Friday 13 July 2018
We woke up this morning to find our front tyre on the motorhome flat. After calling for assistance we were towed to Atlas Autoservice in Baldoyle, a tyre place. The mechanic checked the tyre and informed us the tyre had been slashed by a screwdriver or knife and we would require a new one. Unfortunately, they did not have one in stock, so they ordered one for us. When we think back on it, the Tourist information advice was to make sure we park within the lines and staying a second night maybe move to another spot as the locals become frustrated with motorhomes taking over their town. As we arrived home late from Dublin we thought that we would be okay, so we didn’t move. Looking back on the events maybe there was an underlying message. Lesson learnt!
Two hours later we headed off to Dingle which was a 4 ½ hour drive along the M50 and the N86. The road to Dingle is very good so it wasn’t an exhausting journey, just a long one. We travelled to Dingle to catch up with Greg and Renee. Greg is a great mate whom I went to primary and high school with and it was he, along with our mate Tim, who convinced us that travelling around Europe and the UK in a motorhome was the greatest holiday. We booked in and had an awesome catch up and decided to travel together for the next few days north on the Wild Atlantic Way. We camped at Campail Teach An Aragail, Europe’s most westerly campsite, for €26 including electricity and Wi-Fi, our first campground in 5 weeks.
Saturday 14 July 2018 Dingle – Tralee
Today along the Dingle Peninsula we visited:
- Gallarus Oratory
- Beehive Huts
First stop this morning, just 450m from the campsite on the southeast corner of Smerwick Harbour we visited the Gallarus Oratory, which is a stone chapel about 1300 years old. The building is rectangular in shape and the roof rises gradually from the side walls from the base upwards and after all this time and the buffeting from the Atlantic Ocean, it still waterproof.
The advice from the guide at the Oratory was to drive clockwise on the R 559 around the Dingle Peninsula because of the traffic especially buses go in that direction and it is easier along the narrow roads going with them than against them. So, we headed back to Dingle and drove along the R559 in a clockwise direction.
The next stop was the Beehive Huts at Fahan along Slea Head Drive. They date back to the 12th century when the incoming Normans forced the Irish off the good land out to the periphery of the peninsula. They consist of five structures and each a single-family dwelling attached to each other with connecting doorways. They were built in the form of a circle of successive strata stone, each stratum lying a little closer to the centre than the one beneath up to a small opening at the top that could be closed with a single small capstone. No mortar was used in building and this is known as corbelling. They are absolutely amazing and to think that they were built without mortar is an astounding feat.
Our next stop was the Riasc Monastic Settlement, 2 km outside Ballyferriter. This is an early Christian centre known for its carved cross slab bearing Classical, Celtic and Christian motifs and remains of an oratory, burial ground, shrine and several dry-stone huts dating back to the late 5th century. Unfortunately, there were so many cars and buses parked we could not stop anywhere so we had to continue along our drive back to Dingle.
We then drove along the N86 through Tralee to Fenit Harbour and Marina, where we parked for the night.