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Windy Islands, part 14

The pal after the Scottish winter was to head back home, as my passport expires... Hmmm, let's see what part 13 of the Windy islands brings... 😎 Here are the part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7, part 8, part 9, part 10 part 11, part 12 & part 13.
You can also fallow the trip in Polarsteps.
Not to overload the post with pictures, most of the photos you can find at the end of it divided into galleries.

28 March 2024 – Cardiff to Kilkenny

I didn’t sleep much this night. I woke up at 3:30 am and forced myself to go back to sleep, but at 6 I gave up. Coffee, Roberto, yoga, an egg and a banana so I could take my painkillers for the long journey. Then just waited for Lasya. We had to take the same bus together – me to the train station, her to the office.

Roberto and Carla patiently waiting
Roberto and Carla patiently waiting

Lasya wanted to help me with my luggage and insisted on carrying Roberto. 🤦‍♀️ I promised her I would give it to her to make sure she didn’t want it. She changed her mind on the second Roberto touched her shoulders. 🤣 However, she did help with Carla – 7-8 kg, so it was manageable for normal people. 😜

Cardiff Train Station in the morning
Cardiff Train Station in the morning

I was a bit too early at the station and had a whole hour to wait, but I didn’t care. I was stressed out anyway with that 14 hours journey with 7 changes of different transports and the fact that I only had one ferry and only one train for it…

Leaving for my 14 hours long journey (7 different transports) form Cardiff to Kilkenny
Leaving for my 14 hours long journey (7 different transports) form Cardiff to Kilkenny

Once I get through to Ireland, I’ll be relieved. I can hitchhike there too or I can find a hotel for the night in case of emergency. But I can’t swim the Irish Sea… 🤷🏻‍♀️

The Whisky from Duty Free Shop
The Whisky from Duty Free Shop

I bought whisky! 🤭🙈 From the duty free shop, because I know I can’t afford it in Ireland. £11. I looked it up on the net afterwards to see what I’d picked (though I did see a few that I knew were good at the same price). Turns out its normal price is £35 and that’s for 700 mil and mine is 1 litre.

I reckon I got a good deal! No opening before Dingle though! I’m rolling it down Roberto’s belly and forgetting about it!

On the ferry (the 4th transport) form Cardiff to Kilkenny
On the ferry (the 4th transport) form Cardiff to Kilkenny

Google said the bus from the port was over an hour late. I didn’t wait to see if it was true, because if it was I would have missed my last bus to Kilkenny. Nah, I’m going to hitchhike! I asked where the main road was and the guy who directed me assured me that there was no chance of anyone stopping me. Not in Ireland. Yeah, like I haven’t done that before! 😈

A new hitchhike experience from the ferry port to Wexford
A new hitchhike experience from the ferry port to Wexford

A cool African couple – Andy & Lindie, gave me a lift to Wexford, from where I did try to hitch to Waterford, but it didn’t work out this time. Someone offered me a shared taxi for €20. I flatly refused by telling them that if I could afford a taxi they wouldn’t see me hitchhiking.

A paint at the local pub
A paint at the local pub

However, nobody stopped. And it was getting dark. And I didn’t have many options from Waterford to Kilkenny and had to make sure I won’t miss the last bus. So as a Wexford – Waterford bus went past and stopped for me, I got it.

A paint at the local pub
A paint at the local pub

We were just pulling into Waterford when Dan texted me that he was coming to pick me up directly from there so I wouldn’t have to wait for the next bus. Oh, dear Dan…

A paint at the local pub
A paint at the local pub

From there to the pub for a beer and then straight to bed and to top it off I got drunk from 1 beer… 🤭🙈

29-31 March 2024 – Inchmore

I woke up early. I had forgotten how loud the morning birds are in Kilkenny.

First morning view in "my place" at Dan's place
First morning view in “my place” at Dan’s place

While having coffee with Dan, I got the laptop (no wi-fi at my place) and set about checking the transport to Galway. Bit complicated – “all roads lead to Dublin”. Well, I don’t want to go to Dublin, damnit! Dan said he’d take me to another town, where there was sure to be decent transport. I checked – there is, so – problem solved.

A break after a pleasant gardening work
A break after a pleasant gardening work

The weather was lovely, although it rained briefly twice, and we spent all day in the garden. Absolutely great and energizing! I plucked grass in spades. I picked greens too – made two salads and there’s more in the fridge, I think I got immersed a bit… 🤭

Nettle soup for a change, although I still prefer salads 😉
Nettle soup for a change, although I still prefer salads 😉

For today the plan was some gardening, nettle soup and a quiz at the neighbours in the evening. However, before we left to meet with the others, we just sat together on the porch warmed by the setting sun to bask in its rays and enjoy the neat garden we had transformed together in 2 days. He with a bottle of beer, I with a glass of whiskey. Jameson. Irish.

Such a good job we did, that's a team work for you!
Such a good job we did, that’s a team work for you!

At the end of the quiz, the hostess and I were the only sober ones in the room. My wine glass was only halfway down – I used it to hide behind and keep my hands busy with something. Everyone else was 3-5-10 drinks in by now, and passions had heated contentedly and decibels were hitting the ceiling.

The neighbor's table quiz night
The neighbor’s table quiz night

I just switched off – I couldn’t make out a word in all the cacophony of voices. It was obvious that Dan, unlike me, was having fun and no problem keeping the communication going. Despite the drinks, he was still keeping one eye on me (he was situated at another table) and as soon as it was appropriate he came over to me, “Are you ready to go home soon?” – “Mhmmm…”

And the reward after a day in the garden 😜
And the reward after a day in the garden 😜

He just smiled – already knew the answer, had read it on my face. He just disappeared and came back with the coat on and with my jacket (his jacket) in his arms. We were ready to take off and looked towards the back door. “We need to say goodbye to the others and especially the hosts…” though I still felt uneasy.

Just by the door we started a nice chat with the hostess and few other guests, as it usually happens. That night we stayed long after 1am having some drinks and chatting at home.

My lucky charm just in front of my door! 🤩
My lucky charm just in front of my door! 🤩

I hardly saw him the next two days – he had family commitments, so I was left “home” alone. While he was gone I had fun in the garden and the greenhouse, so I planted a lot of things and later I just took him to show him what was where. 😜

02 April 2024 – Inchmore to Galway

Dan drove me to Tullamore (an hour and ten minute drive) where I caught a train to Galway. I checked the schedule prices last night, so I was shocked when I tried to get a 18+ ticket instead of the 9.99.

The three of us on the train's floor
The three of us on the train’s floor

Turned out that was the price for an online only ticket. Sure then, online it is! I sat down by the ticket machine and bought it online for half price. What a illogical rules!?

Galway, such a familiar view
Galway, such a familiar view

Dan walked me to the platform and waited for me to board the train before he left… The train was full (I knew this because there were no tickets on it, I had actually got a ticket for the next one) so I sat on the floor in the corridor with both my backpacks.

Lovely surprises from Loredana!
Lovely surprises from Loredana!

Jerry was waiting for me with the big, warm hug as always. Lydia was here too. The only thing missing was the Italian touch in the company – she had left for Italy that morning and would be back a week after my departure.

Lovely surprises from Loredana!
Lovely surprises from Loredana!

Flowers, chocolate and surprises were waiting for me in the room I had shared with her the last few times. Ah, that Loredana… 🙈🥰

Then we start chatting with Jerry. Just couldn’t get enough of him…

Slainte! The testing goes on! 😜
Slainte! The testing goes on! 😜

For dinner, of course, nettle salad and something else – I didn’t care at all, I was starving! I went to bed quite early – around 8pm. I suddenly felt super tired and exhausted. I could barely talk.

Slainte! The testing goes on! 😜
Slainte! The testing goes on! 😜

The next days were spent leisurely. Talking quietly or just staring at the raging waves across the way. Jerry had sensed something from the moment I entered the door. He didn’t need explanations or reasons.

Stormy days at Galway Bay
Stormy days at Galway Bay

He didn’t know what had happened (not before I told him), but he knew something inside me had broken. He could feel it. He enveloped me with his warmth and love and I let his healing energy wash over me, staring at the storm outside, trying to quell the one inside…

07 April 2024 – Galway to Killarney

I had tiptoed out and was just finishing my coffee when Jerry appeared at the door “You aren’t any good making noise…” 😂

We sat, talked, were quiet and parted ways until a month later when I was waiting for them both to come over with Miska.

Just arrived in Limerick to wait for my next bus towards Killarney
Just arrived in Limerick to wait for my next bus towards Killarney

The weather was still awful and the coast road closed, but at least it wasn’t raining, so I calmly waited for my bus, then walked to the bus station and got on the bus to Limerick. We met with Melinda (another couchsurfing host) for coffee for about two hours – until my next bus to Killarney. We chatted a lot and it was so cool. We were like old friends even though we had only spent 2 days together. We had a really great time. Until next time. 😉

At Limerick cafe with Melinda
At Limerick cafe with Melinda

In Killarney, I never saw the bus station I was supposed to get off at – it was just a stop in the middle of town. 🤷🏻‍♀️ I walked from there. I asked my heel, it said that after the 3 painkillers in the morning could do another 2km walk, so I took off. And the rain beat down on me and the sun baked me. At one point I stopped and stripped down to short sleeves, I was getting sweaty already.

Limerick Castle in the distance
Limerick Castle in the distance

I found the house thanks to directions and pictures from Julie (Aedan’s wife – my former and future boss). Super positive welcome with smiles and hugs, chatter and sharing.

Aidan came home and the whole procedure was repeated. Wonderful people, down to earth and warm! How can you not want to work for them!

Rainy walk around Killarney
Rainy walk around Killarney

Julie remembered that I had been looking for bulgur last time (over 7 months ago!), saw it in the supermarket and picked me up two packets. Oh, that’s so sweet!! Thank you, Julie! 🤗

08 April 2024 – Killarney

Rainy walk around Killarney
Rainy walk around Killarney

But of course it rained all day… Aedan gave me a lift downtown on his way to work and I started to hang about. It just kept raining.

St Mary's Church of Ireland, Killarney
St Mary’s Church of Ireland, Killarney

I walked past a church, swept down the main street, curved in the direction of the cathedral and came across Dunnes. I figured there’d be a toilet there, so I went in. I bought this and that and when I came out I remembered I was actually looking for a toilet, so I went back… 🤭

St Mary's Church of Ireland, Killarney
St Mary’s Church of Ireland, Killarney

I got to the cathedral. There was a service going on and I quietly slipped out so as not to bother the people inside.

St Mary's Cathedral, Killarney
St Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney

Under the canopy while waiting for them to finish I busied myself poking around the navigation, wondering where to go next. It was a descent rain, I was already wet and getting colder.

St Mary's Cathedral, Killarney
St Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney

Back I go. I head back “home” through the crooked streets and with a bit of a wandering. But first at the cathedral, as the faithful have taken to freaking out.

Killarney Duck Store
Killarney Duck Store

I found the second hand shops. The idea was if there were candles or if I found a trousers. But I found a T-shirt. For a whole €1. Latter I also found a duck shop – I had never seen so many rubber ducks in my life 🤭!

Killarney Duck Store
Killarney Duck Store

And I slowly made my way home, dry and warm place. 🙂

09 April 2024 – Muckross, near Killarney

Cycling to Killarney National Park
Cycling to Killarney National Park

I’m getting sick. I think I’ve got Lydia’s virus. I was wondering what was making me so sleepy and carried away and everything hurts. So tonight when I started coughing, it dawned on me.

At Muckross Abbey
At Muckross Abbey

The weather was great by the forecast, though, and it looked like it had been since the morning. I had planned to go to the lake to some house that Julie recommended. By bike. Her dad tightened it up, changed the flat tire, and I had no excuse to postpone anymore.

At Muckross Abbey
At Muckross Abbey

Even though I was a little dizzy (probably had a fever), the whole way is on a bike path, so there’s no risk of anyone carrying me off. At most I could drop off, but I’ll make sure I don’t. (Well, I was just about falling down a few times, but managed not to.)

At Muckross Abbey
At Muckross Abbey

It was super beautiful and nice. I found an old abandoned monastery with a cemetery, which impressed me much more than the house and actually filled my day.

Around the Muckross House gardens
Around the Muckross House gardens

I came back after 2-3 hours. I was still dizzy, and my pretty ass had started to protest. 10 km is good as a start, time to head home.

Around the Muckross House gardens
Around the Muckross House gardens

I’m pleased with myself though – I didn’t get down pushing the bike on any hills 🥳!

10 April 2024 – Gleann Fán, near Dingle

I was in line to leave at 7am and we were on the road shortly after 7:30. Aidan do like the speed and on these turns, as I was not well, I got quite sick… And the weather was shaggy – fog, nothing to see in a few meters. Good thing I knew my view, so I wasn’t too disappointed. It was only a matter of time. 😉

Returning to my favorite "home" in the fog 😉
Returning to my favorite “home” in the fog 😉

I found the people leaving “my place” hadn’t prepared their luggage yet, let alone properly cleaned up. Well, they’d put a smile on the face of the situation, at least they’d cleaned the bathroom, but in general it was quite messy with dishes with something in the fridge and the fridge itself and… Well, it needs to be cleaned, but not now – first the work.

Good that I knew what the real view is. Whit no fog!
Good that I knew what the real view is. Whit no fog!

Good thing there were only 4 rooms today. Now, I don’t know how to politely put it in English, but I was basically fucked up! Completely powerless and hardly could move enough to get back to my place afterwards.

I went home and crashed in bed. It was about 3:30 in the afternoon. At some point, I realized I wasn’t going to get off bed anyway, so I put on my pajamas, at least to be comfortable. If you can even talk about comfort in that kind of situation.

Returning to my favorite "home" in the fog 😉
Returning to my favorite “home” in the fog 😉

I stomped the JBL (the speaker a gift from Ollie) on the cabinet, put on some Zach’s type playlist (that’s what we listened to lastly) and left the volume down close to zero. I think it worked for about 12 hours that way, although by specifications it should be 4 hours. That music kept me kind of at anchored on all my drifts into the unconscious. Because that was the situation – I wasn’t falling asleep, I was just drifting off. Vomiting, upset, fever, chills, coughing…

By 4am I finally fall asleep. Only to wake up again at 6:30… 🤦‍♀️


GALERIES

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