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09 May 2005

in the seemingly very remote

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my last full day in doolin. woke up to say goodbye to tom.

i decided to hike the coast to the north and again consulted karl on the best way to reach the coast.

karl: 'take a right outside the hostel, walk to the end of the road to the sign that says 'beware of the bull', climb into the field, over a couple walls, and you're there.'

me: 'got it. thanks.'

as i walked away i wondered whether or not i should go back and ask him about the bull, then decided that he would have told me if there were any danger.

down the stone road to the end... 'beware of the bull'. i looked around hesitantly. no bull in sight. i climbed over the wall to the right and continued along the fence... scanning scanning. another field... no bull. another wall and i was there. again, the ocean, the rocks. the cliffs weren't nearly as high... the terrain was different. giant rumbling rocks sitting idle. giants. walking on the tops, carefully. when not rocks, the twisting patterns of holes, deliberately. the giants in steps, and i picking my path one giant at a time, with no certain path, looking down just stepping. watching the ocean, vastness. filled with [static] with the sun and the air. dead but immortal, plants captured in the limestone. here it was possible to walk the entire way down to the water and there, pools, water trapped after the tide. the most interesting forever. small fish there, scattering quickly until i waited patiently for them to reappear. some of the pool bottoms smooth, years and years and years of natural sculpture. some of the pool bottoms rough, pits filled with black spherical spiny creatures, spikes waving. this wasn't an aquarium that one would visit in a city; this was real. they were here and now, spikes waving. i remembered those aquariums with children holding urchins, but were they a certain species? the holdable kind? i looked around for something to pry those hiding from their pits, but nothing around. i'd let them be, hiding and waving.

further along i came upon a man and his golden retriever. the first on this hike. she was pure with a long full name sounding like royalty, but he called her summer. she was wet and running and happy to say hello. i was happy too. onward and higher, the cliffs coming back, but not to the same extent as to the south, to more of a flatness and not the pits filled with tidal water, instead filled with grass waving and with floating pink flowers. cracks leading deep down which reminded me to step with purpose for fear of plunging and being locked inside. with no one around i'd be a long time unfound. i saw a bird on a cliff, on the edge. the cliff curved around back to me on the left, i'd need to investigate, maybe a nest, but not to disturb to observe. i walked slowly but it took off and when i arrived, nothing but the rocks and whiteness. there one of the deep deep pits and i was careful again, the long shards of rocks broken apart with a portal to the water far below. i looked down. unfound.

i continued on, finally to the road. in the distance, i saw buses and cars bringing people there to see the sea. like two days before, i had the feeling of a more after a long hike of giants and pools and summers. a wide expanse of openness with scattered green and more scattered rock. a cow watching six calves eyed me carefully the entire way; i stepped delicately so as not to provoke an attack, which again might have been a little fun and funny to watch.

and on and on and on along the road... in the distance i saw some houses, with hopefully a store nearby (i was thirsty), i wasn't sure. i took a picture of a rock so that when i was far away from it i could look back and remember that just moments before i had been right beside it. to a farm with [a circle of stone ancient or new?] until i had no choice but to walk on the road. i passed some men digging a ditch. once arrived with the buildings in sight, nothing but scattered houses, no stores at all. it had been five hours and it was 4:30pm and suddenly i realized a hike back would put me into darkness. hmm. i turned around fully on the road and began the trek back. i passed some men digging a ditch. i looked up and saw the rock far in the distance.

the thumb, unsuccessful. on and on, i stuck to the road. the thumb, unsuccessful, i started counting the number of vehicles which passed by but soon gave up the game. along the road, twisting, the blind turns making me walk faster for fear. 'don't be tempted to take a shortcut up to the castle; there are impenetrable briar bushes there,' karl had told me. such a good thing he did. i would have tried and encountered them, turned around and lost time. i stuck to the road. up the hill toward the castling tower in the distance. at the top, finally at the top, i turned around and saw a field, the rocks in the distance where i'd been an hour before. a sign pointed the way to the right and i was making good time. another right, a long straight stretch, i passed a smiling girl and ten minutes later a man too involved in his walk and his music to look or smile. two people passing each other in the seemingly very remote, and can't ever look up to say hello. blah. hello. or not.

i passed the rainbow hostel where i could have stayed and had completely different experiences but didn't. fate i suppose. opening in front of me, the expanse of doolin, ireland. close to the hostel, i found manuel at one of the pubs. he looked up a word in his spanish dictionary... 'very worry'. worried? i looked at his dictionary. 'weary'. si, mi tambien.

back at the hostel. another perfect shower. i discussed my plans with other hostelites... i'd be flying to paris out of the shannon, ireland, airport on wednesday. doolin was just a touch too far away to rely on successful bus transport down to shannon in time to make my flight. tomorrow i'd be traveling to ennis, ireland, which was closer to the airport and had more reliable shuttles.

another perfect evening next to the warm stove. the perfect ending to my three shining jewels in doolin.

posted by paul on Mon 09 May 2005 at 00:00:00 est (-05:00)

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