Tuesday, April 11th, my last day in Dingle, Co Kerry

Another excellent breakfast at Duinin House; Dingle Dolphin Tours, a dolphin & incredible scenery; checking out the Supervalu downtown; lunch at An Cupan Tae; Aquarium; quiet afternoon back home; dinner at the Dingle Diner; trad music at O'Flaherty's finally after first going past it eleven years ago

Duinin House

Silver VW Jetta



Part 1

This might be the earliest I've started typing up the day's notes this trip so far–it's only shortly after 3 PM and I'm back here in my room at Duinin House until about 7:30 PM when I head back down the hill to find somewhere to have dinner before heading to O'Flaherty's to hear some traditional music there for the first time.

I'll probably move out into the living room or the conservatory later but I tried setting up my laptop out in the conservatory a few minutes ago and this time of day there's just too much glare from the light outside for me to see the laptop's monitor, and I tried setting on both sides of the table to see if the glare would be any different with the monitor facing either way.

I slept pretty well last night, and woke up about 8 AM. After showering and getting dressed I had porridge with Bailey's Irish cream again and this time I had the savoury omelette with onions and tomato I think.

I wanted to make sure I was downtown early enough to get out on one of the dolphin watching tours leaving at 11 AM so I left here about 9:45. I went with these guys, Dingle Dolphin Tours, primarily because their office and departure dock are right next to the Visitors Information Centre. They only collect payment on board, on the way back in, and only if you've actually seen Fungie during the trip.

Although it was overcast and not warm then it was still a wonderful trip out into some incredibly beautiful scenery. We saw a lot of Fungie the dolphin possibly because it seems he has a specific human friend, Paul, this older English guy who is out on the water in a small boat from sunrise to sunset every day when he's down here on vacation three or four times a year. Paul pilots his little boat going backwards while standing up which is quite impressive. He basically just kind of putters around going where Fungie goes and pointing out where the dolphin is to any tour boats in the area, and we were only one of three there in total. What was also funny is that there is this one seagull who also likes to hang out in the area with Paul, especially when Paul feeds him. Several times the gull kept landing on Paul's wool cap which was covering his head.

We got back shortly after noon. By this time I really needed to use the public restroom a short block away. After that I thought I'd see if the Supervalu just up the road from there has an ATM and it does but it doesn't give quite as much as I wanted to withdraw and I actually still have more than enough cash on hand to pay Pat & Anne when I leave tomorrow and can wait until I find an ATM in Killarney later this week.

I was wondering where I should go for lunch and decided I'd check if the little An Cupan Tae (I don't think it's related to the one I went to in Galway and it doesn't seem to have its owen web page) near there and on the way back to the parking lot where my car was and the Aquarium serves food and they do so I had a lovely toastie with ham, cheese, onion, cucumber and mayo and it was quite enjoyable.

After that I walked down to the Aquarium, which is small but quite well done. There was an incredible number of families with small children. As with a lot of people I have very mixed feelings about keeping animals in zoos or aquariums. I'm pleased to see animals that I'll never see in the wild but I think a lot of enclosures are too small. The penguin and otter enclosures look too small and boring to me. I only saw the otters on the video monitor since they were chilling out in their den.

And after that I came home.

The trip from here to Killarney tomorrow should only take about an hour and a half at the most. There doesn't seem to be much of anywhere interesting to stop between here and there.

Part 2

It's now 11:45 PM and I only got home about fifteen minutes ago.

I had a very pleasant, quiet, restful afternoon here in my room. I watched something streaming via Duinin House's excellent wifi connection and later might even have dozed off for a while.

I headed off back down the hill about 7:30. I was just hanging around out front enjoying the lovely scenery and varied topography you can see from here when Pat asked me if I'd like a lift down the hill. Parking's free on the street and in all the pay lots after 6 PM and I know my own limit–one pint per evening–so I knew I'd be fine driving back up here after an evening out so I told him thanks, but I'd drive.

Parking on the street right across from O'Flaherty's was pretty full but the pay lot along there was almost completely empty and was also free. I left my car in the lot and headed a block or so up the hill and street to find somewhere to have dinner. There are a couple of restaurants at the corner where I'd first heard music this past Saturday night so I knew those were there and hoped they'd be open, and I was pretty sure I could also go back to Lily's Café which was pretty good as well, but I saw another place around the corner, the Dingle Diner, and went there instead. I saw a sign downstairs that said "Additional seating upstairs" and went up because there wasn't a lot of seating on the ground floor and the only table with a good chair needed to be cleaned; I did not, however, see the sign that said you have to order and pay downstairs, so I had to go back down to the ground floor again. I had some very good calamari and a decent salad with lovely strawberries & cream for dessert.

I was at O'Flaherty's by 9:15 and wound up sharing a table that had of course been empty with an American family (mother, dad, two kids in college, and a younger daughter) and the table between me and the corner was taken by two American couples who were traveling together and we had nice chats between the music.

There were only two musicians tonight, a guy who plays bodhran and sings and the other was the man himself and the owner of the pub, Fergus O'Flaherty, who sings and played at least five instruments this evening–guitar, banjo, accordion, penny whistle, and bodhran. The place was quite busy and crowded by 10 PM but had started thinning out by the time I left after 11. There was also a young American girl (I think) with her family who briefly did some Irish dancing and some middle aged French women who did their own version but one of them looked like she did know what she was doing.

The two couples to my left were from the Chicago area, and the dad sitting at my table had a relative he often visited at his house at Black Butte, where my family had a second home for decades until my Mom sold it the summer before she died.

All in all it's been a lovely day to end my stay here in Dingle.

I won't be in a hurry to get moving tomorrow since it only takes about an hour and a quarter to get from here in Dingle to where I'll be staying in Killarney, and I can't actually check in until 2 PM. I sent an email message earlier today asking if I could possibly check in early but haven't heard anything back yet. If nothing else, I'll find the place and find somewhere to park between when I get there and when I can check in at 2.

I'm looking forward to staying at this place, the Park Place Apartments. It seems to be even more centrally located than where I stayed last July. I've reserved a one bedroom apartment with separate sleeping and living areas which I liked when I was in a similar setting in Galway last week. And the place's web page says it has a washer and dryer which I'll use tomorrow night and the day before I have to leave to drive back up to Shannon airport and return the car and check in at the hotel there before catching my flights home the next day. For one thing the sweatshirt and fleece vest I brought with me and have been wearing every day since I got here could do with a bit of a wash.

And that's it for tonight and from Dingle.

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