Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Dingle Peninsular - another day of stunning views and super narrow roads

           High up the one-lane, two way mountain pass road

The high winds certainly did come but the rains held off and we saw periods of sun, good enough for some good photos. The Dingle Peninsular receives over 100 inches of rain a year, plenty to keep everything green. To put that in perspective, the Brazilian rainforest gets only 83 inches a year! There's a saying in Ireland that there are two kinds of weather in Ireland, raining and about to rain... As for temperature, anything in the 70's here is a heat wave but there's no chance of that until July or August, mostly it's in the 60's, even during those months. 

   Yes, there are palm trees in Ireland! The Gulf Stream carries 
    enough warmth northward to keep things toasty

Ireland does have some superhighways connecting major cities and we took advantage of them today on our way
to Dingle. We went over a mountain pass with a one lane road that had traffic in both directions. If you can see someone coming, you pull over into one of the few wide spots to wait for them to pass. More often than not, you just back up until you find that wide spot backing up on a mountain road with sheer drop offs is exciting. The mountain side is on one side ready to rip into the side of your car if you come too close, a small, loose stone wall is on the other - the only thing between you and a 1000 ft drop! The situation keeps you alert. 

       View after view, the photo does not do the scene justice

Despite the challenges in driving, the mountain views are awesome. Sheep are all over the mountain sides grazing on what looks like a 60 degree slope. Somehow they don't seem to fall. Walking over to the side of a pullout with a sheer drop off to see the views is also some fun in winds gusting to 40 mph. Still, it's worth every minute. You can see such sights nowhere else in the world.

      The sheep were all over the mountain, even on these steep slopes

We have found the B&B's to be spotless and the hosts friendly in the extreme. When you walk into one, you're immediately impressed with the decor, the cleanliness, the plantings around the grounds, etc. they bear no resemblance to any hotel you've ever been in, they are unique. 

     Facing the Atlantic, the cliffs here see the full force of waves traveling across the full ocean

Since the B&B's come with breakfast included, we've been skipping lunch, just snacking. the hearty B&B breakfasts are enough to fill you up for most of the say. We've been eating "pub food" in the evening for the last several days (food served in an Irish pub), nothing special but filling and saving our appreciation of good food for breakfast. 

The weather is supposed to get better, mainly with less wind (there's always a chase of rain). I recovered from my Irish cold but not before I passed it on to Ann, unfortunately. We have two more days of exploring until we return to Dublin on Wednesday.