Day 2 of our week long Dingle Peninsula Horse Riding Safari adventure along the Wild Atlantic Way.

Ireland, the weather changes in an instant, from scorching heat and clear blue skies to overcast and slightly misty, as extreme as day and night at times. To be honest, the cooler temperatures for Day 2 were much appreciated by everybody, most importantly the horses. And with cooler temperatures we could enjoy a bit of a faster pace, which we certainly did!To blow away the cobwebs, the day started out with a fantastic gallop along Muiríoch beach. Each of the horses chomping at the bit to get going and thoroughly enjoying the ability to stretch uninhibited along a practically deserted beach. A little wade and splash in the waves to cool the horses’ legs before another exhilarating gallop along Béal Bán Beach. I don’t think there could possibly be a better way to start the day……the soothing sound of the ocean, the wind caressing your face, the soft sound of hooves on wet sand and the immense power of the animal beneath you as you glide across golden sands.Sand made way for tarmac as we rode steadily towards Dún Chaoin (Dunquin), the stunning archipelago of The Blasket Islands in sight, An Blascaod Mór (Great Blasket), Inis ns Bró and An Fear Marbh (Sleeping Giant) to name but a few. Riding along the boreens and country roads of West Kerry you are more likely to hear utterings of “Dia dhuit” instead of “Hello” and “Conas atá tú?” instead of “How are you?”, this is Gaeltacht area. Located high above Dunquin is the remains of Kirrary Village, a meandering grassy track perfect for some mountain canters leads you there. I must confess, I’ve never watched the film “Ryan’s Daughter”, but without it, Dingle would not be the bustling tourist town attracting hordes of visitors from both home and abroad that it is today. In the late 1960’s, Dingle was a small impoverished town which suffered massive emigration, traditional sources of income such as fishing were drying up. Ryan’s Daughter won two Oscars in 1971, one being for cinematography, which goes without saying was spectacular……”They showed a clip with a currach out in the ocean with all the cliffs around…. the vividness of the colours, the beauty of it, the audience just gasped when the images came up on the screen, they were so incredibly beautiful.”Kirrary was a fictional rural village specifically created for the film, and it was made to last. After filming wrapped the village was offered for free to a willing taker, but unfortunately this never proceeded. The land and grazing rights on which the village was constructed were held by a number of different parties who couldn’t agree. The village was thus demolished and all that remains is the cobbled road upon which the village sat, the horses’ hooves echoing its emptiness as iron hits stone in the vast mountains of Dunquin.After a long day in the saddle the thirst creeps up on you fierce quickly, and once the horses were settled in their paddock of luscious grass, the thirst had to be quenched with a nice glass of the finest Guinness in Krugers Bar, named as the most Westerly pub in Europe and full to the brim of memorabilia from “Ryan’s Daughter” and “Far and Away.” If those walls could talk I’m sure there’d be a story or two worth listening to! Thirst quenched; it was time to return to Dingle Horseriding to feed the hunger. I’m gluten-intolerant and for the most part it causes no problems whilst travelling, but sometimes you do feel a little “awkward” for having dietary requirements, sometimes there might be a lack of available alternatives, sometimes through miscommunications dietary requirements may be forgotten about…. it’s just life. Honestly, if I woke up in the morning and decided I wanted to try Veganism, the amazing chef here at Dingle Horseriding, Debbie, would have it covered, any and all dietary requirements wholly catered for. Two wonderful days spent exploring the Dingle Peninsula with the lovely Lady already and looking forward to what else is in store. As we were riding towards Dunquin, three busloads of tourists passed us by, masked faces gazing out the windows whilst we sat upon our equine altars breathing in the fresh sea air. Wild and free, I know exactly where I’d rather be.