Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Dingle Peninsula - #100corners

O'Donnell's Pub, An Clochán.
Today I had a guest on my 100 Corners of Ireland tour - the lovely Roma. We did 140 miles and she was a great sport to stay with me all day.

We set out from Tralee in the morning and headed for Castlegregory on a very misty morning. The brilliant sunshine of yesterday had disappeared, and so had all the views of the Kerry peninsulas. After Castlegregory, a nice town with a market today and a traffic problem to match, we went to Mount Brandon Point - but did not get to see the mountain. Some super locations but with restricted views today. We were in the Gaeltacht and we were "ag caint Gaeilge" as best we could. We stopped at O'Donnell's Pub for a "cupan tae" in the village of An Clochan.

Next was the hairiest ride I have ever had, though Andorra last year was close. We had to go over the Conor Pass on our way to Dingle, and it was covered in cloud - visibility was down to 20m in places. Going up was tougher than going down as the roads were twistier - I'd say on a fine day that this would be one of the best bike rides around. We stopped at the top of the pass, and had a good laugh as we could see nothing.

At Paidí Ó Sé's Pub in Ventry.
We stopped at the Gallarus Oratory where we had been together on holiday 27 years ago. However, when we got to Dunquin, the rain started and there was not much to see in the thick mist and rain. We stopped at the Slipper in Ventry for lunch - I had soup while Roma had prawns which arrived at our table on fire! Delicious. This was just after stopping off at Paidi O Se's pub which was so packed that we decided not to stay. Similarly, Mick Mack's in Dingle was also so packed that we could not get in - no sign of recession in Dingle.

Our final stop was to the South Pole Inn in Annascaul where a hero of mine, explorer Tom Crean, used to live. I even enjoyed a beer - "Creans" brewed in Dingle.

Overrall - a great day despite the weather. The Dingle Peninsula is a wonderful bike ride with much better roads than what I have covered so far. Tomorrow it is on to The Ring of Kerry.

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