Dolphin Funghi - fun not only for your children
Funghi the Dolphin is one of the main attractions in Dingle-town and it is a lot of fun to watch it from one of the many boats specialized in just that kind of tours ! Funghi is a single Doplhin, that decided to stay in the bay of Dingle harbour already several years ago and some Funghi-tour-operators even offer to give your money back in case that Funghi will not show up...
BUT of course Funghi will show up, it seems to have great fun to watch boats and tourists - that way Funghi became one of the best known tourist-attractions in Dingle town.
boats start to watch Funghi
daily between 10.00am and 06.00pm, weather permitting
The tours start at the Pier of Dingle's fishingport
Prices are 12 Euros for adults, 6 Euros for children under 12
Dingle is in a distance of 1 hour to drive from Killarney. You may drive your car directely to the pier, where you see a large parking. The pier is in the very centre of town, opposite of the restaurant "the singing Salmon"
Dunbeg Fort on Dingle island
Dunbeg Fort is the best-preserved of the many Irish Forts dating back to the Iron-time.
On my picture you may see one of the small doors leading from one of the rooms into another, the stones are just heaped upon each other, but in a perfect and absolutely wind-proof way. At some places these walls are 1 meter thick and they were covered with a roof of straw.
Dunbeg Fort is about 6 km west of Dingle-town, when you drive on road R559 ( the Slea Head Drive) , ( Some of the signposts will also call it : An Dun Beag ). There is a large parking-area next to the fort and you have to walk about 100 meters to get to the Fort.
The road to Kenmare
Our plan had been to get to Kenmare for lunch, look around and decide whether to stay in Kenmare or drive on further along the Ring of Kerry. But after my intrepid Irish cousin decided to drive THROUGH the Gap of Dunloe and we spent a few hours lost (he denies this still) in the farming land beyond, we decided to return to Killarney and regroup (read Guiness). Finally reached the N71 about 3PM and turned left away from Moll's Gap. Great views the whole way and enjoyed the day immensely.
the scenic drive at Dingle peninsula
Connor Pass is one of the scenic highlights on Dingl Island and makes a great place for an excursion from Killarney. Thia narrow mountain-road is going from Dingl town to the northern part of the peninsula - the panorama is simply overwhelming...
The road over Connor Pass is resticted to cars with less than 3,5 tons - the street is a one-way-track with several passing places - the rocks hang over at some places and might scratch or damage your motorhome...
Therefore I had my small "Di Blasi" motorbike with me - you may see it , when you click on my picture !
Killarney National Park and Black Valley
I didn't really get to see Killarney at all, I left the city and headed into the Killarney National Park as soon as I got off the train at noon, as my intent was to walk the first leg of the Kerry Way, a 9-day hiking trail that goes all around the penninsula. The first leg takes you through the Killarney National Park and the woods beyond and ends in Black Valley, a tiny village near the Gap of Dunloe.
The park is absolutely amazing - one of the most beautiful places I've seen in my life so far. The Killarney Lakes are absolutely stunning, and so is much of the rest of the park, from Torc mountain to the hills and valleys beyond. The pictures simply don't do them justice!
Black Valley itself is a very small village, a church, a schoolhouse, a B&B, and probably no more than a dozen houses that I counted, all spread over 3-4 km. There is even a hostel of which the hikers doing the Kerry Way are chief guests. It is however, probably the only place in Ireland that I've been to that didn't have a pub. Not much to do in Black Valley but relax, and stage day hikes out of. The Gap of Dunloe is nearby, and you can hike or bike there if you feel fit enough for the deed. There's a small boat terminal nearby (read: a sheep pasture with 2 small dingies moored in the reeds leading to the lakes) from which you can get to Killarney. The only other way, other than biking or walking, is by car. No buses go to Black Valley, but you might be able to hitch a ride, especially on the way out.
Black Valley supposedly gets its name from the dark and brooding way it looks on a cloudy and rainy day when the sunset rolls around. Inspite of its name, it is actually really quite beautiful and picturesque, with the rough rocks strewn along the slopes of mountains on all sides surrounded by plush green grass. And did I mention the ever-present herds of sheep bleaghing on a pleasant day? Then again, it is Ireland, and you're highly unlikely to go anywhere and not see them.