The Irish Country Folk 'n Stuff

Trip Start Jun 06, 2009
Trip End Aug 31, 2009

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Flag of Ireland  , County Clare,
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Funny story: As I walked on my bus from Dublin to Doolin, the bus driver asked me where I was getting off.  I said I didn't really know.  The city center was fine by me.  He started to laugh and said "The city, it's more like a village."  I said then take me to the village.  6 really long hours later filled with so many round-abouts and stops, we made it.  Luckily my hostel actually had a stop in front of it so I got off.  Discovered that they didn't have room for me so I had to walk a bit to find one.  Since my friend from the previous night, Mr Guinness was still lingering about, I decided to hit the hay early.  Thankfully I had a room all to my self because the hostel was dead. 

I woke up feeling super-fantastic and looked out the window to discover the dreariness of Ireland.  Undeterred I set out to rent a bike and go exploring for the day.  I found a cheap bike rental place and got a map.  There are some semi-famous cliffs called the Cliffs of Moher that was only about 6 km away so I set out for them.  Naturally it was raining quite a bit and the only thing I was wearing was a fleece jacket, jeans, and a hat.  Perfect attire to set out in the rain of Ireland.  I made it there in about an hour or because I just took my time and snapped some photos.  Along the way there was a tower that looked like it used to be part of a castle that was pretty neat.  I made it to the Cliffs of Moher and the place was screaming with tourists.  Not any tourists....Italian tourists!  The Cliffs were neat to see because there were at its peak about 700ft tall.  You could walk a little of the Cliffs on pavement but after about 1/4 of a mile, you had to by-pass a warning sign not to go this way.  Which meant if you fall, it's not the parks fault.  Naturally I walked past it and walked along the cliffs.  It really wasn't very dangerous since you had a few feet of clearance before you could fall.  The rain and all the mud kind of made it dangerous but again, it wasn't that bad.  To your right was death, to your left was a fence-line with cows looking at you.  The fences in the coutnry here in Ireland, are mostly made entirely out of stone.  There seems to be a stone surplus here.  They look kind of cool actually when the fields are sectioned off along a hill with stone.  Walking along this path all alone, I kind of had the spirit of Forrest Gump in me.  I just felt like walking.  I eventually saw a tower through the haze of rain and decided that would be my turn-around point.  After I think like 2 hours of walking, I made it to the tower which was pretty neat.  I have no idea how old it was but it was abandoned and you couldn't walk up inside of it anymore.  I made it back in less time and decided it was sit-down time.  After my lunch, I set out again on my bike.  I figured it was too early to head home so I ventured south.  At first I was kind of cold from the rain but once you start to peddle, you warm up nicely. I ended up pedaling for probably about 5 hours throught the country side and I don't think the rain let up once.  I must say it is pretty dangerous walking or riding around those roads.  Most of the speeds posted on the roads were 80km and a few were at 100km.  100km=62mph.  That's all fine and dandy when you're in a car but when your on a bike in the rain, it is kind of dangerous.  Especially when a lot of the drivers were tourists going around.  Also when the roads are windy and wet.  Since I'm writing this blog, I made it out unscathed!  But I did have an awesome idea for a future travel adventure.  I think it would be awesome to bike around the island of Ireland.  The land is pretty flat and the scenery would be awseome to bike through.  Bike=pedal bike, not motorcycle.  Just got to make sure it is in a dry month.  My day in the rain was actually really fun and I would do it again.  This day I think I probably rode 40 km or so plus my walk around the cliffs.  So I think I got my exercise for the day.  On my way home, I stopped in a small convenience store and picked up some food and would actually be cooking for the first time.  I got some polish sausage(microwave), ramen noodles(microwave), and a salad.  Talk about gourmet cooking!!  But sadly this is actually the first time I have cooked, if you can call it cooking.  Cooking for one is a pain when you are moving every few days and I only have ability to really cook decent size meals.  At home I eat a lot of leftovers.  Not here.  Which really eats into your budget. 

I had to catch a plane at 9:30pm this evening which meant I had pretty much a full day to kill.  My original plan was to get back on that bike and do the same thing as the previous day.  Only hit a northern loop and see what I find.  But as soon as I woke up to find my sky-window being pounded with rain, I couldn't muster the energy to put those wet clothes on again.  So I had to decide what to do for the day.  If I had anticipated this earlier, I could have caught a bus to Galway early and walked about the city before my plane.  But since I hadn't and the next bus would have been too late, I decided on going to a town called Limerick.  Which was 30 minutes from the airport.  50km and 2.5 hours later, I made it to Limerick.  I figured that since the word "Limerick" was in bold print on the map, it had to be a much bigger city than Doolin.  I've seen bigger truck stops than Doolin so it wasn't hard.  The city was a lot bigger and I spent about an hour walking around and to tell you the truth, I wasn't too impressed.  Then I found a cheap internet cafe and did my thing.  Bus time: I boarded my bus on time with the other passengers and we set off.  About 5 minutes into the bus ride, an alarm went off on the bus and we were stuck in the middle of traffic.  The alarm was for the air.  The air that we didn't have.  No air=no brakes, no brakes=no stopping.  So the driver got the air up to a decent level and we made a B-line back to the station.  Another bus was promplty put in place for us and we all boarded the bus.  Except for some drunk Irish woman.  She was raising shit about having to come back to Limerick and didn't understand why.  I think the driver was trying to get her to switch buses but on her way over, she just fell to the ground and they just left her there.  And the bus took off without one drunk Irish woman.  Since we were about 25 minutes behind schedule, the bus driver was driving like a bat-out-of-hell and it was great!  He was running red lights, cutting people off, and driving crazy fast.  It was funny to see this huge bus hauling down these Irish streets with cars along both of sides of you.  It would of sucked if little Johnny's ball came rolling into the street because this guy was not going to stop!  We did make up a lot of time and I gave him a hearty "Great Job" for his effort. 

Side Note: In the airport were probably about 50 US Soldiers and Marines either coming or going.  Kind of strange sight to see in Ireland a butt-load of guys in uniform. 
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