Biked into Dingle for provisions, enjoyed coffee & Bfast just outside a grocery which turned out to be a great place to see the ~200 racers come down the hill at 11:00 for the start of their race that day to Sneed. Back to the hostel to drop off food; then we got to do our 1st ride; with no packs. Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As an overview, we took a partial southern loop out Dingle Peninsula, following the sea coast initially.
We stopped at Paidi O Se's (a famous GAA footballer) for a pint near the beginning of the ride. Nice pub with great statue of the Gaelic football player (posing with statues) & a small church across the side street (a common layout in these small communities, sometimes with the addition of a gas station).
We had already stopped at Penny's Pottery, another posing like statues (or wall tiles) opportunity (Thanks to BJ for that idea!) Penny had a lovely shop, lots of wall tiles & blue pottery pieces including cups - we found most everyone's name. There were also wooden toys for sale. As we walked through the small cafe in the back, there was a lovely wooden porch looking over the back yard. Several chickens came up to visit or perhaps just look for crumbs. We saw a work area off to the side & met the woodworker. Mark especially enjoyed his tiny shop & appreciated a spinning device for quickly sanding each small toy.
After Paidi's pub we stopped at the Celtic & Prehistoric Museum. Apparently an American ex-pat had collected antiquities for years & built this small museum. He had items from all over the world including a woolly mammoth skull & a full bear skeleton. I especially enjoyed the Celtic artifact room with many bronze age artifacts.
Next was Dunbeg Promitory Fort. There was a stone Restaurant /Visitors center across the street where we saw a cool video that depicted what life might have been like in the 800's & gave us a detailed tour though the ruins. The site juts out into the Atlantic with 3 cliff edges & would have thus been easier to defend. Sadly, it is being eroded & was particularly damaged in a 2014 storm.
A short distance further was the Beehive huts. Each of the historic sites had entrances to collect a small fee, manned by locals with a thick Gaelic accent. We were in a part of Ireland where Gaelic is still the primary language for some. The Beehive huts had similar construction to the fort but all were round - flat stones stacked on stones with no mortar which is built in to a lesser diameter up to where 1 capstone is placed on the top, thus the old fashion beehive shape. Most were ruins but the construction, especially of the entrances was fascinating. One had been rebuilt with a top & some had underground tunnels to connect them together.
From there we continued the route along the coast with great views of the cliffs & Sleahead Peninsula & the Blasket Islands coming closer into view. The Blaskets are famous because of a small group of people that lived there, very isolated until they were removed to the mainland in the 1950s. There have been several books written by or about the residents who had maintained much of the Gaelic language, traditions & customs.
The ride had another sweet spot as we took a hairpin curve through shallow flowing water over a cobblestone section of road.
We stopped at Sleahead which had a large guarded white tent at the entrance- Starwars location according to the locals but filming may have just finished up, so no star sightings. We also could see the beach far below & a few remaining sunbathers enjoying the end of the day.
From there we cut back inland & the old folks did some bike pushing but Charlie said our total elevation was even more than the Conner pass day! (no gear & it was many ups & downs, so a different experience). At the bottom of the hill was Paidi's Pub again & a plan for our second pint, however the kids were hovered around the bicycle investigating a slow leak probably from glass. We were so excited about no gear, we didn't even have a pump. The locals were helpful. No pump that worked, but they suggested a garage a short distance away. This was another opportunity for a unique experience. We knocked at the house next to the garage but there was no answer. However a fellow came around the corner and looked a bit shagrinned at our request - " first day with no bike pump and we get a flat" Charlie explained with a big smile. He took us back to his shop which was a thrill for the guys and of course he had an air pump and quickly accomplished the job. He accepted some quarters with a big smile and surmised if the pub might take a few. We quickly headed back to town. Joyce, not peddling fast enough at 1 point, was chased in circles by Boris the young but large puppy who was playing with his two young masters in their yard. She was pretty much done for the day after that, but Charlie and Skye went into town to get food and we settled down for a second sleep at the Rainbow Hostel.