Day 8, Hobnobbing in Dingle

Rest day in Dingle

Mileage:  0 miles                                                                     Elevation gain:   0′

Total mileage so far:   325.0 miles       Total elevation gain so far:   18,006′

I’ve been here once before but I was a different person then and Dingle was a different town. There was no Oceanworld Aquarium, no tourist shops selling tacky shamrock and leprechaun tchotchkes, no carnival rides on the pier. And it was certainly not known as the ‘foodie’ capital of Ireland.

It was just a quiet, though colorful, seaside fishing village that attracted hostelers, artists and musicians from all around the world.

I was sixteen years old in 1994. Wider eyed with a mid-90’s grunge style—dark blue flannel, always green pants and purposefully mismatched socks inside my silver Doc Martens—when I flew over to meet up with my sister who was studying abroad.

All of my memories from that trip are affixed tightly to the emotions I was feeling. Anxiety on the ride from the Dublin Airport clear across the country on a bus that had to take on the passengers of another that had broken down on the side of the road. Fear that we would be robbed or murdered if we stayed at the Rainbow Hostel just outside of town. Relief when my sister solved that problem by finding us a private room at a B&B. (Does she remember the bathroom closet?) And wonder as we walked around at night and I saw more stars in the sky than I ever knew existed.

For three days we “backpacked” around (meaning we carried backpacks and we walked around). At the one local convenience store (probably the Spar that’s still there) we bought a loaf of bread, jars of peanut butter & jelly, and a sleeve of the best cookies imaginable: HobNobs. Basically crispy oat cookies with chocolate coating on one side, also known as sweet perfection, quite possibly the most delicious cookie in the world.

I remember very little about the details of that trip but the feeling of it has stayed deeply rooted in me ever since. My sister opened me up to a world I would have been afraid to approach on my own. She didn’t get mad when I didn’t want to hitchhike to the Rainbow, she just solved the problem in town so I could feel comfortable. She didn’t make me try new foods (except delicious cookies of course). But she did insist we go to a pub and listen to the locals play traditional Irish music. And with all that, she gently set my life on a course of adventure.

Here’s me today with my Hob Nobs, wishing she was with me sharing them ❤


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