Monday, June 24, 2013

Two Canadians Walk Into a Bar....

My Canadian friends! Aren't they pretty!?!?

 I know it sounds like the set up for a joke, and here’s the punch line: I don’t have one! Are you laughing? Er…probably not.  So onward with the adventures! After the day spent inside due to rainy weather (which I enjoyed very much!), the next one was spent outdoors. The rain left, the clouds parted (mostly) to reveal blue skies, and the ground was as dry as it was going to get! So arming myself with my camera and my new found friends (two Canadians and pretty much the only American I’ve met on the trip so far), we made our way to a hill that a local told us would give us great views of Dingle and the ocean.

What we THOUGHT was the footpath.
   Let me tell you a little something about how directions are given in Ireland: It’s comprised of a mixture of hand gestures, assuming you have a good sense of direction (eeerrr….), and words. Hopefully, if you’re lucky, you are skilled in all three types of speaking. So the nice, helpful local gave us directions to get to the top of a hill via a foot path. I thought I understood. I was pretty sure of the vague hand gesturing and the words. My sense of direction was pretty good—I thought. I really need to not rely on that. We made it without any problems to the fire station that’s oddly a tall white building that towers over the city and looks very out of place, and then turned onto what we thought was the footpath. It looked like a footpath.

Dingle from halfway up the hill. Did I mention the prickly Gorse? No? Lots of gorse.
We made our way up, swapping stories, telling jokes, and taking pictures. We climbed up and up. I was proud of myself and ability to take directions. That is, until I realized that we were no longer going up the hill. We were going around it, and farther and farther away from the sea. Stopping we looked up the hill and shrugged. It wouldn’t be that hard to climb, and we found a goat/sheep path that looked like it zigzagged up. Note the words ‘looked like’. We started off easily and then things got tricky. And prickly. It turns out those ‘clumps’ we saw up the hill were gorse. Pretty flowers and super prickly, although low. And that sheep path? Yeah. Lots of dead ends where clearly they just used their clever little legs to jump over clumps of things they didn’t like. Sadly, none of us were sheep.

See those clumps? Even the little ones? That's gorse my friends. Prickly gorse.

We decided to give up half way up, and we took pictures where we were. Besides, behind us we could see rain clouds, and we didn’t want to get stuck in the rain on top of a high hill. Going down was much easier. We literally ran down the hill, taking up jumps over the clumps of gorse. I felt like Heidi, and I kind of wished the hill were longer, since I was having so much fun pretending to be a sheep. After some lunch and resting the Canadians conned me and Jared to go see The Purge at the local theater. I have three words for you. DON’T SEE IT. After the horrible movie it was agreed that we all needed drinks. 

Drinks were had, music was listened to, and the next morning both my new lifelong Canadian friends were gone. But sad as it was to see them go, Jared and I got to go on a tour to see Slea Head. If you don't know what Slea Head is, let me enlighten you. It's the most beautiful place in the world. Truly. Save for the fact that there are really no trees (breaths into a paper bag), it's paradise. But that's a story for the next post, since it deserves its own (or at least most of it).

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