Next stop was Ballyferriter, an even smaller town near the main port of Dingle, a small surfing village with natural harbors and famous dolphins. In Ballyferriter, I was to stay with Peter the German, as he called himself. I arrived by four hour taxi which I had negotiated the previous day with Aidan, the ferry agent, who called me while I was cliffside to confirm price and pick up.
When we arrived at Peter’s “territory” I was astounded. I say territory, because it truly was its own state. A reverend in WWI had been given this property by Winston Churchill, Peter had purchased it in an auction in 1972 and rebuilt from scratch. Like something out of Swiss Family Robinson, stood roughly five huts and houses all sitting atop a rocky cove with a private beach at its feet.
The shacks best feature was an outdoor bathroom where you would let nature call right off the cliff itself. Once Peter was finished showing me the different homes, the best was yet to come. His dogs Dora and Bruno ran passed us and through the backdoor, I followed them as they led me to a secret area of the beach like something out of Pirates of the Caribbean. Natural caves and arch openings with passages that led straight into the ocean. It was as if I had arrived in Never Neverland. Was he Peter Pan?
Whoever he was, his home, his dogs were a beautiful representation of how to live life. The people, the animals, the architecture and the nature all lent itself to one another as if connected by some unknown….force. I sat by the beach the entire afternoon with Bruno and Dora as we searched for barnacles and explored the ecosystem. They barked and ran around me as I painted watercolors of the sky and its various rainbows. I didn’t think of the past or the future, just held the present and its ways of moving from one moment to the next and felt that trust which began at the Aran cliffs alchemize with this place. I fell asleep in my little wooden suite as if in a dream or fairytale with the dogs at my door, the wind whistling and the moon above me.
The Chart House, The Mall, Dingle +353 66 915 2255
Bean in Dingle, Green Street, Dingle, Ireland +353 87 098 5998
Out of the Blue Seafood, Waterside, Dingle +353 66 915 0811
Murphy's Ice Cream, Strand Street, Dingle, Ireland, +353 66 915 2644
Doyle's Seafood Restaurant, 4 John Street, Dingle, Ireland +353 66 915 2674
Half Door, 3 John Street, Dingle, Ireland +353 66 915 1600
Reel Dingle Fish, Bridge Street, Dingle, Ireland +353 66 915 1713
Blue Zone, Green Street, Dingle, Ireland +353 66 915 0303
Sheehy's Anchor Down Restaurant, 3 The Colony, Dingle, Ireland +353 66 915 154
A storm broke through in the distance and a remarkable rainbow tore through the sky. I couldn't even applaud, my emotion couldn't shake. The unfathomable beauty of this moment was as real as any other moment I had ever had. And even though this was magnificent, why should I hold it higher than the others. All moments take the same amount of chemical complexity, emotion, light, physics. As the wind grew more raucous, the rainbow began to dissipate, and the rain approached on Peter's side of the bay, I packed up my book, my paints and walked up the stairs to my hut.