We left Killarney early yesterday morning for The Dingle peninsula. We hadn't been there for fifteen years, but had fond memories of walking on Inch Strand in the mist and exploring the dunes with Felix, our youngest son. It was a similar misty moisty morning when we set off, with the sun breaking through for short sharp bursts, lighting up the landscape when it did. The hedgerows in the Dingle are fabulously colourful at this time of year, fuchsias dripping with blossom, interspersed with fiery crocosmia and bright yellow ragwort, with a backdrop of the autumn - just magic!
After a quick walk along the edge of the ocean, we decided to press on and have our morning coffee at Dingle town. Benners Hotel was warm and cosy, and we sat round the fire with a biscuit and a frothy cup of black coffee - just what was needed to boost energy levels again. You may be able to see the founder, Mrs Benner, in the painting over the mantlepiece.
Then on again - Dingle has such a lot to offer, it's hard to know where to look first. We strolled down to the harbour, where we also found one of the local music shops and had a long chat with Catriona about the possibility of setting up a traditional session for our visitors. She was very helpful, also filling us in on the local music scene and we went off bearing their collective CD. I left her with my own CD More Yarn Will Do The Trick - she was tickled pink by the idea of knit music! Irish music travels well and we're now sitting here enjoying it immensely over coffee in our kitchen at home now. Haven't worked out how to put music into the blog, but when I do I'll post some favourites.
On the way back into town we came across the dingle institution that is Dick Mack's and found the man himself inside. We just had to have a preprandial glass with him before speeding on.
Next checked out the fibre interest and came across a great shop on the main street, selling Kilcarra, Cushendale and other handspun Irish yarns as well as some beautiful handwoven and handknit stuff. They also have a fabulous knitted window display. I was trying to be good and make do with feasting my eyes, but I just couldn't resist a beautiful merino handwoven shawl by Eugene and Anke McKernan.
There's also a local handweaver a few doors down from Dick Mack's - well worth taking a look at. Also several outlet stores for wool and woollens - in fact Dingle is spoilt for choice and it depends totally on personal preference.
We grabbed a quick lunch on the hoof and all too soon we had to head back to Shannon for our evening flight back. We had intended to go down to Dunquin, where there's bee-hive huts and the fort, probably most famous for having Ryan's Daughter, the 1970 David Lean film, filmed there. Next time...
So goodbye to the Emerald Isle for now, where even the plane is green!