Saturday, December 10, 2016

Thus Far: Beyond Killarney Part I

To be quite honest with you I barely know where to begin. Last week seems like forever ago. And I have been so many places, experienced so many things, and met so many people since my last blog that it has all become one fantastic always interesting and often heartfelt blur.  But let see if I can pick up where I left off.

Leaving Kilarney was certainly difficult. As I recall; there was a gentle mist falling across the village my last evening there so I pulled up the hood of my jacket, hunched my shoulders against the cold, and strolled around town one last time. Eventually I made my way down into the forest that sits quietly next to the town. I walked along the river listening to the sound of the water as it gently flowed across the rocks as I am sure it has done since who knows when. I wandered down the path and soon found myself slowly making my way out into an immense, green, open pasture where the full glory of Magillycuddy’s Reeks looked down over the valley, across the glen and seemingly, down to where I stood. 

I have to admit I definitely got emotional as I stood there looking across the prairie and up into the face of that distant purple mountain. I could feel the tears well up into my eyes and a lump grow uncontrollably in my throat. Those mountains had looked down over me during some of the most grueling moments in my life. It now sat stonily, watching over me, as if to say; finally you are a part of this place, a part of this planet, and a now a part of you will forever remain in Ireland. Moving forward was hard, looking back a must, as so many memories were made underneath that still mountain.

Anascaul: I decide to actually move from one place to the other the way normal people do…I caught the bus. I left Kilarney for a town called Anascaul just northeast of my next favorite town and future destination, Dingle. I stopped in Anascaul for one reason and one reason only; the strand at Inch. I had wanted to see the beach at Inch for years and I was certainly not disappointed. I stashed my gear at the “Randy Leprechaun,” who by the way was one shady character, (more on that later) and headed the 5 miles over the mountain pass (yes another freakin’ mountain), and down into Inch. I will have to say the view from the top of the pass was spectacular, the beach amazing, and the water cold as shit. 

Item number 3 crossed off the ole bucket list. Now, on my way back over the pass and back to the “Shady Leprechaun” as it came to be called, a little old lady named Mary stopped and offered me a lift back to town. Once again I found myself in a car literally rocketing down a small, narrow, gravel lane. I tried to make pleasant conversation with Mary, which was difficult to do whilst shitting one’s self. Mary, I found out, and from what I could understand through my terror stricken brain, was on her way to church and was I’m guessing from my years of experience and quick wit, running late. As I left the confines of the car, she told me she would pray for me and I do believe she actually smiled as she spun the tires, spitting rocks and gravel back at me as she left me standing on the side of the road with crap in my pants. Swear to goodness, true story; including the crap.

Now the hostel I was staying at in Anascaul had a very odd feel to it. When I awoke the next morning I met the only three other house guest in the hostel that night which happened to be three girls from Missouri; must be my week for Missourians, as two of my friends from Kilarney were from there. Anyway, as we spoke,we all began to share our thoughts about this fine establishment. We were all equally creeped-out by the front desk dude and when they offered to let us stay again that night but for free, get one night for ten bucks get the next night free, we all looked at each other wondering what the deal was and all of us trying not to bolt for the door right then and there. It wasn't long before my new friends had packed and were off with me hot on their trail. I opted to stand at the bus station in the pouring rain for an hour rather than stay one more second at the “Shady Leprechaun.” It’s pretty bad when you can’t even give away a free nights stay. Now that I think back on it; I remember wondering to myself while I was showering; why there were like twenty bottles of shampoo left behind on the shelf in the bathroom? Hmmmm…

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