Why should it be easy, when it can be tough - North for the winter! Here are the part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5 and part 6. Now winter is long over and we still keep wandering around the Windy islands. Let's see where part 7, will lead us... 😎😆
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.
13 July 2023 – Inishmore, Aran Islands, Ireland
Owls are not what they are. My intuition usually catches them in time, though. So it was this time, though despite my suspicions, I decided to give the situation a chance. Well, it was a bit of a delay, more like wasted time that I could have put to much better use.
Even as I left the island in March, I knew I couldn’t trust Penny. A person who recruiting workers with lies and out of everything promised only delivers on the minimum pay per hour part (not the number of hours, though). So, what can you expect from there on…
Interestingly, I was the only one who had a run-in with her on this. Everyone else seemed to be resigned to the idea of being lied to and manipulated. Which is what she was actually counting on. And apparently it works… I don’t understand that a bit!
I distrusted her so much from the very beginning that I chose, despite arranging to return in June, to leave nothing with her, much less any part of my precious Roberto (left that with Jerry in Galway). I just didn’t trust her. She could have told me at any moment – I changed my mind.
Still, I decided to risk making an arrangement with her. Naturally it went no good…
Am I sorry?! I’m not sure.
I’m angry because I was counting on saving some money over the summer to continue my trip. Something that, thanks to her, didn’t work out. At least I’m not broke, which is still something. Besides, failing with Penny gets me back on the road full of challenges and new opportunities.
I guess I had gotten too comfortable and relaxed lately… 🤔🤭
19 July 2023 – Inishmore, Aran Islands, Ireland
I was sitting at my computer, minding my own business, when Penny burst into the room with a bang. She called out to Camila, who was in her room, that she had something to tell us. I already knew what she was going to say, I was just waiting for the details.
Ummm, that’s it, a new girl starts Friday and you’re out. – There’s 2 more weeks until the end of the month, and our arrangement was until the end of the month! – No, you said you’d stay until I find someone, well I found a girl and you have to leave. I can’t let her go, you know how hard it is to find people now in the middle of the season… – You can make an arrangement with her for next week at least, since we have an arrangement for after 2! – No, she starts Friday, I’m done with you on Thursday. But you can stay in the quarters...
Not that I was surprised – the one who lies once will continue to do so indefinitely. Still, I expected at least some basic loyalty. Too high expectations apparently…
That evening I was contacted by another Workaway girl who was also working on the island and looking for company on the same frequencies as hers. We arranged to meet the next day – it was Wednesday, it was my day off (and penultimate, as it had just transpired) and the weather was expected to be uncharacteristically nice, so it was a great end to my stay.
The day was beautiful and sunny. I finally got to the tower I’ve been intending to every day, which turned out to actually be an old lighthouse. Then I walked down to the seal colony (not many seals though) and chatted quite a bit with two interesting old ladies while I waited for Sheera to show up after work.
Sheera turned out to be a smiling Taiwanese woman in her 30s who had found herself in a similar situation to mine. Well, it wasn’t that bad for her, at least her bosses were a descent people and there still was a chance to fix the situation.
We had a wonderful day of walking, talking, ice cream and home made scones.
21 July 2023 – Connemara, Ireland
My last day of work ended with the question: When are you moving out? – At the end of the month, as we had agreed. – Oh no, you keep making things up, I meant by the end of the week.
At which I burst out laughing and left, reminding her just to remember to put my last paycheck in the account. She turned green, it wasn’t funny, she said. I laughed heartily…
Getting back to the quarters, I washed all the clothes I had to and gathered more of the stuff – I was almost ready to leave. Then I sat back down at the computer to look up options. Including a room to rent, as I had 3 weeks until the next Workaway, which I had arranged a few days ago. ‘Cause, well, my arrangement here was until the end of the month…
I had 3 days, but I didn’t want to stay a minute longer than I had to, so if I could find something earlier, I’d be gone in a flash. So Roberto was 70% ready and watching me expectantly from the corner.
The next morning I was super tense. I don’t know why. I got Roberto to 100% ready without having any idea where should I go. I drank my coffee and even packed my coffee maker. Completely ready to go, just the laptop sat on the table and I struggled to find a roof.
Somewhere during the coffee time, I got the message that I had to leave today (if I wasn’t shaking with tension, I’d laugh again!), to which I replied that I wasn’t staying a minute longer, but only after I see my paycheck in the bank account.
My adrenaline was up to the ceiling. It was now clear why I had packed as soon as I got up – my intuition knew what was coming next. I also knew I was getting out immediately! No matter what Penny says – I’m not staying in this poisonous environment one second. Even if I have to pay for a hostel! Something I couldn’t realistically afford as it was about 50 euros a night. I was willing to sacrifice what I earned just to be done with this shit!
Literally at the last minute the Facebook group, Host a sister, saved me again. Elisa (a stranger from Italy) wrote to me to give me the Couchsurfing profile of John, with whom she had communicated earlier. She thought John could help in my case.
And she was right! It all unfolded in minutes. I don’t know what I wrote to John, my adrenaline was out of control and I was shaking all over, all I know is that I hadn’t written a request like that one before. John replied immediately. We exchanged a few clarifying messages and now I had shelter over my head!
I didn’t know where he lived. I hadn’t checked, I hadn’t asked, I didn’t care – I had a shelter! I just asked how I could get to where I needed to go after getting off the ferry. The answer was – I’m travelling at the moment, I’ll pass by there in the afternoon and pick you up.
I laughed out loud as the tears flowed and the tension went away along with the adrenaline drop… That was the moment the laptop snuggled warmly into Carla, I threw Roberto on my back and Carla on my chest 😆 and took off at the speed of light.
I was smiling! I felt lighter and free already. I sat down on a wall by the side of the road to wait to see the money in my account. I wasn’t kidding – I wouldn’t move without getting paid. I’d go to the police if I had to. She might be a bitch, but I’ve got the horns!
Soon the money showed up into my Bank account and I even managed to catch the noon ferry! The feeling was indescribable. I felt like I had gotten out of something sticky and black. I was smiling, feeling light and happy to have a roof for at least a day or two.
John had other surfers, a mother and daughter from France, but he took me in and found me a space. We spent the evening with lots of laughter and cheer. I felt free and light. I slept like a baby – sound and peaceful.
Thank you, Elisa! Thank you, John! Thank you to my guardian angel, whose life I’m seriously complicating, but who won’t give up on me! Never!!! 🥰🤗🥰
25 July 2023 – Galway, Ireland
John was an interesting personality who didn’t drink water or eat any raw vegetables (with 1-2 exceptions). He couldn’t stop mocking me up for my unconventional salads, bitching that he would have to sanitize the dishes I used with all those weeds. Damn, he had a whole meadow of salad outside the door! And heaps of mint for gorgeousness! 😆
Something I envied him for was his camper – almost ready for adventure. He was making it himself converting an old van and was on right at the final. In fact, the first trip was already on the schedule.
And during the morning coffee one of the days, I got my hand watch fixed! Its battery had dropped about 5 months ago and I couldn’t open the cap to replace it. Nobody I asked could, and the only professional place I went to ask the price was £18 (it was in Scotland). Hell no! My watch cost less than £15!!!
Talking to John this morning, as he is so knowledgeable in many areas, I remembered to ask about some tool that might help open the clock. Can you guess? Sure enough, he has a whole watch repair kit as it was a big deal for him too! He struggled a bit (that’s why they asked £18), but eventually got it open and even changed the battery!
So, got my watch back on my wrist! Another reason to say thank you, John! 🤗
I didn’t ask how long I could stay, it was important that I wasn’t on the street, from there I would continue the search. The only restriction came from the fact that John had to travel in a few days, hence I did too.
I kept searching and nothing come up. Eventually I called Jerry.
Yes, he was always there, the hidden joker in my pocket! However, I knew he had a couple of people staying with him at the moment and there just wasn’t room for me, so I didn’t contacted him earlier. There was nowhere else to go though, so shame – no shame…
I needn’t have been ashamed, as always Jerry welcomed me with open arms! I was going to sleep on the living room floor (there’s a couch too, but the floor is more comfortable 😂), but who cares – there’s a floor and a roof, right! And even more important – I would be among friends – the most comfortable floor you can imagine!!!
Actually I didn’t have to sleep on the floor, as Loredana again (she’d already done it once) shared her huge bed (king sized), and surrounded by that friendly affection, I was more than happy! A few days later I also found a job for the duration of my stay, so things were lined up nicely.
The main thing, though, was Jerry. He’s been a soft spot of mine since before I even met him. A clown. A philosopher. A seeker. A psychologist. A support. A healer. I needed his quiet support badly. Along with the hours of intimate conversations and reflections that threw me into the deep and taught me to swim.
His very presence brought me a strange calm and confidence, and his warm embrace made me feel at home. I didn’t want to think this was the last time I would see him – I had a few days ahead and I was going to enjoy them! 🤗