Day 4: Dingle Peninsula, Ennis

Day 4 - 310km
Day 4 - 310km
Views along the Dingle Peninsula
Views along the Dingle Peninsula
Slea Head
Slea Head
Blasket Islands
Blasket Islands
Irelands Lawn Mowers
Irelands Lawn Mowers
Slea Head with the Pattersons
Slea Head with the Pattersons
Slea Head with the Szczublewski
Slea Head with the Szczublewski
Musician at Slea Head
Musician at Slea Head
The Seven Sisters on Dingle Peninsula
The Seven Sisters on Dingle Peninsula
Dingle Peninsula
Dingle Peninsula
Dingle Harbor
Dingle Harbor
Reask Monastary
Reask Monastary
Reask Monastary
Reask Monastary
Reask Monastary Kiln
Reask Monastary Kiln
Reask Monastary
Reask Monastary
Reask Monastary Standing Stone
Reask Monastary Standing Stone
Reask Monastary Early Cross
Reask Monastary Early Cross
Reask Monastary
Reask Monastary
Gallarus Oratory
Gallarus Oratory
Gallarus Oratory
Gallarus Oratory
Gallarus Oratory
Gallarus Oratory
View from Gallarus Oratory
View from Gallarus Oratory
Sheep at Kilmalkedar
Sheep at Kilmalkedar
Kilmalkedar Church
Kilmalkedar Church
Kilmalkedar Church
Kilmalkedar Church
Kilmalkedar Church
Kilmalkedar Church
Kilmalkedar Church
Kilmalkedar Church
Kilmalkedar Church
Kilmalkedar Church
Kilmalkedar Church Sundial
Kilmalkedar Church Sundial
Kilmalkedar Church Sundial
Kilmalkedar Church Sundial

Day 4 started out with breakfast in Killarney at the Killarney Towers hotel, just down the street from our hotel. The buffet was well put together and very reasonable at €9. We checked out of our hotel and started off towards the Dingle peninsula. As a side story, when checking out of the hotel, we knocked a bottle of water over that spilled on the tile floor of the lobby. The concierge insisted it was no problem and she would take care of it. We had joked around that they would be glad to be rid of us at this point, and she did not skip a beat with that line of joking, stating to the staff member who was mopping of the floor "look, we almost got them out the door. so close" and while holding open the door "I'm not saying we are glad to see you go, but the street is right there". It was a stitch. So we were off to the Dingle Peninsula for a day of sightseeing before heading to Ennis for the next few nights.Our first stop was intended to be Slea Head, but when we got to Ventry, we had to detour north since the road was closed for resurfacing. We managed to find our way to Slea Head from the North, even though the GPS was quite insistent on having us make U-turns at every intersection we came to. We arrived at the parking area overlooking the Blasket Islands and stopped to take in the beauty of the Atlantic and another remarkably sunny day. There was a local musician playing flute when we arrived, and the girls had a nice time chatting with him about his journeys and how he wound up living out in this region. We bought one of his CDs and double backed on the R559 towards our next stop: Reask Monastic Site, a early Medieval period christian monastery. There is not a terrible lot to see, but on a good weather day, it is worth stopping to walk around and take in the views. We loaded back up and made our next stop to the Gallarus Oratory (pretty much seen in every Ireland photo book ever) overlooking the harbour at Ard na Caithne. The building is entirely dry-fit stone and is believed to be built between the 6th and 9th century. Rick Steves recommends using the public parking area further up the road, but I'd suggest the stop at the visitor center (a few Euro) for the orientation film on the Dingle Peninsula, and restrooms (not many to be had out hrere). We also made a stop a short distance away at Kilmalkedar Church before heading back to Dingle for lunch. We stopped at Murphay's Pub for a relaxing meal before the next leg of the trip to Ennis. Feeling adventurous, we decided to take the road through Conner Pass, cutting through the Slieve Mish mountains. There is a nice car park at the top of the pass so you can enjoy views of County Clare to the north and Dingle Bay to the south. There was also an ice cream truck parked up there (I'm pretty sure we did not hallucinate that) selling hot chocolate as well. We sipped some warm beverages and enjoyed the views before heading down the north side of the pass, which really is more of a goat trail. After rejoining the main road, we proceeded towards Ennis on the N69 (after my GPS decided to take us through every roundabout and stoplight in Tralee, at least it felt that way). Along the way I made note that there is an old abbey near Askeaton on N69. We stopped to take pictures, but it was after 4:30pm and most of those sites lock up for the day at that time. We got a few good pictures and were able to stretch our legs before the last portion of the drive. We arrived in Ennis around 6:30pm and checked into the Old Ground hotel (our favorite place to stay in Ireland). A few pints were had at the Poets Corner Pub, along with a wonderful meal before calling it a night.