Wet, Wet, Wet! Annascaul to Dingle ~ Walking The Dingle Way (Day 4) Ireland

View of white daisies with green foliage, from above.

Daisies on the green.

We looked out the windows of our accommodation at Annascaul, on the southwest tip of Ireland, and although the sky was heavy and overcast, we hoped it might not rain…

We were not half a block out the door, when our hopes were dashed: rain, drizzle, fog, mist; our day was beset with precipitation of all sorts. Although the the Gulf Stream is supposed to warm the Dingle Peninsula, I was not convinced as we started our walk from Annascaul to Dingle, shivering in our raincoats.

The row houses of Annascaul, Dingle Peninsula, Ireland.

Main Street (only street?) Annascaul, including our accommodation, The Anchor.

Day 4: Anascaul to Dingle

From Anascaul the trail takes you west to the town of Dingle, along a series of minor roads that meander around the surrounding countryside and open mountains. 
You will have a chance to visit the magnificent ruin of the 16th century Minard Castle and stop of for lunch in the beautiful village of Lispole. 
From Lispole the trail takes you northwest back towards the spine of the Dingle Peninsula. From here the views over Dingle Bay are simply awe-inspiring.

Distance: 22km/13.7 miles, Ascent: 430 m/1290 ft

South Pole Inn, Annascaul, with a tented marquee out the front.

The South Pole Inn was originally opened by Annascaul’s famous son, Antarctic explorer Tom Crean (1877-1938), after his retirement from the British Royal Navy.

A font to the Madonna, Annascaul,Ireland.

Ireland’s religious roots are in early Celtic Christianity. As a consequence, Madonas and crucifixes are less commonly seen outside churches here than in many other Catholic countries.

Shaggy Irish sheep on a misty green hill.

Another day walking in Ireland: mist, green, and sheep.

Dappled gray pony looking over a wire fence on a green Irish hill.

A dappled gray pony is a nice change from the ubiquitous sheep!

Council Workers in fluorescent green jackets on a narrow, wet Irish road.

If Irish council workers were stopped by rain, they’d never get anything done. These two are cutting back the brambles on the narrow road verges.

A gray donkey and a skewbald pony against a green Irish hill.

A donkey and a skewbald pony watch our passing.

Cottage ruins in green overgrowth.

Cottage ruins often seem to be left where they stand.

View: Road leading into Kilmurray Bay and Minard Castle.

Descending through the mist and rain into Kilmurray Bay, with the remains of the Minard Castle, built in the mid-16th century by the Fitzgerald’s and destroyed by Cromwell in 1650, perched on the hill.

Red buoy in a yellow box; Kilmurray Bay

“A stolen ringbuoy – a stolen life.” Kilmurray Bay

View: rounded boulders and beach curving around to a green hill and the ruins of Minard Castle.

The beach at Kilmurry Bay is framed by rounded boulders thrown up by the sea. The ruins of the Minard Castle tower (fenced off with “Keep Out” warning signs) stand on the hillside.

View: Creek, stone wall, green hills, ocean.

A small creek runs into Kilmurry Bay from in front of the Minard Castle ruins.

Buttercups and fuchsia against green foliage.

Wet and wild: Buttercups and fuchsia counterpoint the ever-present greens.

Eventually, Lispole village came into view, but it soon became clear that unless we were to deviate from the country road we were on, we would not actually go through it. So, we took advantage of our packed sandwiches and a short break in the rain to have a quick lunch perched on the roadside before heading off up hill again.

Gothic church set amid green hills and mist.

A Gothic church in the village of Lispole is set amid green hills and mist.

Green wooden door, covered in grass, creepers and ivy.

A wooden door on an old stone shed is almost hidden by grass, creepers and ivy.

Purple foxgloves against a rough green door.

Foxgloves give a splash of colour.

View: hills and mists of Dingle Peninsula

View over Short Strand and the hills of Dingle Peninsula.

It was one of those days: whether it was the cold, the damp or our tiredness I don’t know, but our walking route never seemed to quite match our notes. We never saw the Ogham stone that was meant to be in an ancient graveyard (not the first one we missed, either); we didn’t find the “arrow painted on the roof of the turf shed” that was meant to be a way marker; and we didn’t see the point at which we were meant to have two walking options. Fortunately, we ended up on the one we wanted by default, passing the 18th century Garfinny Bridge before finally coming into Dingle.

The arched Garfinny Bridge over the Garfinny RIver.

Called “the rainbow bridge” because of its shape, the pretty Garfinny Bridge arches over the Garfinny RIver.

Close-up of the stones making the arch of the Garfinny Bridge.

Built in the 18th century without the use of mortar, the Garfinny Bridge is the last of these bridges standing in Ireland.

Dingle street from the southeast.

Coming into John St., DIngle.

text: slainte - good healthAnd, as always, the cold, the wet and the fatigue were quickly forgotten over a pint and a plate of fresh fish and chips at the local pub.


Photos: 21June2012

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