Today is the last day before we leave Ireland. I really can’t complain or seem too sad since we are moving onto Spain, but as I sit here at the Ballinalacken Castle overlooking the Atlantic Ocean with the outline of the Cliffs of Moher in the distance, I can’t help but have a hint of sadness thinking of our approaching departure.
Looking back on our time in Ireland, I wanted to share the most memorable experience. While pretty much everything was enjoyable, kayaking in Dingle, one of the best places to visit in Ireland, was exhilarating and unforgettable.
Disclosure: Our kayaking adventure with Adventure Ireland was complementary but that does not affect our opinion that it was an amazing experience.
Michelle and I like to Kayak and go at least a few times each year in Austin. We go out on Lady Bird Lake right after work to reset our minds or to cool down on a hot Austin summer day. We may not be pros but we do enjoy Kayaking and have done it a few times.
Part of my trip planning always involves looking for the more adventurous things to do in the areas we visit. We came across Kayaking in Dingle and Doolin, two places we knew we were going to go. Based on our schedule we decided to go in Dingle and are so happy we did. We booked an afternoon excursion with Irish Adventures.
Irish Adventures is located right by the water in Dingle and offers kayaking, rock climbing and several other outdoor adventures. We arrived just before our scheduled departure and were suited up. It was about 52 degrees Fahrenheit and I worried we would freeze out on the water. They gave us wet suits, booties, and jackets to keep us warm and it did the trick. There are mens and women’s changing rooms to get into them.
After a quick overview of how to kayak, we headed out to the water and went on our way. Not only were we familiar with Kayaking, but the other couple in our group was as well so we quickly made our way out of the harbor. If you are less experience, this is when you will review the basics of kayaking.
As we made our way out of the harbor, our guide pointed out Micheal Skellig, the island where Luke Skywalker is found at the end of Star Wars Episode 7. We kayaked up against the cliffs and rocks and then made our way into a small cove thought a cave. It made me feel like I was on Pirates of the Caribbean for a minute.
We went through a narrow dark passage way into a bright cove called Thunder Cove that was surrounded by steep cliffs. At this point, our guide pointed out some geological points of interested about the cove. It was a clear day and we could see to the bottom of the sea in that area.
After enjoying the cove for a minute, we made our way back through the passage we used to get in and headed back to the harbor. Along the way, we backed into one other cave and just as we sat there, Fungi the dolphin beached right in front of us!
Fungi is the resident dolphin that has left a lasting mark on the area. He has been there for around 30 years and stays in the area, which is very rare for dolphins. Every day, up to 13 or 14 ships could be out looking for Fungi at one time. He even has his own facebook page.
Our guides had radios tuned in to hear from the boats where Fungi was but you just need to look at the boats to know what was going on. If you see them all crowded around the same area or headed in the same direction you know Fungi will be nearby. We were able to see Fungi breach a few times before the boats block our view as they followed him out further than where we were at.
We really enjoyed our time out on the water. It was a bit tiring and I was concerned my arms would be dead the next day, but I think the stretching I did afterward helped since the soreness the next day was minimal. We went out with Enda and Eamon and they were very helpful and full of information. It was a real pleasure to go with them. All of the photos you see in the post were taken by them and given to us, another included benefit of kayaking with them. They admit they aren’t professional photographers, but it leaves you with something to remember the experience by.
Tips from us: Bring a GoPro of your own if you want to make sure you get the perfect photos of everything along the way. It would also help if you go kayaking once or twice before coming out as well. It isn’t required and you will enjoy your time either way, but it will make for a smoother time and allow you to make it further out. We were told we only make it to the coves we did because we we were already comfortable kayaking and the conditions were great. Also, show up a bit early to look for parking as the lots can be full and bring coins for the meter.