Dingle Peninsula – Europe's most westerly point

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Dingle Peninsula - on the Atlantic Ocean

It’s raining, the streets look like a movie set. I’ve just arrived in Dingle, Ireland where I’ve been youth hostelling. Hurrying along to O’Sullivan’s Hostel, I meet Christopher, who had missed the bus, but managed to cadge a lift here. Inside the hostel, now out of the rain we meet brothers Rick and Peter from Boston and Andre, the hostel manager. Sarah, an American girl arrives.

We spend the evening sitting around a huge wooden table drinking coffee and chatting. Rick and Peter play guitar very well. Christopher may write a book, Sarah wants to be a foreign journalist, Andre once worked at the Kings Cross youth hostel in Sydney. Cold again tonight.
We all wake late. Christopher, Sarah and I head off to Moriarty’s to hike bikes for our day’s cycle tour of the peninsula.

.We visit the local health food store for a quick snack before climbing on our cycles. It’s fantastically sunny today. We follow the road towards Ventry. The smell of the Atlantic Ocean assails our senses – beautiful. This the part of Ireland where the movie Ryan’s Daughter was filmed. We cycle over hill and dale. Picture postcard scenery. We cycle further along the cliff-top road to Slea Head, the most westerly point in Europe. A combination of walking and cycling is a great thing, because you get to use different sets of muscles, and sometimes you need a break from walking.

A stop at Kruger’s for a late lunch of Mars bars and peanuts, then up a long hill and down again. The weather is so good today. Back in Dingle we visit An Literack, a coffee-bookshop which hosts live Irish music.

At our hostel two more travellers have arrived – Tony from N.Z. and Jane from Australia. They are heading off to S.E. Asia. That night we all spend the evening talking to the accompaniment of Rick’s guitar music. Very cold tonight so we build up the fire.

.Youth hostelling is a great way to visit Europe, and one usually has to do a lot of walking to get anywhere, so keep up the good work and travel!

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