Ireland '99: Day Twelve
Day Twelve -- September 7th, 1999
I awoke feeling rather sick, which
explains my temperament leaving the tub late last night. It looks like I caught
whatever Bryn had earlier in the week. (Thanks Bryn). My frail composition,
however, does not seem to handle it as gracefully
By daylight, the house we were
staying was quite fancy in addition to being historic. The older couple that
runs it were the quintessence of aristocracy. They both enjoyed immensely
conversing with their guests, unfortunately Jenn and I bore the brunt as we were
the only people staying that night.
The older chap, to be honest, was
one of the most haughty, aristocratic persons I have ever met. We talked over
breakfast about the Internet. He told us that “we are the first B&B on the
Internet”. When we told him that many of the B&B’s we have stayed in now
have web sites, he said “We have been responsible for many of them going on
the Internet” because it was so successful to them. He told us that the people
who use the Internet fit his market, which was for the “employed and the
Out of curiosity, I asked him if he
knew of Jimmy McNelis, but he didn’t, responding “Of course, many people
know of us, but we may not know them.”
As I was settling the bill, I made
the mistake of telling him I was recently in Hong Kong (he held a senior
position in the Hong Kong police force). I told him of how intimidating the
police force was, and a long discourse on why a para-military force was
necessary in Hong Kong ensued. I told him of how me and my friend from the Czech
Republic were intimidated by the communistic feel of the police force, and
another long (one sided) discussion on how communism was good for both China and
eastern Europe. (The eastern Europeans did not know how to govern themselves,
“you must break a few eggs to have a good breakfast”, and if eastern Europe
had done their duties in governing themselves, Britain would not have lost so
many men in the trenches of World War I. The communists, he said, gave them more
stability than they ever would have had otherwise, both China and Eastern
Europe. Good thing Lenka was not with me, as I am certain she would have clawed
his eyes out halfway through.
We hit the road and it soon became
apparent that between me being sick and the 1000+ miles that we have so far
accrued, that traveling was beginning to takes it toll on us. On our biggest
driving day yet, we headed done south to Castlebar and Westport. Jenn drove a
fair amount while I tried to get caught up in the journal. Because my eyes were
on the screen, I failed to notice a wrong turn in Westport and we ended up
taking a detour out onto the Carraun Peninsula and nearly hit a mountain with
the cool name of Cushcamcarragh. We switched drivers again, and even still,
failed to get out of Westport in the correct direction the second time. (The
third time was the charm).
The day, ironically, was quite beautiful, with the sun shining through large cumulus clouds the whole afternoon. By the time we reached Connemara and Joyce’s Country, however, the clouds had accumulated more now that we were in truly spectacularly scenic country. The mountains here reminded both of us of Glacier National Park in Montana, with the U-shaped valleys in the hills covered in green. The drive through the Maumturk Mountains was all quite inspiring. I took as many pictures as I could.
Along the country roads, we continued to see (as we have seen throughout the whole trip) sheep grazing on directly on the roadsides what seemed to be every 100 feet, and we continued to run across an assortment of old chaps riding their bikes or walking along the road. In this part of the country, the chaps tend to have a canine companion, typically a border collie mixed with some other breed (spaniel, shepherd, and lab). I have been waiting empty handed still for just the right fellow to take a picture of.
In one of the small towns, we
stopped by a small art studio where a fellow carved slender representations of
birds and fishes out of bog wood. She bought a small sculpture for her dad.
Connemara, there were
several beautiful mountain loughs nestled in the small valleys between the
mountains. On one rested Kylemore Abbey, a neo-gothic structure built into the
oak filled hillside beside Kylemore Lake. The trip around the Twelve Bens was
also quite scenic.
We ended the day a little early, as
we were both quite tired. We stayed in a B&B called Eureka overlooking the
largest lough in the area, complete with a full collie named “Shep”. I spent
the next four hours slowly making it through all of the quickly jotted notes
from the past week and amazingly, am now completely caught up in the journal.
Yahoo! I am taking some Advil cold medicine (which I got today from a Chemist
– I had to point it out to him of all ironies), and then am heading off to
Proceed to the next day, or return to the Ireland '99 Main Page.
(c) Geoffrey Peters, intangibility.com, 2002. For more information
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