Ireland '99: Day Fourteen

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Rinneen Beach
Dingle Peninsula
Gallarus Oratory
Unknown Dingle Ruins

Day Fourteen -- September 9th, 1999 (9/9/99!)

Unfortunately, my eyes did not stay shut last night, as my sickness and the fullness of events from yesterday kept me awake most of the night. I should be getting over the cold by now, but I keep pushing myself physically (e.g. yesterday’s Cliffs of Moher did little to promote a well-being conducive environment).  

We headed out, and took a picture of some milk cows along the way. They were all lined (er.. queued) up, facing the same direction. By the time I got the camera out, though, they had randomized. It still made for a fun shot, though.

Thousands of Cow Jokes and I can't think of *one* that would be good for this picture!
Jenn heading down to the beach

Further on down south, near Rinneen, we looked out and saw monstrous waves crashing in to the rocky shore (explaining why the boat to the Aran islands wasn’t running today despite the delightful weather.) We headed down the first country road to the shore and found a desolate rocky shore being battered by the fierce waves. We jumped a fence and headed out across a farmer’s field to the beach, only to find the rocky area teeming with life, and the waves even more massive than we believed. Big wave pictures, however, never seem to turn out, though – for there are no points of reference. So trust me, the waves were huge. They did not have huge tunnels like Hawaii’s, but they did have huge masses of water behind them and produced brilliant sprays as they hit the rocky shore.


Life Perseveres
A Lifeless beach turns abundant, spins gold from thread!
Look at all the sea life!
Jenn amidst Thunder
Jenn checking out her collection of sea shells
Another big wave crash

After our two hour romp along the seaweed infested beach, we headed on south, touching down at the Killimer Ferry to cross the Mouth of Shannon (giving me just enough time to buy some more film and summarize the day so far). In fact, writing that last sentence, I just paid the 8 pound toll and I think I will head over to the edge of the ferry to watch us take off.

Irish Countryside Shot #82

We then headed out on the Dingle Peninsula, a truly beautiful meeting of mountain and ocean. Like Donegal, the peninsula was another naturally bounded area that protected a strong belief in traditional Gaelic. The peninsula is also crisscrossed with a myriad of small country roads, and as a result of these two things, we spent most of the time wondering where the hell we were. 

A stone lined gulley 
The Dingle Peninsula's interior 

The only way to navigate in the country side in Ireland is to look at the road signs at intersections that say which road leads to which town. Unfortunately, many of the intersections did not even have road signs, and many of the towns were not listed on our map. Well, navigation difficulties came to a head in Gaelic areas, where all the towns are listed with their Gaelic names. In more populated and more English areas, there is a reasonable correspondence between the Gaelic and English name of a town, but in areas where it really matters, there is only about a 20% chance of figuring out what a place is. It made it great fun to have to flip a coin to figure out whether or not to go left or right.


Stone, Grass, and Views
This goat greeted us immediately at the top of the pass -- he seemed to hang around the viewpoint to either collect tolls or food

While on the peninsula, I developed a craving for pizza. With the help of one of our tour guidebooks, Jenn was able to track down a pizza joint in a small town. After finally making it there, however, we learned that it was closed till 5:30 (it was mid afternoon at that point). The quest continued.

The pizza town!

With all the traveling, it was beginning to become apparent how exhausted we were from all of the constant driving and traveling. My cold only seemed to be getting more annoying, and Jenn did a fair amount of the driving, making her tired too. We decided to make it a slow day, and try to take it easy.

The Gallarus Oratory: *very* old!

One spot we checked out on the Dingle Peninsula was the Gallarus Oratory, a 6th century church. It is the oldest Christian church in Ireland and has withstood the assault of the elements all of these years. There was also a nearby monastic settlement (Riasc) that we visited.

Jenn walking back from the Gallarus Oratory
Look at this massive Fuchsia hedge
Tig had his own B & B -- read the sign...

The highlight of the day (other than perhaps the beach walk) was a five minute stop at an unknown ruins. The spot was lit up just perfectly, with deep dark shadows over a brilliantly green pasture with sheep with the sun shining as a backdrop. The scene was positively perfect for the mood of the ruins, but unfortunately made it a very difficult photograph setting, especially without a sun shade for the lens.

Tig's Silhouette
One of my more favorite pictures of Ireland (unknown ruins)

The quest for pizza was fulfilled in the town of Dingle, and then we headed for Killorglin for a stay at a nice B&B. We made a few calls back home and headed to sleep, exhausted.



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