Sketching Ireland #16

“Dingle All the Way”

“Dingle Bells… Dingle Bells… Dingle All the Way!”

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Well… okay… I am being a little bit corny. But our 6th leg is to the Dingle Peninsula on the western coast of Ireland. From the Kilarney National Park, we get back on the N71 and drive north into the city of Kilarney. The N71 ends on the N72 which goes goes west. Now, looking at Google Maps, I could have taken the fast flowing highway that would have taken me straight north to a town called Tralee and then go left in another highway into the peninsula, but I wanted a more scenic route. So, I turned left on the N72 and pass the north bound highway (N22) to Tralee. However, I’ll only be following it for a couple of miles until I can turn right on the R563. If you’re following my route, the landmark to look for is the Golden Nugget Pub & Restaurant. That might be a good place to get food. If you do or did, please contact me back or leave a comment.

I travelled the R563, again using Street-view which ends on the N70 at Milltown then I made a short daunt on N70 to Castlemaine where I turned left on R561. I vicariously rode through wide fields, orchards, working farms and hamlets which was enjoyable. But I have to admit that my expectation to see the Atlantic again was high on mind and lo… after six miles, there it was! Well… technically, the waters to my left is a large estuary. Even virtually, this was exciting. I again thank the Lord that He has given me a good imagination. I mean I can smell sea salt in the air and feel the cool wind blowing against my… imaginary… chocolate brown leather jacket. (I wish I could really wear one.) Now, I wish I could have stopped at a very long beach (Inch Beach) that I drove by. It look liked it went as far as the horizon and it reminded me of another long beach in Washington State minus thousands of giant drift wood. Okay, I’m reminiscing. So, to finish it up, R561 ends at the N86 into the town of Dingle. Now, let’s pretend that we spent the night in the town before go unto the Slea Head Drive.

Slea Head Drive

Considered one of Ireland’s best scenic routes, Slea Head Drive circles the western edge of the Dingle Peninsula. It is filled with beauty and history all its own. In the west, where Ireland’s literary history is rooted and richly celebrated, it’s Irish first. To the north and south are centuries-old ruins. Sprinkled among them are beautiful beaches, rolling hills, and dramatic cliffs. Slea Head Drive is a diamond among the gems of the Dingle Peninsula.

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Starting just west of Dingle Town, Slea Head Drive (R559) is about a 30 mile loop, that takes you to the very edge of Ireland. The route is fairly well marked, and prominently featured on area maps. It’s an easy, enjoyable drive that will occupy the better part of a day.

I couldn’t have described it any better. What you read above is actually from a blog article, Ireland Scenic Slea Head Drive Dingle Peninsula by Travellatte dot Net.

Now, for my sketch subject, I used a colored Google Map of the peninsula as the base. Then I marked the R559 route in red. This is the Slea Head Drive. On the right corner, I wanted to sketch out a portion of the highway that had a fantastic cliff side view that you can drive on at the bottom left corner of the peninsula.

During the first part of the drive, you’ll pass bucolic fields dotted with grazing sheep and occasional views of the coast. The road comes closer to the sea as you near Ventry. There is beach there that sometimes sea lions come ashore to sunbathe. After which you come to the cliff side road and a number of historical sites.

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Dunbeg Fort is a promontory fort that dates from the iron age. It is preserved beautifully, and you can see why it was located here. The views are expansive, and on a clear day they are absolutely spectacular! [from storiesfromhome.wordpress.com]

Driving on, you’ll find a site of stone houses like the behive stone hut as a testament to the harsh weather the early Irishmen had to contend with. Then you’ll come to the Slea Head Point where you’ll find a crucifixion monument. There you’ll have selfie opportunities with the nearby Blasket Islands in the background. As you continue on, keep your eyes peeled for broaching whales.

The rest of the loop (in Street-view mode), there were more stunning coastal views and I like going through quaint villages. I wish I can show more. So, for the rest of the sites, I’ll provide some links below. See you all on my next post.

Louis Mulcahy Potterywww.louismulcahy.com

Riasc Monastic Settlementlink 1, link 2 & link 3

The Gallarus Oratoryclick HERE

Caherdorgan Stone Fortclick HERE

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