|Thursday, June 5th, 2014|
11:54p - London and Ireland Trip, October 6: Fungie, Dingle, and Kenmare
Sunday’s view from our bedroom window was much greyer than Saturday’s.
Even with the soggy day, Lori was very keen to take a boat tour out into Dingle Bay.
There was time before the boat ride for another trip to Murphy’s Ice Cream. We’ve forgotten the flavors, but it was excellent ice cream, worth eating two days in a row. (Side note: the Murphy’s website made me laugh with this bit: "WORST FLAVOUR WE EVER MADE: Smoked Salmon Ice Cream (horrible)”)
This T-shirt says “Póg mo Cone”, which is much funnier if you’re familiar with the Irish phrase “póg mo thóin”. Of course, the western part of the peninsula (including Dingle) is a Gaeltacht, where Irish is still spoken predominantly, so this joke would be well understood locally.
Our boat for the tour of the bay.
The biggest reason for a boat tour in Dingle is Fungie the dolphin. Fungie is a very unusual dolphin: he lives in Dingle Bay year-round, where most bottlenosed dolphins migratory. He seems to be solitary, where most bottlenosed dolphins stay in groups. And he’s made Dingle Bay his home since 1984, although the typical lifespan for his species is 20-25 years. Fungie is also distinctive because he is very friendly with boats; the local boat tours offer that if you don’t see Fungie, you don’t pay for the tour.
We ended up seeing Fungie quite a bit, especially after the captain encouraged the five-year-old passenger to call “Fungie! Fungie!” repeatedly.
As we were out on the boat, the soft grey mist turned to wind and rain. Lori insisted we take a selfie to show the conditions we were in, though it’s nigh-impossible to look good under such conditions.
The mist was beautiful, but it’s hard to take really splendid photos of the mist - particularly on a boat rocking with the waves.
I’m fond of this picture - the lonely crenellated tower looks like something from a somber fairyland. I tried several times to get a closer picture, but none came out as good.
Lori was feeling very cold and wet when we returned to land, and rushed into a pub as soon as possible. She got little sympathy from the barmaid, but she did get an Irish coffee.
We returned to the Food Festival for a bit. We started with a little knot of outdoor food vendors - not clearly part of the Taste Trail, but still part of the festival.
Curry from Green Saffron - this was particularly nice because it was warm and we were chilled from the rain.
The lentil shortbread was not actually that good.
Reel Dingle Fish was back on the Taste Trail. The smoked haddock was really nice.
The Chart House is one of the nicer restaurants in Dingle. The goat cheese tartlet was probably the best, but the black pudding and apple chutney turnover was surprisingly good (according to the member of our duo who will sample black pudding).
Lori was very keen on the cheesecake sundae from the Little Cheese Shop.
Fenton’s was very proud of their mini burger, and the proprietor told us repeatedly how good it was as he was preparing it. Our verdict: not so much.
This red-headed busker won Lori’s heart (and tips) because he looked only eight years old.
Enjoy another scenery picture. This looks very Ireland to me.
We backtracked a bit to drive to Kenmare, another small Kerry town at the tip of the Kerry Bay between the Iveragh Peninsula (the peninsula with the tourist-popular Ring of Kerry) and the Beara Peninsula. This was the view from the window of our B&B in Kenmare.
At the recommendation of our host, we went to The Lime Tree, an upscale (and dimly lit) restaurant in a building that dates back to 1832.
We started with an appetizer of oak smoked salmon.
I ordered the Lamb Two Ways, with a mini shepherd’s pie and a small rack of locally sourced lamb. This was outstanding, probably the best lamb I’ve ever had.
Lori got the chicken with boxty. It was very tasty but apparently not photogenic.
For dessert, we shared a lovely bread and butter pudding.
The story of the building:
As we walked back to the B&B, we saw a sign on the door of a pub that said “Irish Music and Dance Tonight”. I’m quite certain of this, because I double-checked the sign later. So we figured this might be our chance to get a nice local pub session. We went in and found the bar area deserted. We asked a bartender about the dancing, and were told that it was in the back room.
So we went to the back room. There was indeed live music and dancing… but the instruments were an electronic keyboard and an electric guitar. And the choice of music didn’t fit our expectations of Irish music; the second song we heard was John Denver’s “Country Roads”. But there were people dancing; they were dancing two-steps and country western waltzes instead of jigs and reels.
On the one hand, this was definitely a local, non-tourist experience; the room was filled with locals, mostly elderly with a few younger folks. On the other hand, we found it hard to find a seat and even harder to find a conversation. We left after half an hour with only a pause to double-check that the sign did indeed say “Irish".
(1 comment |comment on this)