Dingle: Beyond Killarney Part II

My journey to Explore Ireland


Dingle is just one of those places that has that something…special.  “Onomatopoeia.” A friend recently told me is a term that talent scouts use to denote “that something special.” Well to me…that is Dingle. Dingle represents friends to be made, music to be enjoyed, and a beauty to be seen that is unrivaled. It is a place where you can hear the sound of a child calling out across the quay, her falling footstep echoing across the pier as she runs down the dock aside her father’s ship, he, who had just returned from a day upon the sea. It is a place where music, hard work, laughter, and Guinness all hold equal importance.

There is a place in Dingle, right off the quay, along the narrow main road lined with colorful houses and shops, which pipes traditional Irish music out into the street. If you stand there, as I did, listening to the sweet lilting sound of ancient music, your nostrils filled with the smell of fish, and the ever-present aroma of the sea, if you stand there…you will not just see, but you will feel the majestic beauty of those things which have stood for centuries upon the sea; Hussies’ Follie, the Esk Tower, and O’Connor’s Pass, all of whom keep watch over the harbor, its people and its heart. So, if you stand there…as I have, then you too will feel the aura known as Dingle.


Dingle: Beyond Killarney

Simple things are often at the heart of life and it is those simple things, those times which often occur spontaneously which make life wonderful and interesting, and beautiful. Dingle is simple in its own existence and breathes life into those who are fortunate enough to take the time to find her. Now, I was lucky enough to find a hostel that spoke quietly to me, as Dingle often does. In actuality, I was planning on camping at another hostel on the edge of town but had decided just to check the rates in town and thus I came across what I would have to say was a hostel and hostel worker that was quintessentially…Dingle. As I walked through the door I was greeted by my soon-to-be friend Chuck who was straight out of the 60s. He wore round John Lennon glasses and a Jazz-type cap which he wore backward and his grey, semi-long hair, was tucked haphazardly behind his ears. After a quick smile and hello Chuck gave me the rates (outside of my budget) and then helped me ring the other hostel, yes they could accommodate my tent and sent me off with directions down an old Irish boreen which would provide me with a nice scenic walk and get me to said other hostel lickety-split. We parted ways, him smiling and laughing as he folded clean sheets for the beds and towels for the guests. I didn’t even make it 4 blocks before I turned around. I rang the bell, asked if he missed me yet and we shared a good laugh as he ushered me back into the warmth of what would become my home for the next four days. I don’t want to say that Chuck gave me preferential treatment but, he did.  He gave me a private room for two nights for the price of a dorm room, let me put my hand-washed clothes in the dryer, gave me my last night’s stay for a “tener,” let me drink the house milk out of the fridge, and kept me company on the porch, where he drank red wine and I cheap beer from the grocery store. Chuck was a wealth of information, a constant source of entertainment, and became my good friend. I guess for whatever reason I have a tendency to have that type of effect on people; I bring out the best in them and they me. I’m not sure why. Onomatopoeia perhaps…

Side Note: I wrote this on my very first foray into Dingle and my opinion has not wavered. My connection to Dingle has only gotten stronger and more intrinsic as the years and visits wore on. I have since returned to Dingle over the years and of course the Hideout Hostel. Chuck is long gone but I have become good friends with not just the owner but many of the employees there that have graced me with their time and friendship. My last visit there was in 2018 and at present my return date is unknown. But, I know that Dingle and The Hideout is and always will be like a second home to me and it always will be thus, no matter how long it takes before my eventual return.

                                                            Stayed tuned for part III of Beyond Killarney.

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