Travelin' Man

Photos and text By Harlan Ang

The local bus from Tralee took the curves well on the road to Dingle. It was cold, rainy and windy but the driver was determined to deliver his passengers. We were dropped off at the dock and the bus pulled away. A stranger to this place I looked around to find a place to stay and after several tries I headed out of town. A sign above the door said Ocean View and I liked its location. The fare was 13 pound including breakfast. My room had an ocean view.

A quaint town with tourist shops but just enough character of weathering and roughness. The boats would come in after a 3 to 5 day voyage full to the brim with tons of fresh fish. The spirit would be strong as the men of the town emptied their catch. Sea gulls would roar and the skillets would go to the fire with the best of the days catch. Along the rugged coast to the very west of Ireland the road takes you to Sleigh Head. The scenery is spectacular with old potato fields in the hills, rough islands out in the powerful ocean and small houses dotting the eroded coast. Life has a real good spirit here. Nature does things just fine but the ocean and weather have the last word. The wind from the main land blows out to sea as the waves crest on the shore. But it is the rage of the sea that is most strong in showing its power of decision making as to whether or not there will be a nice day. Prepared for the worst weather the Irish are always with raincoat, umbrella and wool clothes. The south easterly will bring a chill from Europe but the west wind will be the warm currents from the gulf of Mexico. A day without rain would be an odd one to the drinkers of the best beer and whisky. Any Irishman will proud himself on the fact that Guiness Stout is good for you. To actually prepare themselves for the worst weather these people DRINK......

Stone house near Dingle

The sun sets as another day goes by on the Dingle penninnsula and people are running home to light the fire. A great evening is planned with the help of the freshest fish and the wonderful scenery. Though it is cold wet and windy this is still a magic place. Out to the pub at 9 pm. or so will lead you to great music. Going out for a good time is called a CRAIC. About the time you have finished a few pints of the brew the musicians warm up and start to carry a tune. The pipes are wonderful as is the drum. Along comes the fiddle and then the lovely touch of the voice. Soon there is fire in the air and the accordian is taking over the rhythm. A few guitars, banjos and you are set. The music comes together after a few rounds of drinks. The players are strong and the tunes fill the air. Any Irishman or woman will start to sing the drinking songs and then the place is in a roar. Ah the luck of the Irish, there are no friendlier people to be found!!!!!

The sets are often long and occassionally you can hear a tale or two being told. This is the life to the Irish and it is all at the PUB. Even when the weather is nice tales are told over and over again with the same stout that they have had for ages......GUINNESS. Ah a brew so fine it got me hooked.

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