cream in my hand. And yes, I count that as one serving. No wonder my jeans don't fit...

To round out our live music fun, we found a local restaurant (recommended by the music store owner) An Canteen for dinner before the show.

Owned by two brothers, An Canteen was cozy and popular.

Smoked Haddock was delicious.

Live Irish music at Siopa Ceoil, a local legend.

The store converts for concerts, so there was no bad seat in the house. Great live music venue, super intimate. 

Performing were: David Geaney + Pauline Scanlon (Carnegie hall). After the concert we went to another bar where Paula was singing.  Good times.

During intermission traditional Irish Coffee was served. Heavy on the booze, with the freshest of whipped cream. 

I like that place.

Our last day in Dingle we hiked Mount Brandon.

Beware, thistles abound.

Family feasting at TP's on the Dingle harbor.  

Best. Smoked. Haddock.

Sadly, our time in Dingle had come to an end. I got into the car, fully stocked with Kinder bars and coffee for the drive. Ate them, all, then wondered why I had a belly ache...

Next stop. Dublin! 

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