The Dingle Way Walking Trail

Nature At It’s Finest Achievements

by 

Chris Ambrose 

Part 1

Have you ever felt as though you could fly on your own or felt as though you had just been set free while doing something entirely different? I have a friend who describes what it is like to speed ski and the overwhelming sensation it gives her while feeling free.

Well, imagine yourself standing atop this ledge looking out forever on to the valley beneath you, so lush all the while the sea soars with its gentle waves as it brushes against the sand upon its arrival to land as if to kiss it gently leaving treasures behind just for you to discover.

Welcome to the Dingle Way Walking Trail located in Dingle Ireland. This great trail of 109 miles in length, is on the lovely, scenic and famous Dingle Peninsula, in County Kerry. It’s said to be one of the best-marked trails in Ireland and possibly all of Europe. Tralee is where the trail officially begins and ends, allowing you to join in anywhere along its route as it hugs the coast along the wild and unpredictable Atlantic Way.

In my new book, that was launched this month, titled My Boots Are Made For Walkin’-The First 3,000 Miles, I share with you just how crazy these waters can be in spite of how it caresses the shorelines. This trail is undoubtedly for the adventurer at heart who wants to experience mother nature at her most elegant, but there is also a similar route on the main but winding narrow roads for those that wish to observe its grandeur from the comfort of their automobiles. But I do advise those that elect to hike the trail to wear good walking boots to protect the feet from varying terrains.

Whatever your interest, the Dingle Way Walking Trail offers a diverse selection of varying routes with picturesque villages to visit and destinations such as Camp, Inch, Anascaul, Ventry, Dunquin, Ballyferriter, Mount Brandon, Conor Pass, Castlegregory, and the unique Blasket Islands. Be sure you include a map or use a guide, so you do not miss a thing, including charming shops for the must-haves for taking home with you! You may want to keep a unique eye out for the well known hand-knit Aran sweaters.

Also to be found are numerous walking paths on short loops as well as mountain hikes, just off the central Dingle Way, to satisfy anyone’s curiosity. You must not forget to visit the different old world seaside towns and fishing villages including the town of Dingle itself where the famous dolphin, Fungi, resides, greeting every sailing vessel departing and arriving from the port. Your finds will provide you with every possible reason to spend a great deal of time in this area!

The Dingle Peninsula is said to have greater than 2,500 archaeological sites and Megalithic stone circles, stone forts and Neolithic sites. It is one of the most popular signposted hiking trails in Ireland and said to be one of the worlds most spectacular walks, but it will take you 7 to 10 days to complete, even for the fittest walker. But not to worry! The area is populated with numerous lodging opportunities from motels to the charming Bed and Breakfast accommodations and even castle hotels. Many will offer a packed lunch for you to take along, so having a home base for your daily walking tour couldn’t be easier.

This walk is recommended to be divided into eight portions of equal lengths and duration. I have listed the suggested breaks in walking schedules and included them below.

As recommended from Ireland’s Travel Guide:

Section 1 – Tralee Town To Camp Village – 19km (4-6 hours)

Section 2 – Camp to Annascaul Village – 18km (4-6 hours)

Section 3 – Annascaul to Dingle – 22km (5-8 hours)

Section 4 – Dingle to Dunquin (Dún Chaoin) – 20km (4-6 hours)

Section 5 – Dunquin to Ballycurrane (before the Brandon Mountain range) – 23km (5-8 hours)

Section 6 – Ballycurrane to Cloghane – 21km (6-9 hours)

Section 7 – Cloghane to Castlegregory – 26km (5-8 hours) 

Section 8 – Castlegregory to Tralee – 28km (6-9 hours)

Keep in mind that your walking routes, as listed above, never leave you abandoned without food and water more than a few hours walk in between villages. However, any specialized supplies you feel you need should be purchased in either Tralee or Dingle as they are the two largest towns on the Dingle Peninsula.

Now, I just have to tell you about one interesting fact and location you can visit while it also offers history and a bit of danger! Visit a multitude of Beehive Huts, which are one of the most apparent structures to be spotted on the route due to the uniqueness and size. They are located twelve kilometers (7-1/2 miles) off the coast of County Kerry and part of the Ring of Kerry, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and rises dramatically to an altitude of 700 feet above the sea.

According to my resources, there are many locations along the climb to the monastery with a high risk of a fall, with a reported number of deaths and injuries and the likelihood is that a person will be killed as a result of a fall between one in five and one in 50 years. This area known as Skellig Michael had over 600 steps and built into the rock that leads up to the monastery. None of the levels have a handrail, and it is a steep climb.

FYI: Skellig Michael is the site of an old Irish monastery. It is one of the most famous and impressive places from the ancient Christian world which can still be seen today in its original and authentic form. It is a monastic site sitting on the top of a rock in the middle of the wild Atlantic Ocean. If you have never been on the Atlantic Ocean, I assure you, that you are in for the experience of a lifetime, if traveling in a boat anywhere on these waters!

I am guessing that most of you have no idea that Star Wars, was filmed on Skellig Michael. The Skelligs scenes from the most recent Star Wars film Episode VII The Force Awakens were shot at the islands in 2014. The Skelligs features prominently at the end of the movie where the audience is reintroduced to Star Wars’ original hero Luke Skywalker. Resource: www.theringofkerry.com/skellig-michael

A collection of beehive-shaped huts was built to reproduce the beehive huts of Skellig Micheal. Construction workers built a road across local farmland to bring the trucks, scaffolding, lighting, trailers, food, props and people up to the closed set. Lucasfilm later thanked locals for their support and hospitality. Thank you to https://www.dingle-peninsula.ie/attractions-on-the-dingle-peninsula-co-kerry/outdoor-attractions/item/star-wars-filming-locations-ireland-ceann-sibeal-ballyferriter.html

Anyone setting out to walk a long distance trail such as The Dingle Way is embarking on a serious test of physical endurance. Please practice safety above everything else you do. There are safety tips posted about the weather, equipment, clothes recommended, and general advice at www.DingleWay.com. Do take time to review it for your own sake. Travel in numbers of at least three is also recommended and always let someone know where you plan to be. www.dingle-peninsula.ie

 

 

My Boots Are Made For Walkin’ The First 3,000 Miles

By

Chris Ambrose

Our sincere apologies for the publishing technology problems which are delaying our date of release. We should have our e-Book published and launched by mid month (January 2019) and our book image posted on Amazon for the printed book version soon. An error was also posted on Amazon for the date launch of December 5, 2018 but it was January 5, 2019. Thank you for your patience and we will keep you posted right here on our bi-monthly blogs.

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