As I set out from Dingle on my second day of hiking with Hillwalk Tours, I was constantly impressed by how beautiful this country truly is. The greens are greener, and the blues are bluer. The fact that I was blessed with clear skies in a region that sees over 200 days of rain every year was nothing short of a miracle.
*Forewarning: I have no patience for videography. Please forgive the surgical mess that is my video editing. Someday I will improve my skills, but for now I'm going to focus on charming your socks off with words and photos. As we say in Spanish: poco a poco (little by little).
My hike from Annascaul to Dingle the day before was mostly inland, so I got a little giddy when the trail moved to the jaw-dropping western coastline. There may have been skipping.
Per the video above, can someone please tell me what those "sand doodles" are? They were all over the coastline. Is it crab poop? Alien sand worms? Mermaid hair? Help.
Later, I came upon a ring fort where I paid a couple Euros, they gave me a bag of sheep food, and I wandered around the area. Ring forts were originally built in the years leading up to the 11th century by locals for cultural or domestic reasons, but legend says that fairies would often settle in abandoned ring forts. I was hoping that fairy magic (and my handful of sheep food) would finally make the sheep love me, but all it did was get me harassed by several slightly-amorous goats. However, I got a brief but special moment with two lambs. Then I promptly made them hate me because I got all up in their business with my camera. I couldn't help myself. They were too adorable.
After the ring fort, the trail moved into the hills along the coast. While the terrain was absolutely astounding, what stood out the most for me was the complete solitude. Other than a few farmers, I didn't encounter a single soul. Imagine the tranquility of the faint sound of rolling waves, the wind blowing in your face, and only the tiny interruption of an occasional sheep bleat. You can call me a crotchety old hermit-lady; I don't care. It was as close to perfection as it gets for me.
Toward the end of the hike, I ran across two welcome detours that added at least another hour to my day's adventures. First, there was the cutest little cafe where I obviously had to stop for tea and a scone with jam and cream.
Then, just as I was turning the corner to begin the "home stretch," I was confronted with my second distraction:
What's another mile when you've already hiked seventeen?
After my detour, an angel sent to care for us all, Alice, the owner of An Speice Bed and Breakfast (pronounced "SPAY-ka"), picked me up for my night in Ballyferriter. When I arrived, Alice set me up in her cheery sun-room with tea and homemade carrot cake. Never have I ever tasted something so delicious made from a vegetable. It's amazing how good things can taste when you add unrighteous amounts of butter and sugar to them.
One post left, and you won't want to miss it. I channeled my inner Luke Skywalker on the high cliffs of Ceann Sibéal, then I stayed at a bed and breakfast that was straight from my most cozy, Irish dreams... Part 4: Dunquin to Feohanagh at Warp Speed
PS) For those of you confused by the title: A "parsec" is a unit of length used primarily for large distances in space. However, it was popularized by Han Solo in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. You're welcome, all you non-nerdy friends.