Hello. (No one says "Hi" here, by the way.)
Not to be melodramatic, but Thursday when I posted last, seems like AGES ago. When I list what we did in the last several days, you all will be thinking, "Okay, that's not too much." Fine, maybe. But it feels like so much has happened. Or, so much has happened, but it hasn't been so much about movement or activity, it's been more... internal. (Yes, I love words from AP English. My other unwilling favorite, if you're curious, is juxtaposition.)
Thursday: After the internet cafe, we bought groceries and went back to Lough Inagh, ate in (mini-baguettes with Nutella and strawberry jam, and real Fanta, with fruit juice and real sugar) and slept.
Friday: We walked to Leenane. There were bogs that were less boggy than they might have been. What's a bog? It's squishy ground, basically. Like walking on a sponge that you used and half-heartedly wrang out, say, forty minutes earlier. Your feet sink in and when you lift your shoe you leave an impression that literally bounces back into its original place. It sounds kind of nasty, but honestly, it was enchanting. The woods around us were really old and the trees that had fallen over were mossy and ancient. Peaceful, and we saw nobody. We tried to detour to a ruin, but we just kept rounding a bend in the road and seeing another stupid bend, so we gave up. Ah, well. The last bit was the worst, kind of, because I was like, "Oh please just let us get there!" Your feet really kill from the downhill bit. I thought my Achilles tendons were going to snap. The name of our B&B that night was The emocleW--Welcome spelled backwards: Laaaame!--and the woman was standoffish, but I think because she thought we'd want to be left alone. We went for an excellent dinner: I had local cheese that tasted like Brie deep fried in batter and a little salad, and some Bailey's cheesecake. Oh my God, it was delicious. I thought it could never fill me up, but it did, easily.
Saturday: Our tour planner arranged a taxi to take us back to the Western Way, which we were walking, and take our luggage on to the next B&B, but we were so bushwacked that we rode with him all the way to Liscarney, also in the middle of nowhere. We woke the poor proprietress up--her son had left at dawn or something for golf, trying to get into an amateur tour, cool--but our room was ready. We relaxed, then Matt went for a hike to see a ruin while I wrote, we took lunch across the street at a picnic bench next to an inlet thingy for a big lake, I read Stephen Fry's memoir (fantastically hilarious and ridiculously... British), we wrote more and then we ate at the B&B. She made potatoes--my first potatoes so far, actually. She gave us each a drink and we had them while watching hurling on the TV with her and her husband and son. Hurling is like field hockey, American soccer and lacross rolled into one. Late night, we watched British TV, Comedy Roadhouse where they go to different towns and semi-famous comics perform, and then a Russell Brand stand up (Doing Life) that slayed us at 11pm.
Sunday: That would be today. We had a light breakfast (we quickly got picky about the full Irish, because it's damned heavy in your stomach and unless you really want two strips of bacon, two little sausage links, one egg, a cooked half-tiny-tomato, coffee/tea, toast and jam and possibly cereal or yogurt...). Our nice lady dropped us off at the Pilgrim's Way at the foot of Crough Padraig, St Patrick's mountain, where they have a pilgrimage of 30,000 people every year who hike this crazy ROCKY and STEEP MOUNTAIN BAREFOOT. BAREFOOT. Not to bring up religion, but... that's crazy to me. Not that the Hebrew God is undemanding--He liked His floods and plagues, don't get me wrong--but I don't think people should walk barefoot if they have the option of footwear. The hike was enough of a gift to God. Anyway, we hiked it, it was tough and misty so there was zero view to be seen, the walk down was treacherous and yet there were idiots running downhill. I was indignant at all the dogs people took walking because those !$%&ers were skipping here and there the way I skip around my freakin' kitchen! Lucky dogs. Then we took a taxi ten minutes to tonight and tomorrow night's B&B in Westport, three times bigger than any town we've seen in days, quite charming, and tonight, we're finally going to hear some traditional music!
So, maybe a little bit of literal activity.
The hiking has been a challenge for me and some moments I thought that I was mad to do it just so that I could be there with Matt for one of his favorite things, especially today which was challenging even for him. But at the end of it, your muscles bounce back better than ever, you've had this singular thing happen to you that you won't forget, and you saw incredible, hopefully unique landscapes that you took lots of pictures of that don't really get it right. Was all the moaning and sniffling (because I never could manage to bring enough tissues with, not because I was crying) and the windburn worth it? Of course, without a doubt. Just seeing Matt all goat-like and running with his arms flapping out like a deranged penguin made it worth it.
Besides, I told him he could never complain about a single museum after today. Mwahaha.