May 26th, 2012
Today marks the second island tour that we will be taking on our trip. We plan to go to the Aran Island, just off the west coast. There are actually three islands in the Aran islands, but as I do not have Internet as I write this and I'm too lazy to find some, I'll let you look up the names The one we are going to is the largest of the three. We woke up early to catch another wonderful Irish breakfast, this time made by our new hosts. The night before they had offered to take us in to town so that we didn't have to spend money on the bus. So after the best breakfast, we jumped in the car. He dropped us off at the ticket office none to soon, for just as we entered, a large group of people came in right behind us. Tickets purchased, we boarded the bus and chose the worst possible seats. The seats we chose are sideways so that you are not facing the front of the bus. Directly across from us are two such seats facing us. Who decides to sit there, but some love struck couple from Spain. How do I know they are from Spain? Beacuth Romeo hath hith ridculouth Barthelona accent. They kissed so many times that my breakfast was starting to churn. Not sweet kisses or even passionate ones, but really awkward smashed ones. So what did I do? I took pictures of them! Hahaha! A passenger down the way caught my eye and smiled in a knowing way.
The ferry dropped us off at the windy port and we tried to figure out what to do! An extremely friendly and extremely Irish chap caught us and gave us directions and told us where to rent some bikes. So we did just that immediately after we bought a picnic lunch. Our bike tour took us along the coast of this Irish island. I forgot to mention that the locals here live with certain modern technologies, but also keep the old tradition alive. What is really awesome is that Gaelic is the first language here, not english. I really like knowing the Irish accent didn't just morph from the British, but rather is an accent based on the speaking of Gaelic. Back to the ride. I feel reminiscent of when Casey and I took our bike ride along the coast of southern Ireland. This island does not command the majestic views that we saw before, but still has intriguing and astonishing views of the farm land and coast. We were happy to be on our own tour going our own pace. Our tooshes however, were not. We road down to a sea lion cove where several live. We even caught some playing out in the water. From here we road up to a sandy beach which we promptly ran out on it. Though the temperature was well into the upper 70s, the water was frigid. You'd have to either be mad, or be a kid, to get in. When we'd had enough, we road up to some shops that served as the entry point to a path for a 5,000 year old ring fort built on the cliffs. It was a long walk up there, and we could see it pretty well from the bottom. We decided not to pay the money to see it for two reasons. The first was that we were both wearing flip flops and the path was very rocky. Second, when your main mode of transportation is your feet, three weeks of such foot soreness changes your decisions. Besides, like I said, we could see it pretty well from afar. We road away to look for a blow hole or worm hole on the coast. The scene is this: it's sunny, with a decent wind. You are riding down a grass trail amidst stone fences as far as you can see. In the distance, the sea is always sparkling and you are out on adventure! We were having a blast! In search of the hole, an older Irish gentleman waved us over from his home. His accent was the thickest I've heard. It's easy to tell that this man has spoken Gaelic his whole life. These Irish are so friendly. He asked about our day, where we were headed, and gave us directions. We followed them to a rocky beach and no one was in sight! Picnic time! So there we were, sitting on a huge boulder over looking our secluded cove eating lunch. We did not see one person until we left. That was one of my favorite memories, just Nicole and I taking a respite from our journey. Lunch over, we rode our way back to town to nab a few gifts before the 4 o'clock ferry left for Galway. Aran Islands: success!
A side note I've re realized. I am a sponge for foreign accents and a huge source of entertainment for Nicole. Let me give you and example. Twice today I responded to an Irish person in an Irish accent. The first time, I actually realized I did it, and then noticed Nicole's shoulders shaking in silent mirth. She noticed too. The second time I did, I did not even realize that I had but looked over to see Nicole dying of laughter.
"You did it again!" she giggled.
"I did? No way!"
"Oh yes you did", and more laughing.
Back at our B&B, we rested from the day and took some showers. It's going to be another night on the town! By this time I was starving, well we both were. We strolled along the streets and came upon a gelato shop. Of course Nicole couldn't resist and we used the gelato as fuel to find some real dinner. The gelato here is one thing, and that is not as good as gelato in Italy. We were so hungry, and not wanting to spend too much, that there was only one clear choice. Finnegans again for bangers and mash and chicken with chips. Having a wife is so awesome. I don't think I'll ever be hungry after I finish my plate again. There is always her plate! We wanted to catch some tunes with a nice beverage before leaving town. We wandered up and down looking for some place with traditional music. Unfortunately by this time the traditional artists were done and the more modern were playing. We settled on the King's Head since we saw a band setting up. We ordered drinks and sat to wait. Well, you know? It took them an hour to set up, and we had to leave. The last wagon out of Dodge left at 11:30 and we certainly were not going to walk the two miles. It wasn't a complete loss. The cider was good and the people watching very entertaining. So ended our final night in Galway. Both Nicole and I are sad we have to leave the sea, the street performers, and jolly Irish feeling, but at least tomorrow is Dublin!