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Rucksack Readers => Dingle Way, south-west Ireland => Topic started by: darcylapp on January 01, 2008, 08:14:23 pm



Title: Dingle Way - reserve accommodation?
Post by: darcylapp on January 01, 2008, 08:14:23 pm
Hi! I'm looking for any advice/information anyone can give me about walking the Dingle Way. My husband and I are planning to walk the entire thing in June-July. We are unsure if we should make reservations for accomodations ahead of time, etc. We haven't ever been to Ireland nor have we walked a hike this long before, so any advice anyone could offer us would be most helpful!

Thanks, and we are looking forward to hearing from you!


Title: Re: Dingle Way - reserve accommodation?
Post by: Jacquetta on January 01, 2008, 11:10:48 pm
Hi there
Welcome to the forums and you're making a good choice: the Dingle Peninsula is very beautiful and the Way a good choice for a first long-distance walk.  We have ideas/advice to offer.  First, however, some questions:
a) how long can you spend on Dingle Way and is that fixed or is there a day or two's flexibility?
b) how do you feel about road-walking: don't mind, or worth avoiding?
c) do you need to walk every step of the entire Way or could you enjoy a holiday that included all the best bits without some of the road-walking?
d) what is the furthest you have walked in a single day before?

Answers to the above affect the advice, but of course everybody is different ... ;)


Title: Re: Dingle Way - reserve accommodation?
Post by: darcylapp on January 02, 2008, 05:32:34 pm
Thanks so much for your reply and willingness to help.  Sorry for the overload of questions, but you are the first person to respond to my online inquiries!

Overall, my husband and I were thinking that we'd be walking the entire thing. However, if there are some good and serious reasons we should reconsider, please let us know! We're not 100% stuck on anything. We are planning a month in Ireland, part with my husband's aunts. The hike will be on our own, and it is the part of the trip we are looking forward to most!
To answer your questions:

a) We were planning on taking the full 10 days recommended in the Rucksack reader, but we were going to include an additional 3-4 days leeway in case of weather or recovery days.
b) In terms of road walking, I don't mind it unless the roads are busy. What was your experience? Are the roads busy??
c) We were planning to do the whole thing, but if there is good reason to avoid parts, we'd reconsider.
d) The furthest we've walked in a single day is 20 miles. 

Now for some more questions from me:
1) What was your experience like? Any regrets? Any things we must see/do along the way?
2) As for accommodation, we are unsure if we should reserve accommodations before we leave the US or if it would be fine to wait. We don't want to be stuck outside sleeping if at all possible, but we also are looking forward to being a bit spontaneous. Is it possible to find accommodations as we go?
3) We will be leaving from Dublin to get to the Dingle Way. What mode of transportation is the most convenient to get there?
4) Finally, what about bags? I read on the Rucksack Readers site that many people had their bags transported. We don't mind carrying bags, but if the price is right and it is convenient, we would arrange for transport.
5) One more thing, if we did decide to carry packs, do you know if there is a place we could store our other bags until we are finished hiking? As I mentioned we will be in Ireland for a month, so we would need to bring more (plus we might buy stuff) than we would want to carry during the hike.

Thank you!
Darcy



Title: Re: Dingle Way - reserve accommodation?
Post by: Jacquetta on January 02, 2008, 06:02:13 pm
Darcy:
OK, if you have already done a 20-mile day and are allowing up to a fortnight, there's no reason to skip the road-walking (unless the weather is vile and you have better things to do).  The roads aren't particularly busy, but many folk try to squeeze things into a week and on that basis I'd encourage them to cherry-pick the best bits (Dingle to Castlegregory plus Great Blasket IMHO). It sounds like you already have our Dingle Way (http://rucsacs.com/books/dgw/) book, and most of the answers are in it :)  If not, you need a copy urgently – from us by Air Mail or via bookstores or from Amazon! :o

We say it's 8 days walking (see distance table on p10) with a longest day of 18 miles and 4 short days (11/12 miles).  We also say that a trip to Great Blasket is (a) unmissable and (b) weather-dependent (pages 27-29).  So if you can keep some flexibility, do, but I'd always suggest booking at least the first couple of nights accommodation.  Also go in June rather than July if you can (less pressure on accomm, possibly drier).

How to reach Dingle from Dublin is covered on p11 although Shannon and Kerry airports are nearer and I'd have thought you might get a direct flight to Shannon?  Easiest method for bag storage is to enlist a B&B in Tralee (or Dublin if going there for other reasons).  For bag transfer on the walk, see the operators mentioned on page 62 or refer to this useful website (http://www.dingleway.net/).

I had great weather, as you can see at our gallery (http://rucsacs.com/gallery/dgw/), and would thoroughly recommend Dingle to anybody.  Only regret was not reaching the summit of Mount Brandon half an hour earlier, when the views would have been even clearer; as you see on p51, even the descent was spectacular!

Hope that helps your planning?  Please do post your comments once you have been!


Title: Re: Dingle Way - reserve accommodation?
Post by: darcylapp on March 24, 2008, 12:06:24 am
As this trip gets closer, my husband and I are considering booking accommodations in advance. Are there any towns that you'd recommend staying in for more than one night?  Any that one night is more than enough?

Thanks again for the help!


Title: Re: Dingle Way - reserve accommodation?
Post by: Jacquetta on March 27, 2008, 12:41:32 pm
Hello again Darcy
The trade-off is that spending 2/3 nights in one place reduces the downtime (packing up/checking out) at the expense of needing some help with transport to/from walking.  I also think that a trip to Great Blasket is unforgettable and I'd try to include some flexibility to allow it (weather permitting the boats go from Dunquin and I think also from Dingle Town: am writing this from Montserrat so can't check that).  So I'd certainly allow an extra night or two in Dingle Town (which has more facilities than Dunquin).  There aren't many other places to suggest, as the stopovers are mainly small villages, charming and well-situated, but don't bring high expectations and you won't be disappointed.

Tralee is very pleasant, and may be necessary depending on your transport arrangements, but being at the very end/beginning of the walk, overnights there dosn't really help.  The bottom line is that if you don't mind using taxis if buses prove scarce, you could even decide to stay in only one or two places for your entire walk and remember that some accommodation hosts will ferry you about by prior arrangment.

Whatever you decide, goo luck and please tell us how it goes.
Jacquetta


Title: Re: Dingle Way - Ireland
Post by: Stottie on April 10, 2008, 01:22:02 pm
As promised, here are my thoughts after walking the Dingle Way at the end of March and beginning of April 2008.

The Dingle Way is a tennis-racket of a route. You begin in Tralee, a busy town of 24000 people, walk along the “handle” to the small village of Camp, round the “frame” through Dingle town, then back along the “handle” to your starting point – if you want to, that is.

Positive
Take your smile, and you’ll be rewarded time after time.
Share in the Irishman’s positive outlook on the weather, and “sure it really will seem like a lovely day”.
Enjoy the abundance of fresh air.
Consume a full Irish breakfast every morning.
Love the scenery.
Eat the seafood in Dingle’s best restaurants.

Neutral
Adopt a relaxed attitude to time: shops open when ready, not by the clock.
Value for money at B&Bs varies widely. Try to look before you book, or accept philosophically what you get.
Waymarking is variable.
The “Irishification” of place-names means you won’t see any road signs for Dingle. But you’ll quickly learn.

Negative
There’s rather a lot of road walking, which I don’t like.
Rights of way don’t have the level of protection that I’m familiar with in England, and landowners seem able to forbid access to the route at will.

Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can I do it in trainers?
A. No, but you might prefer them for the road sections.

Q. Do I need a guidebook and a map?
A. You need a map, and a compass too if you want to be sure of crossing Brandon Mountain, which enjoys a lot of mist.

Q. Do I need to book accommodation?
A. Outside the holiday periods, it’s probably OK to phone a day (or a few hours) ahead in the small places (i.e. everywhere except Tralee and Dingle).

Q. Are there campsites?
A. Not as the English know them! Primitive camping with farmer’s permission is no doubt possible.

Q. Are there public transport links?
A. Tralee-Camp-Dingle has a regular bus service. Elsewhere there might be only one bus per week.

Q. How hard is the crossing of Brandon Mountain?
A. Even in mist, navigation should be no problem if you are competent with map and compass. Contrary to rumour, there are no serious precipitous drop-offs if you stay on the path. The descent towards Brandon Bay is very steep, wet and loose at first.

Summary
I had a great time. With advice from locals, I did get to some of the headlands where the Way should go, but doesn’t. Being more mountain man than beach bum, I missed out on the sand spit and instead caught the weekly bus from Cloghane to Tralee. I felt that gave the walk a better finish, rather than allowing it to fade away. But there you go: start it and finish it where you want. And the best bit? Ventry to Brandon.