Saturday, December 10, 2016

From the Sea to the Summit: Perrick (Part II)

Pierrick: I absolutely, positively, adored my friend Pierrick. The day I arrived in Doolin I was sitting at an old wooden table in the hostel enjoying the warmth that emanated from the fireplace when in walked Pierrick. I smiled at him and said hello and he responded in kind and thus, in the simplest of ways, we began what would become a grand friendship. Pierrick did not go out that particular evening as he had decided to hike to the Cliffs of Moher the next day and I, after having one too many Guinness’ at the pub that evening, opted to take the bus. We did however run into each other on the Cliffs as I was heading down the trail and he was heading back, so although we didn't get to wander the cliffs together we were able sit next to each other on bus on the trip back to Doolin. Back at the hostel I got a quick nap and Pierrick had something to eat and afterwards we sat in the hostel next to the fireplace and shared some beer that I had bought at the store the day before. I had only three so we each had one and then we retrieved some glasses from the pantry and split the last one while we sat outside on the stone wall and watched the Aille River float lazily by. It was a beautiful evening filled with the joy of being in Ireland so along with our beer Pierrick and I shared an abundance of pleasant conversation. We talked about our lives, our families and about living life to its fullest. It wasn't long before Pierrick and I decided to take a stroll up the hill, a rugged 90 second walk, to Fitz Place to get a cold, fresh beer. Eventually we found ourselves immersed in the music, the atmosphere and the growing bond of friendship. I found Pierrick to be such a gentle soul. He had the heart of a poet and the mind of one not yet jaded by the cruelty that life can often hold. I found it incredibly refreshing that he was so taken by the simplest of things. He would look at me randomly throughout the evening and say “this is it Kristine!! There is nothing else but this moment!!” And he would smile and say this is so “grand” or “lovely"or “cool” and we drank our beer and toasted the night, the music, and the warmth that surrounded us. We avowed to be content; being completely and utterly engrossed in those moments. 

It was a grand and lovely time and one which I have to say was one of the best nights of my trip. Without question I will remember it with great affinity and fondness. Unfortunately, as has happened so often during my sojourn, morning came and it was time for me to once again say goodbye to a friend that I had made such a special connection with. So Pierrick and I ate breakfast and then together we walked down to the bus station where we eventually hopped on the bus to Ennis where we would part ways; he would make his way to Waterford and I would make my way back to Lahinch. Upon our arrival we gathered our gear, gave each other a hug filled with warmth and friendship and I watched with a growing sadness as he climbed aboard his bus and waited for it to depart. As I stood upon the cold, damp, sidewalk I had to fight back the tears that I knew would eventually come. Pierrick’s bus finally backed slowly away from the curb. I could see Pierrick as he looked at me through the glass. His face disappeared only to reappear as his bus rolled across the asphalt coming back into view as it passed between two buses. I caught a glimpse of him so I waved and smiled, as did he, until  once again the buses blocked our view. I waited to see if I could see him once again as his bus cleared the final obstacle and pulled out of the station…I could. He turned and looked over his shoulder as he waved a final farewell, as did I.  The lump in my throat gave way as his bus disappeared into the street and this time there was no stopping the tears. It was as if the universe was waiting, because at that very moment the rain began to fall gently on my shoulders and the tears that had been on the brink finally fell from my eyes and quietly rolled down my cheeks. I stood silently, helplessly by as I watched yet another friend make their journey homeward.

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