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

Kilmalkedar Church

Another view of Kilmalkedar Church

Beehive hut

Gallarus Oratory sitting here for over 1200 years

Another view of Gallarus Oratory

Huge seagull with Skerrig Islands in the distance

Blue sky over Dingle Peninsula - finally


Lonely white house near the cliffs - erosion anyone?


Wildflowers and sunshine - what's not to like!

The Dingle Peninsula is certainly one of the highlights of the Wild Atlantic Way and we loved exploring it's sandy coves and ancient sites on a day that was actually sunny and warm. There were people in the water at the various beaches and children were learning to swim at a swimming camp. Surfers were waiting for waves at Inch Strand (a five kilometre sand spit at off Dingle Bay) but we couldn't see any swell. Cars are allowed on the beach here but we didn't want to risk any off-roading with our hire car. We drove the circular Slea Head Drive which in parts is very narrow and single lane only.

We stopped at various sites including the Iron Age Dunbeg Fort which is on a promontory and due to severe storms in 2015 was fenced off as most of the cliff has fallen into the ocean and the structure is no longer stable. Further along we visited the amazing Gallarus Oratory, an ancient smoothly constructed dry-stone building in the shape of an upturned boat. It's been here for over 1200 years and was built by early Christians. This area is littered with ancient sites including lots of Beehive huts dating from around AD 500. What did they do back then to entertain themselves without TV and smartphones? Work 24/7!

Our last stop for the day was the Kilmalkedar Church which is this area's most important Christian site. The church was built in the 12th century on the site of a seventh century monastery. Some interesting highlights in the church grounds were an alphabet stone; an Ogham stone with early medieval language and a sundial.

By the time we arrived at our B&B in Ballybunion (no joke) we were exhausted. We'd had too much fresh air and sun - holidays can be hard work! I thought the weather was mild but our hostess asked us to leave the front door open when we went out for dinner as it was too hot for her. I suppose it is their summer and it was about 21 degrees.

We went into town for our dinner and played some amusement arcade games first. I thought my score of 24 goals at the basketball hoops was good until I compared it to the high score of 151. At the pub our entertainment for the night was a group of three children playing traditional Irish music - oh how sweet.

Oddly the next morning our B&B hostess asked us a favour - could we give her a 10 out of 10 rating on the booking site or otherwise not give her a rating at all. We kid you not. While it was a lovely room, there was no tea or coffee in the room (we had to go down to the lounge room for it) and she didn't even provide breakfast. We decided not to give her a rating.

This wasn't the first time this has happened, a few places have asked us to give them ratings of 10, both here and in Italy. What we find funny is some B&Bs don't provide breakfast and it isn't always reflected in the price.

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