Early in the morning of 28 January 1998, I board a bus in Killarney to Tralee and from there another bus to Dingle the main town on the Dingle Peninsula. The entire journey takes about 6 hours since Dingle is a bit off the tourist path, especially compared to Killarney. This is one of the reasons its worth visiting. Another is that the peninsula falls in a Gaeltacht region, a place where the Irish government supports traditional language and culture. A big draw of course is that the small town of 1,500 is home to over 50 pubs which are renown as some of the best pubs in Ireland for Irish trad. Many of the pubs do double duty including Dick Mack’s which is part pub and part leather-working shop.
On Pa’s recommendation I check into the Grapevine Hostel, a pleasant and cozy place to stay albeit quiet compared to the Súgán. There I meet up with Sonia, a young and attractive German woman I met on my first night in Killarney. She spent last night in Dingle and is heading out again on the next bus. We go shopping together in Dingle, each time we enter a store Sonia bellows out “Hello!” in the European fashion. I end up purchasing a blue woolen sweater, a charcoal gray lambswool scarf, and a little knit cap that rolls up much like the on Pa was wearing (I still wear all three of these articles of clothing). These prove to be practical purchases as the temperatures during my time in Dingle dip down into the 30’s and 40’s, the coldest of my entire six weeks of travel.
Back at the Grapevine I meet up with Jessica again as well as a Canadian woman named Amy. They determine that it is too cold to go out, so I end up going out alone for a lonely pint and somewhat subduded music at a pub called Teach Thomáis. Then I call it a night.