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Thur 9 Apr - Tralee to Adare via Dingle

I shall for ever be indebted to my cousin Claire for urging me to include the Dingle peninsula in my itinerary. It wasn't in my original plan, but I'm so glad I changed. Just magical scenery - the combination of mountain and sea are something special. And as you will see from the photos, I couldn't have been luckier with the weather.

The playwright, J M Synge, after visiting the Dingle Peninsula in August 1905, was moved to write "One wonders in these places why anyone is left in Dublin or London or Paris, when it would be better, one would think, to live in a tent or hut with this magnificent sea and sky, and to breathe this wonderful air which is like wine in one's teeth."

This stage of my journey doesn't require many words from me, just the pretty pictures. Just to explain that I went from Tralee down to Castlemaine ("The Home of the 'Wild Colonial Boy'"), along the coast via the badly mis-named Inch Strand ('cos it's miles long, not inches), through the town of Dingle, and then a clockwise loop around Slea Head, with views of the Blasket Islands, back to Dingle.

The Blaskets, I believe, were finally abandoned in 1953, but were one of the last bastions of Gaelic culture, most famously recorded in the wonderful book 'The Islandman' by Tomás O'Crohan.

From Dingle town I then headed north-east over the Conor Pass to Castlegregory (a pleasant little seaside village, but not somewhere I'd particularly want named after me), and along the southern edge of Tralee Bay.

The town of Tralee is blessed with an excellent ring-road system; the Ballygarry House Hotel where I stayed last night is conveniently situated by one of the junctions on this system; and this afternoon coming from Dingle and heading on towards Adare I went around the ring road, so I never actually got to see anything of the centre of Tralee.


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