Saturday, May 25, 2013

Friday, May 17th

     Slept like it was my job and decided to go for a run. I got a bit turned around and ended up on a road lower than the one Eileen of our B&B recommended. Beach road turned out to be lovely in the morning though. Followed along an inlet that opened into a small bay, all the while greenery was covering the hills to my other side. A small boat puttered out in the morning (few people are up and busy in the morning hours I’ve noticed)  and I followed along my land route until the end, when the bay opened into the Atlantic, then turned around. Sky road (the intended loop) I tackled just halfway because of my lovely lower detour. This one took me gradually uphill when I bounced out of the road surrounded by trees, I saw to my left the grass covered hills that sloped towards the ocean and the entire view was at my feet and in front of me! It was beautiful, the whole entire run I could see the Atlantic displayed before me, and the rocky coastline continue lower on my left. There were a few islands splattered a short distance from the coast, the only ones venturing into the big water that continued on to the horizon.
The ocean sometimes feels like the only place for your restless mind or wandering heart. It is vast enough for you to find stillness and peace while still including all the movement and vibrancy that is true in life.
“It’s always a risky thing to fly faster than your heart, but somehow a body just can’t help it.”
                                                                                                                                ~Peggy Parsons

A Morning In Clifden
       Breakfast was wonderful. Eileen served our food on her fine china, tea was from her grandmothers teapot. The classic set up made mom so happy, I was too terrified of breaking something. These tight little set ups make me feel like a bull in a china closet.  One trip and I could take out an antique placement in no time! Ack! After eating we talking of her family and all. How they always shop in the states for clothes because the prices are so much better on clothes and makeup (like Clinique and all). She talked of how her husband has a farm, which will go to her son. She told us how it is becoming more common with the next generation of couples getting divorced, and the family’s lands are divided up and sold off. It is important to realize that farming has been such a traditional part of the communities here, and they have been consistent through generations. It is a staple of every county we have been in, and to divide up and sell it leaves few options in making a living for those remaining in the small countryside area. She told us how many of the next generation has to move to the bigger cities (like Dubin) or going to live and work in places like Australia. The recession doesn’t seem to be something they have recovered from here, it seems to just be something they are learning to deal with.
    Actually ended up spending some time in the area here. Yeah we shopping, I even picked up a colorful scarf.  Mostly though, just walked around. Our family ended up going to different shops, so when I got bored, I’d end up talking to shop owners. So if you are ever in Clifden, make sure to stop at the little art gallery on the end of the street across the road from the B&B. Also, a very interesting running outdoor type store. The owner leads runs around the area, and has designed his own shirts with little uplifting phrases printed on them. Think along the lines of the Life is Good type shirts. But just for Connemara. 
       From there we had lunch at the outlook I’d run to in the morning, inside the car due to the seriously high winds.  Then we drove down to Omey Island

Now the interesting part of this island is that I am fairly certain you can only get to it during low tide. Because when the tide is out, the beach between the two becomes a broad strip of firm sand for cars to drive across to the island. We walked across the land, which was sadly not a warm and sunny beach but a windswept coastal edge. Someone in Dublin later described the western side of Ireland as “very rugged”, with “lots of character”. They were absolutely right.  But I really liked it that way. Except the narrow, winding roads…while some may finding it entertaining, I wanted to fling myself out of the car. partially due to motion sickness. partially because it is so beautiful outide, even with the cold wind. It is a shame to have to drive through inside a car. 


       Pulled in not too unreasonably late.  But took the second B&B we came to. One cannot get too picky if  you want a good price, close to town, and are coming in after 5pm.  After last night's stay, it was nothing  to get excited about. Nice enough owners, just generic place in comparison. Everything was clean and tidy though, and Lydia and I got our own room again. Focus on the little wins. Dinner we split off for some pizza then revamped for a bit in our room before going out for the night. Things don’t get rolling until late, so it is important to relax beforehand. We did pretty well, started out at a relaxed place. Chatted with a few people while having a drink, and a guitarist played in the background. Throughout the evening we picked up momentum. The next place had more up to date, rock music..with a mass of people from all ages and different countries. Talking wasn’t a problem, everyone had to shout their conversations. Listening was a bit of a dilemma. But was certainly a lively evening. Lydia and I have an excellent policy of not leaving each other and always having one another’s backs. It is employed no matter what country we are in, but is certainly well applied. 

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