Statistics: 16.4 miles, ascent 925′, descent 1025′, 7 1/4 hours.
Our morning’s route as we left the B&B took us straight uphill beyond the Dunquin crossroads. The morning air was chilly and a good, brisk climb was welcomed. At the top of the hill, a beautiful scene spread out before us. Three hill peaks, the Three Sisters, and the sea were just the beginning of another day with stunning sights.
Giant fingers of land such as Sybil Point with huge, rocky cliffs jutted out into the ocean.
A great option on the Dingle Way took us to an alternate stretch right along the coast. The first feature that we came upon was a quiet little beach called Clogher’s Beach with a sign indicating that this site was a film location for “Far and Away”.
We were enjoying the coastal walk so much that we missed our trail marker and had to get creative to rejoin the trail. After slithering under a couple of electric fences and climbing over rickety gates, we were back on track. Our path took us across a neck of land to Smerwick Beach.
Many years ago an active smuggling community existed, enabled by the frequent, secluded little beaches and rocky fingers of land. One such beach, Wine Strand, was named for the booty that was smuggled there.
Adding a little humor to the day, we discovered a curious sheep with large ears. During our many walks we had frequently seen sheep, but this type was new to me. It was kind of a cross between a sheep and a rabbit!
A well known, ancient place of worship in the area was the Gallarus Oratory, dated to between the 7th and 10th centuries and created entirely without mortar. We detoured from our trail a couple of kilometers to explore this very well-built structure, which was bone dry inside and almost appeared as if it had been recently completed. As we still had a way to go today, a young French student (with a car) also at the site agreed to give us a ride back to the Dingle Way.
Once again on the coastal walk, we continued to enjoy spectacular scenery!
At the end of this day’s trail we arrived at the delightful Coill an Rois B&B where our welcoming host, Jimmy Bruic, greeted us with a lovely pot of tea and his own pastries. Jimmy had been a pastry chef in New York!