Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Round about on pilgrimage

We're in Ireland, on pilgrimage.  Well, perhaps Math Man is on pilgrimage -- under both the oldest definition, which simply means a wanderer from foreign places, to the current which carries the connotation of a journey to a sacred place. As soon as Crash announced he was studying this fall at Trinity, Math Man started planing the trip.  Four rounds of golf, a thousand kilometer loop, three iconic courses. Oh, and some time in Dublin with our son.

I love to walk, so for me, as long as there is a good walk to be had, I am happy.   This morning, in the rain, I had a most marvelous walk on an utterly empty golf course, then into town and along the sea wall.  Math Man is out playing this incredible course with just a caddy, no one else was so crazy as to go out early this morning.

Pilgrimages ought to offer difficulties, I suspect. Roads that are less than direct, wrong turns, trying weather.   We left Ballybunnion late yesterday afternoon, headed to the ferry across the Shannon.  Though the GPS took us round two sides of a triangle, we made it with a safe margin. We cross, then decide we will take the N67, the larger road, slightly longer route, along the Atlantic coast.  "Follow the signs for the Wild Atlantic Way," advised our innkeeper from last night.  We drove to Kilkee, only to find the road closed for repairs.  A construction worker offered directions around. We backtracked nearly to Kilrush, and turned north again. The road was single lane, and the tractors were heading home for the night. The cows were all resting their heads atop the stone walls that lined the road.

We intersected with the N67 again.  Only to find it closed again in less than a kilometer.  We asked directions.  "Go back to Killrush...take the road to Cooraclare"  We did, finally finding the road to Cooraclare.  For more than an hour, the GPS told me it was 45 minutes to our destination, no matter how far we drove, we never got any closer.  A mystical pilgrimage?  Was there a task we needed to do?  A novena to say?

In the end we arrived at the hotel I'd booked us. Late, dark, tired, it looked more like something out of The Shining than anything else. The coffin like base to the narrow bathtub, made me think of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  But the staff in the bar was delightful, we watched Ireland tie Germany in the last 10 seconds of a soccer game, drank cider and ate a good meal.


  1. Sounds wonderful!

  2. Some friends just returned from Ireland and had a delightful time but found the directions a bit frustrating. That's all part of the journey into another land. Glad you're having such a great time.