So much for my plan for regular updates, even just ten minutes ones. Mary and I have been having a fabulous time. We probably could have sought out more internet cafes than we did, but there always seemed to be something else to do. We spent two days in Galway, soaking up the sun (yes, sun) on the sli na slainte, which I think translates as walk of health, a walking path that takes one along the bay. Many photos will be shared at a later date with anyone foolish enough to click on this blog, or sit still in my presence for any length of time. Mary and I travel well together; we want to go to the same places, usually because we share the fond memories, and we're pretty much in tune about how much to plan and how much to play by ear. Having seen how much I love my new camera, Tony decided Mary needed one for her trip, so we've been madly snapping away, both of us, flowers, mountains, donkeys, cows, pigs, more flowers, greenery EVERYWHERE, scenery galore, cottages we intend to own (still haven't narrowed down WHERE we want to be exactly). After Galway we spent three nights in Co. Clare, hiking about the Burren. A woman at one of our favorite bookstores (back in Galway) gave me an article about a guy who theorizes J.R.R Tolkien based his vision of Mordor on the Burren. It seems plausible; once you see my photos, you'll see why I think it bears examining.
Trying to sum up over a week's worth of travel while still sticking to my ten minute rule is a wee bit tricky. Add in the fact that we just had some really great Italian food and a fair amount of wine, and you'll have to forgive me if I'm not painting the detailed picture I want to. There have been characters along the way, as all good travel will entail. I'd forgotten, for example, the men frequently like to chat up my sister, and smooch her if given half a chance. Okay, so far there have been only two, but they were both pretty smitten, and we're not out of Ireland yet. City people are more reserved no matter where you go though.
We've been doing a lot of hiking, sometimes more than we had actually planned. A hike up Knocknarea, for example, ended up being a hike from Strandhill to the mountain, up the mountain, down the mountain, then back into Sligo. We still haven't figured out exactly how long that was (either in miles or kilometers, which sound so much more impressive), but anyone who knows the area has been very impressed with us. We're pretty pleased with ourselves as well. On top the mountain we had another little moment to say goodbye to James (he loved the place too). Naturally we're constantly reminded of things he would have loved doing, seeing, eating or enjoying with us, but that's mostly been nice.
I haven't said a word yet about how wonderful Clifden in Connemara was, but the internet cafe closes in five minutes. Maybe now that we'll be in cities for the rest of the trip (here, then London) I'll get to write more... but there is so much to see...