Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Dingle Way

In celebration of St. Patrick's Day today, I wanted to raise a pint to honor Ireland. I've learned a lot from my trips to the Dingle Peninsula, so much so that I set three of my four YA novels there. What is it about the air along the cliffs that makes me feel as if I am breathing for the first time?
On our first trip, James and I spent a good portion of a morning trying to find the Dingle Way, a marked trail which traverses the entire peninsula. After driving the sub-compact down every dirt path in search of the Dingle Way, even having our bumper attacked by two rowdy border collies, we gave up. To our left was an awe-inspiring cliff with a sheer drop down to the Atlantic Ocean. Seeing it, I knew I had to climb that peak, so we parked the car and headed up. The wind, the mist, the sheep manure, and finally the payoff: a view that nearly made me weep. On our way back to the car, James noticed a sign to our right-- the marker for the Dingle Way. We laughed and decided that what we had just done, creating our own path, was truly the Dingle Way. Slainte!

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