Kayaking with the incomparable Fungie in Dingle, County Kerry
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Where would we be without that legendary dolphin?
If Kerry is the Kingdom, Dingle is the jewel in its crown. Especially on a warm summer's day, it makes you feel as if there is literally nowhere else you would rather be.
Although he is a Clare man himself, founder of Elevate Foundation John Burke told us all about his experience of kayaking in Dingle.
There aren't many places quite like Dingle for a weekend away. If you want to top it off with some fresh wheels, MINI Ireland is offering a 48-hour test drive of their 2019 range.
Kayaking in Dingle, County Kerry
Dingle has many attractions for visitors but without doubt Fungie remains top of the list. Boats zip in and out from the wonderful harbour development, loaded up with spectators hoping to catch a glimpse of the famed mammal. Dingle is a place I love, it’s my go to home holiday destination, usually tucking ourselves away on the quieter part of the peninsula around Mount Brandon. But no visit to the peninsula is complete for me without two things, a visit to the famed Páidí Ó Sé's Pub, and bit of time with Fungie.
The only way I have seen Fungie has been from a kayak, always with local company Irish Adventures who make the experience seamless, and save the lugging of bulky equipment for the trek to the kingdom. The sunset kayak has left me with my most memorably ocean memories. I also love that it’s my wife’s favourite pursuit so it ticks all boxes for us.
Book in early and get there on time to make sure there is enough time to navigate all your bits and pieces into the tight wetsuits. There’s a short walk from their base and you are ready to launch into the harbour. Choose a single or double kayak, I think we move towards single after many disputes over work rate and steering in the double!
Once you launch you soon navigate through the harbour and are out in the ocean, well a sheltered bay version of the ocean. The evening time Kayak means the day sky and water can change dramatically in colours and moods. The hope is always to catch a glimpse of Fungie and he has never failed to make an appearance, dancing his way in and around the kayaks, popping up for an inquisitive look. Further out, caves along the cliffs make for a wonderful experience if the ocean conditions allow. The pure silence with just the lapping of the sea against the walls is good for the head and heart.
All in, the excursion fills a wonderful three hours with memories to last a life-time. It’s a low energy output, an ideal romantic experience or family excursion suitable for anyone over the age of eight. The paddle back in if it’s against the wind seems like you’re covering a lot more ground that the same distance out. Or maybe it’s the imaginary smells of the well-deserved fresh fish from ‘Reel Dingle Fish’ acclaimed fish and chip shop, but stroke by stroke you get there.
My top tips for this adventure is to book through Irish Adventures in Dingle, bring a waterproof carrier for a phone or camera to capture it, and enjoy the evening off after it, with the food, music and craic that Dingle is celebrated for. There really is nothing like the Kerry hospitality!
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