Thursday, June 18, 2009

There are more sheep than people in the Irish countryside

So we never actually made it out, that night in Galway. Rather, we got back to our room for a nap and woke up in the wee hours of the morning. The good thing was that we got rid of our jet lag, and lord but we needed the rest. Galway at 6 in the morning, when the city is still sleeping and a gentle rain falls from the sky is an absolutely lovely thing. Zoe and I took a lovely walk through the City Centre, seeing it without people milling about, with everything still closed, and I found myself entranced.

Made it back to the Ivies after that for the perfect Full Irish breakfast, with tender, savory sausages, well-cut bacon, delicately fried eggs (with yolks so yellow, they could've been poached) and I must say, I was in heaven. Caught an early bus out to Maam Cross, where we met up with our host for the evening, a gentleman named Padraig, who dropped us off for the beginning of our walk and took our packs to our Bed and Breakfast ahead of us.

The walk itself was magical, and I've a hard time framing it in words. The first couple miles were down a tar road lined with cattle and sheep and quaint houses, until it turned off onto a rocky path and thus we left houses behind and walked off into the Maumturk mountains. The terrain was a bit rough, with barely a path at times, and gates to keep the sheep in their grazing lands every so often. I'll speak more on the walk later, when we get a chance to upload our photos.

We had dinner last night at a lovely hotel on Lough Inagh, a bowl of tomato-pepper soup for each of us, with a pan-fried chicken breast in a wild mushroom sauce that was served with chips (read fries) and a rather bland vegetable medley anglais (read boiled until the flavor's gone out). I had my first proper pint of Guinness in Ireland, followed by an equally proper Irish Coffee (mostly Jameson, rather than coffee), while Zoe had a large pint bottle of Bulmer's Cider on ice. Our fellow guests at the B&B were there for dinner as well, a group of middle-aged French hikers that spoke no English, and Zoe translated for me what little she could make out.

This morning, after another lovely Full Irish, our host, Julia, drove us into the seaside town of Clifden for the day, so that we could borrow the internet, do some grocery shopping for our next day of walking and lazily meander through a small Irish town. Which brings me to our current locale, in an Internet shop, killing time and making a proper update. The hotel by where we're staying has wireless, so the plan is to pop down there tonight for a coffee and a chance to actually use our laptop. Maybe by then I'll have muddled together a few more observations on our travels, so that this blog doesn't start becoming a byplay of daily events.


  1. I want the byplay of daily events as much as the observations of the travels!!! Remember, I'm living vicariously through the two of you :-p

    I'm really glad you seem to be enjoying everything so far.

  2. I'm with Vanessa ... byplay is enchanting to read!! Pictures ... would be even lovelier ... please??