Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ireland


The Island where there are more sheep than humans, and I have no complaints about it.

It was the standard mother-daughter trip; lots of laughter, too much food and no idiot-proof instructions on how to navigate ourselves around (us being the idiots). It was definitely the mother’s decision to road trip through Ireland, and my decision to pick accommodation that was located in the middle of the National Park in Galway. No television, no wifi and no phone signal. Just myself, the mother, and our new Irish friends.

We landed in Dublin and grabbed our rental car from the airport, before driving across the country to Galway. Two words come to mind: pristine and green. There are countless trees on every street, fields full of cows at every turn and not a piece of litter in sight. The drive was a long one, with a few stops for refreshments, we made it to Galway by the evening, only to find that our accommodation was a lot further into the sticks than we originally realised. Tea time came and went and we continued to drive through the mountains, sheep trotting along the road beside us, with not a car, human or house in sight. After a while, my mother raised the interesting question of how we were going to refuel the car... (Oops!)

After an hour or so of increasing concern, we hit a tiny town of civilisation, followed by a second tiny town, and then a third further along. The only thing we couldn’t find was our accommodation – but after a pit stop at a petrol station, the guy working there kindly sent us in the right direction (I guess we were lucky that the stereotype of everyone in villages knowing each other came to be true).

The accommodation was beautiful, with mountains and wildlife all around us – I’ve never felt so at one with nature. There was something so tranquil about this place and I couldn’t help but think, when the day comes that I write my first novel, this will be where I come in the final weeks of writing – to work in complete isolated silence.

This trip however, writing was put on hold and adventures were sought after – we climbed mountains that were for ‘experienced climbers only’, drove down coastal roads, celebrated Bog week in an Irish pub listening to traditional folk music (before the stench of hoards of sweaty men pushed us out), visited endless coffee shops in Westport and spent our final night in a quaint hotel in Roscommon, before heading back to Dublin for our flight home.

The only thing missing was a trip to Cork, but what better excuse to head back out there again? An Irish road trip has been on my list for a very long time and it turned out to be a pretty great adventure.