I really love day trippin' around Ireland. There are so many characters and traditions and everywhere you go, there's a little madness weaved into the fabric of life here. This weekend we decided on Sunday to take a trip to the west coast of Clare. We were a bit tender from the night before.. Having decided to 'stay in', myself and Terry ended up having a two person party, complete with mosh pit. We'd have been better off going out. So to avoid a day of hungover idleness, we each grabbed a few essentials, hopped into '75' (Our campervan) and took off for the coast.
You know it's summer in Ireland when the rain gets warmer...
We weren't 20 minutes on the road and the apocalypse descended. I could hardly see for the rain, but we did what all true Irish people do (when we can't say 'shur at least it's not raining').. we rolled out the 'shur what else would we be doin on a day like it?'. The answer to that is usually the high stool, by the way. Rain is a great excuse for the drink.
Fist stop was Spanish Point and the Armada Hotel (Check it out here) where we feasted on Lamb Shank overlooking the wild Atlantic way. We then took Ted to the beach where we played ball in the surf, watched the distant rain crossing the horizon and got acquainted with a curious little beagle who seemed to be the 'one dog, local beach welcome committee'.
On leaving Spanish Point, we headed for St Anthony's Caravan park in Doolin and Ironically, couldn't find it.. We reckoned if St Anthony couldn't be found, there must have been good reason. So we settled for Nagle's and parked up between two walls, affording us some shelter should the floods arrive. We heard they were building an arc on the pier nearby, so we were positioned well either way. We stuck on our box set of 'Only Fools and Horses' and laughed with Rodney and Del Boy while we sat out the Storm.
The stages of BAReavement...
After a short walk to nearby Doolin, we landed into a mighty session in the famous Gus O Connors Pub. We discovered to our delight (as we live in the arsehole of internet blackspot) they had FREE WIFI and we happily began checking in and reporting our whereabouts on Facebook before being admonished by a local who reminded us we were there to converse, not surf. :) He was right. We put the phones away and gave ourselves to 'handy chat' with our imbibing neighbours. They soon reached that horrible first phase of bareavement... ' ambivalent decision to go home' (denial) and took turns facilitating each other through the next 3 phases, which by the way are bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance. The depression phase was skilfully suppressed by the older Gentleman with a spontaneous verse of 'Finnegans Wake' on his way to the bar; he was a pro, I could tell.
The rest of the night featured a stunning performance of this beautiful song from a Luke Kelly voice twin. Followed by a random and somewhat disturbing appearance from the set dancing 'Straw Boys' from Kilnaboy. I have no idea what that was about, it was an unexpected experience... I emerged from the loo and stepped into what looked like a scene from the 'Wizard of Oz'... and me without my ruby slippers, oh my! I captured some video, though I can't seem to upload it, they were all masked and dressed like scarecrows. Hmmm. Apparently it's an Irish wedding tradition (I had never heard of it). It's supposed to bring luck and wealth to the marrying couple. What do you think, would you not feel weirded out dancing with a bale of hay?
Phantom Toxic Arse Man
Something else we unfortunately captured that night was the cyclical, septic, arse end of some phantom's digestive misfortune. We spent the night trying to identify the culprit by a process of elimination, but it must have been pro-night on the bar stools because not a single sign of shame did we see on the faces of our chosen contenders for the 'throne'. I couldn't help but hope that whoever he was, he was going home to an empty bed and if not, that the missus had the foresight to at least sleep in a gas mask. Ugh...Rotten!
Always, Amanda xx