In our Autumn 2019 issue, Paul shared his amazing experience in Dingle, Co. Kerry, where he enjoyed a retreat courtesy of Stay YNA. Read on to learn all about it.
Home is Where Kerry is
A Positive Retreat
by Paul Congdon
Peace is the theme of this issue – a beautiful feeling available to all humans, yet one we tend to feel in a heightened way when we are in a conducive environment like on a retreat, a walk in nature, meditating or swimming in the sea. It’s nice if you can generate peace on the inside, so that it’s available to you no matter where you are but, for now, I take a break and head away.
If staying in Ireland, Kerry is my place of harmony. This is a love letter to Kerry and begins in March of this year when the lovely people at Stay YNA invited me to stay in one of their luxury houses in the wilds of Ballyferriter, Co. Kerry.
I arrived to one of the most luxurious houses I’ve ever seen, furnished with all-natural materials, boasting a stunning view and a welcome pack of homemade bread and brownies. The living room had a wood-burning stove for those rainy hours when you just want to kick back, read a book and while away your holiday in peace. Each bedroom had its own unique style and more sweet views. There is something about this area. No wonder the ‘Stars Wars’ people felt that the force was here, with its wonderful beaches: Béal Bán, Wine Strand, Ventry (check out the view from Quinn’s pub), and Coumeenole, where Ryans Daughter was made.
When you feel like a bit of a buzz, head into the lovely hum of Dingle, about 10 minutes away by car. The scenery everywhere you go is breathtaking and the drive into Dingle has a different feel each time you look, with the colours always changing and the bay opening up before you. With great restaurants and pubs, the vibe in the town is so special. One pub that stood out was Kennedy’s, an entirely candlelit pub. The live music in the area is so eclectic too – check out singer Muireann and the fiddle player Jeremy Spencer, to name but two. A shout out to some cool veggie /vegan spots in the town: Boy Blue, The Pantri, and the lovely Thyme Out Cafe, which is connected to the health store Ré Nua. Top-class food and service from all, and such a welcoming vibe. Back home to the house for a bit of stove-action with my book, followed by some yoga, and I felt suitably recharged.
My mum and dad popped down from Dublin on the free train and we ended up in a lovely pub in Ballyferriter where the locals all speak as gaeilge. They regaled us with some stories about the filming of ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Ryan’s Daughter’.
Swimming in the sea, lunching in Dingle, meditating, reading, and the odd glass of something when the mood took me … after a few days, I had that peace both outside and inside, and as you all know, it feels so good.
If you feel a retreat coming on, we have it here on our home soil, and no better place than Kerry. Stay YNA will look after you. Tell them we sent you.
Paul stayed in Ballyferriter, courtesy of Stay YNA: stayyna.com
They offer luxurious holiday homes in Dingle, Spain and France.