The ‘Dingle Way‘. It sounds like a gentle amble. It’s not a macho name like ‘Inca Trail’ or ‘Kokoda Track’.
And indeed, although along its 179km length there’s some slogging through mud, some scrambling over rocks and some modest climbs, it’s a walk that any active person can manage comfortably. But there’s more to it than just the walking. This is Ireland, and it’s a place with character.
The landscape is gently beautiful, the appeal lying in the colours of the foliage and flowers at our feet rather than in any rugged peaks above us.
This is not wilderness; it’s country which has been developed over centuries, the traces of its past testifying to people’s struggle and survival in a harsh climate.
The heather- and gorse-covered slopes are broken by fragments of ancient stone walls and dotted with the ruins of former churches and forts.
The circular ones are Celtic, according to our guide John Ahearn from South West Walks, and they may be 2000-3000 years old. Evidence of habitation on the Dingle Peninsula dates back 5000 years.
We’re not walking the whole circuit from Tralee, in County Kerry. John and his ‘leprechauns’ transfer our luggage from one B&B to the next, and drive us out to the start of each day’s walk.
Thanks for the guiding John, and thanks Mary, Murray, Ingrid, Erika, Liz, David, Isabelle, Corinne, Terry and Agnes for the company.