Trip Start Sep 06, 2004
50Trip End Nov 23, 2004
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"This is it, I think. Yesterday I decided to leave. Today has arrived and I don't feel like staying. It's time to move on. I'm a 'Traveller' (Gypsy) at heart. Galway must have given me all it can. I've enjoyed the feeling of having everything so very close, passing everything I need to know between the hostel and the river. But Galway isn't enough, or it's too tainted with failure, or something. Do I really want to leave? Will I miss it? - Yes. Do I want to stay badly enough to work a minimum-wage job? No. I do want to travel around Ireland before I go. Maybe something will come up, somewhere. Maybe I'll fall in love with a place--and maybe there'll be a job there. Maybe, somehow, I'll be able to stay here, and will discover a part of the country (or the UK) that I love--because so far I haven't.
I need to find out about the flight.
Two more weeks in Ireland, including a Dingle break. If no luck, then on to England. Maybe I can stop in Wales? Or maybe just London. I should have done this two weeks ago, or even right after the Aran Islands--I would have had more money to play with. But if there's one thing I am, it's stubborn--and I don't listen to myself, because even after Inishmore I knew something wasn't right. I almost went to Killarney. Well, now I know. Maybe I'll end up in Dublin after all. Or maybe none of it will work out and I'll just go home. I wish I had money to stay a bit longer--end of November leaves too long to brood before January.
What details of Galway will I want to remember that I haven't noted down already? Tig Coili has one low table in the front, under the windows, that's shaped like a fiddle (without the neck part), with its sign 'This table reserved for musicians.' It's where the trad musicians play. The black preacher who stands on a box and shouts at people, the 'statue' busker who dresses up in a green hat and gray beard. The colours of the buildings--red, yellow, blue, even pink and mint green (the Chinese restaurant). The almost complete whiteness of the population. The way 1/10 of people carry umbrellas, 1/10 wear coats with hoods, and the rest ignore the rain. (Toques and gloves are sold in the shops, but I haven't seen people wearing them. Scarves, however, are popular--but worn with denim, leather, light jackets.)"
To continue, I worked out a tentative itinerary, based only on the parts of Ireland I already knew I wanted to see--the rest will have to wait for another time. 2 days in Donegal, 2 in Dublin, then a 3-day tour of Northern Ireland and back to Dublin, then Kilkenny, Cork (2 days), Killarney (Ring of Kerry), Dingle (2 days), Galway, Dublin, and finally London, England. As always, I enjoy working out itineraries and the logistics that go with them...bus schedules, hostels, town maps, sights to see in each place. On the go again!
However, there was a slight problem: a big storm that hit Ireland. In Galway all that happened was the River Corrib ran a lot higher. But there was flooding and damage in both Cork and Northern Ireland. Maybe time to wait a bit before checking out those two areas? Anyway, Dingle was top of my list, and I had visions of "Being a Writer" for a few days there...so might as well go there first, and squeeze in the rest after. Anyway I was feeling much better now that the decision had been made...knowing I'd be home for Christmas, and with Arvin again, and with the opportunity to get a decent job, and "Starting my Life" as a writer in Toronto.