I have blogged about Dingle quite a few times and posted many photos. Even the name has a delightful ringle to it. So what else could I possibly say about it? But. There’s the thing about Ireland. There are always surprises and you can go back time after time and each time it’s like you’re there for the first time.
It was the end of February and my annual pilgrimage to Ballyferriter was completed (I have written about this Festival in previous years and it delivered yet again). It was time to go home. I’d been up that night until 4am playing tunes with wonderful people whose friendship is renewed every year. That’s what’s great about Festivals. It’s not just the music.
Anyway, during my short time in bed I lay awake listening to the wind lashing and the hail thrashing. A wild night. Next morning it was calm and there were patches of sun, so I decided to head around the Slea Road back to Dingle, one of my favourite drives. I’d had Aidan Connolly in the cd player all weekend so it was time for a change. I stopped to retrieve a new CD and something made me look back towards Mt Brandon. I was stunned by the view. Completely shrouded in snow with Ballyferriter nestled at the bottom. This is what I saw.
A quick change of plans and I headed the other way making the instant decision to return via Conor Pass.
Perhaps a little foolhardy but the weather looked ok and I doubted I would get another opportunity like this. It turned out to be an inspired decision. As I got closer to the pass the patchwork of paddocks gave way to a carpet of white. The weather came and went in waves as I headed up the hill. I was greeted at the top by another snowfall. But also enough sun to revel in the alpine glory. I was in the heart of the Kingdom and I had been granted admission to the Palace. I was lost for words and I really can’t describe the feeling I had immersed in this wilderness.
On this occasion I will let the camera talk. And talk it will. Loudly. Driving over the top and down Conor Pass, there were surprises with every turn in the road . I headed to the villages of Cloghane and Brandon and out to Brandon Point and then returned along the coast to Aughacasla. All the time snow clad ranges framed the views.
Please enjoy these photos of an Ireland rarely seen.