Driving the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland
Day 3 in Ireland is hands-down the most incomparable day of my life.
We started off with a wonderful breakfast at our B&B, Lighthouse, which our host Mary prepared for us and then we got on the road. Since we were staying 2 nights in Dingle we had plenty of time to really appreciate the views, take some side trips, and soak up this beautiful area of Ireland.
Again, we asked at the B&B what to see, in addition to our plan of driving the Dingle Peninsula/Slea Head Drive, and were told by the couple next to us that we had to drive Conor Pass. Luckily, Dingle sits right in between these two drives so we did the peninsula first, came into town and ate a late lunch then headed up the Pass.
We didn’t really have a plan once we started driving the peninsula other than to pull over whenever we saw a view or road that looked fun. This turned out to be the best way to go for us. Again, we were so glad we opted to hire a car rather than join a tour group because we could stop whenever we wanted and spend as much or as little time as we wanted at each stop.
Our first stop was the Dunbeg Fort, built in 500BC, and its spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding cliffs.
As was the norm on the coast, the wind was insane, but not selfie preventative.
Next up, was a random roadside pull off stop to soak up more amazing views…
…then trespassing on some poor farmer’s land because we wanted to get closer to the coast.
We got back in our car and drove just a bit further, when saw a narrow road which looked like it led to a beach at the base of the cliffs. As any inquisitive tourist would do, we turned down the road fully ready to meet a gate or something blocking our way. Instead, we were able to drive down and park on the beach at the base of the cliffs at Coumeenoole.
We were the only people on the beach for at least 15 minutes, then other brave souls began driving their cars down and parking next to our rental.
Adam and I LOVED this beach, and in typical photographer fashion, we were the first to arrive and last to leave.
After we drove back up the cliff, we turned left and MY DREAM CAME TRUE!
I had told everyone that the only thing I wanted to do in Ireland was drive down a road and be blocked by sheep. On this day IT HAPPENED and I was entirely too giddy about this; but, I wasn’t the only one. There were two other cars of tourists also exclaiming that it was their dream to be stopped in the road by sheep which actually caused a line of tourists freaking out and insisting on getting their picture taken with the sheep in the road.
Of course, we had to join in.
For the rest of the day, I was annoyingly happy that my dream came true.
After the sheep were ran into a nearby pasture by their dog and human, Adam
grabbed me by the ear and threw me in the car before I took a sheep home with us and I headed off in search of our next Irish adventure, which included more stopping at pull offs on the road and trespassing on farms.
That is, until we came upon another road that appeared to lead to the bottom of more cliffs.
We started driving down the road but at the last minute decided to pull the car off into a makeshift parking area right before the final bend to the water.
Thank God we did that, otherwise our car might have been lunch for the Atlantic, because it turned out to be an abandoned pier with quite aggressive waves and no place to turn around once the car got down there.
But this pier? Was AWESOME. Not as serene as the beach was, but exciting and invigorating. We experienced the power of the Atlantic right in front of our faces and nothing will ever compare to it again.
Huge waves would crash onto the pier or the rocks nearby and swells would force us to run up against the cliffs a few times, but it was such a once in a lifetime experience.
Stay tuned for Part II of Day 3….