In keeping with the theme of Irish livestock waste, the hike from Annascaul to Dingle was punctuated for a memorable few moments with the lovely aroma of freshly vacuumed cow patties (or perhaps Paddies in keeping with the Irish theme.)
For those of us that recall the lovely aroma of a septic system being pumped out, you have some idea of the effect. But there is nothing like hiking a lovely Irish country lane, surrounded by green hills as far as the eye can see, when a huge truck full of freshly sucked up cow turds sloshing around comes SLOWLY driving by followed by a stench worthy of several dead bodies.
This of course happens as we are climbing a steep hill, drawing in deep lungfuls of air saturated with cow shit aromatic particles. You don’t dare open your mouth.
But the sights and scenery make it all worthwhile.
Once we passed that area, we did have some lovely sights, followed by a long stretch of meadow muffin dodging through cow pastures complete with amazing views of the ocean and signs warning you to beware of the bull.
I grew up in Cumberland which, while semi-rural at the time, wasn’t all farms. Susan grew up in Pawtucket. Neither of those school systems required us to learn how to differentiate between cows and bulls. We just gave all of them wide berths to be safe.
The pictures just do not do this part of Ireland justice. It is beautiful (despite, or perhaps because of, the rural farm nature) and we are having a great time.
We have been lucky with the weather but the forecast is a bit foreboding so we may be switching to our rain gear for the next few days. THAT should make the muddy pastures even more memorable.
Our arrival in Dingle was a great example of the friendly nature of the Irish people Following the directions (incorrectly as it were) to the B&B we booked we approached an orange house at the top of the hill (hey this is country living), knocked on the door, and were greeted by a nice Irish gentleman with a confused look on his face.
So I said “Hello” and he said “Hello” and Susan said “Hello, I’m Susan are you expecting us?”
And he said, “No, I don’t think so.” (which explained the confused look) but this being Ireland he of course knew where we were supposed to be and sent us off in the proper direction.
We settled into the B&B for a lovely nights sleep, laughing about our encounter with the gentleman at the orange house.
The next day started out with some sun and clouds. The first half of the walk was along country roads and a 2.5 kilometer walk on the beach.
But, as Mark Twain described the game of Golf as a good walk spoiled, our beach front walk turned into a climb up a mountain through more fields of sheep and sheep shrapnel. So of course, as we rose above the coast overlooking the ocean and out to the Blasket Islands, the wind picked up to seemingly gale force and it started to rain.
The windy view in the rain
We pushed on over hill and dale and rocks and sheep dip and made it to Dunquin and a lovely, albeit remote B&B with electricity, running water but no internet connection to the rest of the world. Which explains our absence of any postings yesterday.
In spite of it all we made it to the end of the Dingle Peninsula and will head back to Dingle for a few nights then back to Tralee and onto Dublin for a few days.
After that it is the John Muir Trail in Scotland.