Our second day in Dingle would be our last full day of the trip, so we decided to make it our most relaxed as well. In a country (a region for that matter) that otherwise gets a sore score for weather, luck had been with us but had run out today; it was supposed to rain heavily and consistently all day.
The weather did hold off until the early afternoon though, so after breakfast we took a short drive down to the bay and then took a short walk along the south-eastern-ish shore. The walk took us through…erm…”muddy” fields but there was a strong path that we could stick to, and the little guy could play in the dirt a bit. At the end point of the trail was the mouth of the bay and a famine-relief structure (in ruin) called Hussey’s Folly. We got back to the car just as the weather was stirring up and went back to Pax House to relax in our room and reflect a bit on the trip and kind of mentally prepare for getting back to reality.
In a small break of the weather we rolled into town for lunch at a place called Ashe’s Bar on the lively colored main street in Dingle. Half expecting standard pub fare, we were quite taken back at the quality of the menu and the food itself. This was really no pub in my estimation (though the beer was spot on…some local porter with a label written in Gaelic…so good) but rather an on-point fancy restaurant quality dining experience. This may sound counter-intuitive based on the fact that I ordered a burger, but oh man was it good…erin ordered a crab cake salad thing which was also very nice. We would find ourselves back at Ashe’s for dinner that night…it was that good.
We spent the rest of the evening lounging around the place and making a run to the grocery store to get stocked up on supplies for the trip home. While there we ran into the proprietor of our place who was, from what we could tell, shopping for us for breakfast the following morning since we were going to be leaving so early.
And he was! We woke at 6am to get ready for our travel day home which meant a drive from Dingle to the Shannon Airport (a drive which would include our only instance of multiple laps in a round-about…not 15 minutes after congratulating ourselves for never taking more than one lap around a round about), a flight to JFK, and another home but it was kicked off right with a bag of breakfast and snack items waiting for us on our way out. Pax House was a bit of a splurge, but let me tell you that they go way out of their way to accommodate you.
The flights were the flights, the airports were the airports, and after a relatively painless, though long and exhausting day our trip was officially over. Ireland is probably the most beautiful place that I’ve been and I’ve thought long and hard about that statement. It rivals Hawaii in landscape and it rivals Thailand in distinctiveness. The people are incredibly nice and accommodating and somehow the entire country feels like one small community of people. I guess I wasn’t really expecting to be taken by it so much; but I’m happy to have been.
Now…where to next?