MB travelled to the coastal town of Dingle in South West Ireland last week to collect daughter MB2 from Irish language Summer Camp.
That particular part of Ireland is one of the countries more famous tourist destinations – famous for it’s natural beauty, great pubs, fantastic sea food, and a wild bottlenose dolphin called Fungi. Fungi lives in Dingle harbour/bay and puts on a display for all the tourists who venture out. Fungi has become an entire industry in his own right.
Murphy’s Ice Cream shop has the best ice cream in the whole country. If you get there try the Sea Salt flavour – delish!
A few shots:
We saw Fungi in Dingle, MB! Rumour has it that he may not be the original, but local townsfolk won’t dish on the goods. Either way, the magic is in believing, so we stuck to the belief that we were in fact witnessing a perky 40-odd-year-old dolphin. And it WAS magical … none of us expected to be as wowed as we were. Though in truth Smilin’ Vic was a bit disappointed to find a bustling tourist town filled with tour buses rather than a quaint little struggling fishing village …. Beautiful country. Welcome back to the Land of Sand ….
I do not believe the Fungi substitution story. Would be almost impossible to get a dolphin to stay in the bay. There have been a few times in the past when Fungi disappeared for a few months, maybe unwell or whatever, but then reappeared again to the delight of the locals. People though at those times that he was victim of a shark attack. Regarding SV thoughts, many jobs and the welfare of a whole community depend on those tour busses so better that than the alternative. Historically Kerry region has had amongst the highest levels of emigration in the entire country due to poverty and lack of industry other than farming. But overall, great place to visit I am sure he will agree. Regards.
MB, we have no reason not to believe in the original Fungie, so we do, wholeheartedly! He’s all we know, and he absolutely made our day. Our hosts in Glenbeigh simply told us that they’d been there 20 years ago and seen a much larger dolphin, and SV actually told them their perception was probably off because the younger we are the bigger everything seems.
And hailing from Eastern Canada (known as the ‘have not provinces’ of Canada), we completely get the value of tourism and what it can bring to a community. Believe me, we’re happy to see it. SV had simply been holding on to a romantic (but definitely unprofitable) vision passed on to him by his aunts (his mom passed when he was very, very young) of a fishing village where you could walk in to the local pub and be recognised as ‘blood’, or at least meet a distant cousin or patron who knew a man who knew a man who once fished with your great-grandfather’s cousin’s brother-in-law! We were greeted with non-Dingle students earning a good summer wage.
It was all good though, and we soooo enjoyed our day. We just hadn’t read up enough on how much the town had progressed, and were going on word of mouth on what it was perhaps thirty years ago. So we came with that expectation. Our bad!
Write-up on Ireland to come in next few days … did I mention Ireland was amazing?????? Seriously. We had the time of our lives.
Looking forward to reading it. Slainte! (Gaelic for health & our drinking toast!)