Statistics: 13 miles,  ascent 1522′,  descent 1318′,  7 hours

The Dingle Way begins at the town park in Tralee.  As we made our way from the park to the outskirts of town we were fortunate to begin our hike under blue skies and lovely views along the Prince’s Quay.

leaving Tralee
Once out of the town, we soon noticed the Blennerville Windmill  which is the largest working windmill in Ireland.  It was built in the year 1800 and was the point of embarkation for many emigrant ships that left Ireland for North America during and after the Potato Famine of the mid-19th century.  It eventually fell into disrepair and in the 1980s the local community banded together to restore the structure.

Blennerville Windmill

After several miles, our path turned parallel to the Slieve Mountains directly above us.

trail at base of mt
As we gained elevation we had a clear view of the Port of Tralee.

port of tralee

The  easy-going trail quickly became a boggy mire.  We crossed many streams as they tumbled down the mountainside.  The going was very slow as we struggled to keep from sinking up to our ankles in the muck.

many stream crossings
A few minutes later we encountered the 9 or 10th-century ruins of Killelton Church.  Not much of it remains, but it was fascinating.

killeton church
Just beyond the church we came upon the ruins of a post-medieval village.

post medieval village
This trail became an enchanted, wooded path for some distance.  At one point, when I was forced to jump from stone to stone to stay out of the mud, I mistook a cow pie for a stone.  Now with a green, gooey boot, I was glad to see we were approaching the Finglas River where I could do a little cleanup.  Before I could rinse my boots, however, as I attempted to cross this river I nearly ended up in the water when that slippery boot slid across one of the stepping stones.

finglas River
Finally reaching Camp Upper, we were warmly greeted by our host, Kathleen Daly, at her very pleasant Finglas House B&B and were ushered into her lounge for tea and cake.  The B&B was not far from the ocean and the view, with the sun still shining, was spectacular.

view from finglas house
Kathleen recommended the pub across the street, the James Ashe Pub,  for dinner.  The food was excellent and the atmosphere cozy.

ashes pub20180913_153124

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