Mafia connections, the Emerald Isle and a Highland Fling travel blog

Give Way

A very full truck


Stunning coastline in County Kerry

Interesting clouds over beach


Skellig Islands of Star Wars fame

Another distant view of the Skellig Islands

Tide is well and truly out in Dingle

Downtown Dingle

Irish children enjoying the beach in their wetsuits

The Ring of Kerry is a scenic 160 kilometre drive on the Atlantic Way around the Iveragh Peninsula. Everyone we spoke to recommended driving it anticlockwise as that's the direction the coaches must go. This is so that you won't meet them head on in the narrow sections. We also read that this advice was out-of-date as a lot of the road had been improved over the years and it was better to go clock-wise otherwise you could end up following a coach all the way round. In the end we realised that clockwise would be best for us as it would save going all the way back to Killarney on our journey to Dingle. We saw only six coaches whilst driving the ring and three of them were parked. Mind you, we saw dozens of them in the last few miles on the way into Dingle.

Dingle is one of the few places where Irish is the main language and a lot of the signs only have the Irish spelling on them. We visited a few of the very traditional pubs which are also shops, enter the door turn left for beer, right for hardware. The Irish accent is at its thickest here in County Kerry and it took us a while to work out that the landlady of the B&B didn't say "enjoy the rain" but "enjoy the ring"!

We've visited various pubs and most have live music including traditional (known as Trad music), where they play instruments such as spoons, banjos, violin, harp, accordian, flute and Uilleann pipes (Irish bagpipes) we've also seen children do Irish dancing - all very charming. Most of the songs are about lost love, mind you we haven't heard Danny Boy yet.

There are lots of redheads and freckles about, hope they all remember to slip, slop and slap.

Looking out to the Skellig Islands, it is awe-inspiring to think that early Christian monks thought it would be a great place to set up a community back in the 6th century. It is a 12 kilometre sea crossing - what were they thinking! Dramatic but very remote.

For anyone who has seen Star Wars - The Force Awakens and the Last Jedi, The larger island is Luke Skywalker's Jedi Temple and during filming he had to walk all the way up.

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