Sunday, August 24, 2008

Counting the Fourty Shades of Green in Ireland, by Bike!

Dad and I are off on a trip to ride our bikes around the Dingle Penninsula in Ireland, kind of a dream for us.
So, guess what greets Dad and I as we exit the airport in Shannon - a good old Irish rain. Not a rain really, just a heavy drizzle. Thus we are baptized into Ireland. A two hour busride, a little confused wandering to find Irish Cycle Hire, and a cab ride later, we arrive at our B&B.

Photo: Ross Castle

Per my travel philosophy of not succumbing to the exhaustion that threatens to overwhelm after an overnight transatlantic flight, Dad and I collect our bikes and set off for our first adventure. Not too far out of town is Killarney National Park, an 11,000 acre swath of forests and lakes and aminals (no, I did not misspell that) and paths and some historical stuff too. We went to check out Ross Castle, a ruin of a tower standing on the edge of one of the lakes.
Photo: magical forest in Killarney National Park

We saw signs pointing off in different directions with intriguing names like "Governor's Rock" and "Library Point", so we took off on our bikes into the forest proper. And a magical forest it was, all mossy with ferns and crazy trees, it was a very wild-feeling place, could very easily understand why the Druids and Celts felt there was a spiritual presence in Ireland, and especially here.

One particular path, towards Library Point, took us through pedal-deep water puddles (apparently it rains here a bit), and of course I couldn't keep my balance while trying to pedal slow so I didn't splash myself (the photo says it all). Yup, soaked my shoes clear though. Wouldn't really matter in the end though, because on our way back to the B&B it started misting, then drizzling, then outright raining, and we could not escape a thorough soaking even though we were riding under trees. Well shit. It was a very pretty ride, even when it was raining! Got lost on the way back, of course, and so arrived back at the B&B absolutely drenched, really you could say we swam our bikes back. Nothing a shower couldn't fix though!

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