Branden's Trip 2008 travel blog

This country Ireland I will remember for the drunken and weathered fiddler singing on the corner. I will remember for the three cold damp nights spent huddled in the backseat of a rental car. This country I will remember for the horseback ride through a boggy forest. I will remember for the hives. I will remember for the seacoast view.

I arrived in the morning around ten o'clock and proceeded directly to the tourist information desk. Where once I was embarassed to in any way shape or form be identified with a wide eyed tourist mass all such frivolous concerns have given way to the necessity for one to gain orientation and bearing about a foreign city. No time can be afforded to waste on empty wanderings dragging along heavy bags which can rob one of energy. This is not a contradiction to a previous statement that confirms the value of aimless wanderings. My point is only that such wanderings must be of the relaxed and weightless kind. Not the burdened. Often nothing but exhaustion and frustration result from such misplaced efforts which are only compounded in direct relation to effort exerted. Near Digression.

Over to the right of the exit terminal i see a long beautiful row of eager car rental bars. The beauty soon fades as I approach counter after counter and receive vast differences in quotes which suddenly deflate as I place my wallet back in my coat pocket.

"Its a lot of money" I say.

"Well I can give you a free upgrade!" one says.

"One day complimentary." "I can do it cheaper." "Where did you get that quote?" say the others and I am now reminded of a marketplace where one must haggle a decent price for an unbruised apple. I wasn't expecting this.. I wasn't expecting to hammer out a deal on a BRAND NEW CAR!

After several attempts and a few minutes of negotiation an agreement is reached. I reach for my driver's license and suddenly remember in my haste to catch an early morning bus to the airport I have left it as a deposit for a room in Prague. No one will rent a car without a proper license. I'm determined however and after two roundtrip bus rides an hour of internet research that seemed like 10 minutes nearly twenty attempts to reach a busy line and one blotted black and white fax later....I find the appropriate rental place is out of cars due to St. Patrick's holiday weekend. The man is east indian however and ask if he speaks Punjabi. He is stunned to hear a tongue he recognizes and soon I find out that just between me and him... there is an office just out of the city center. That I should book over the internet and I'll get better rates than over the counter. I followed his advice and booked the car that evening. I resigned to begin my roadtrip early the following morning. After a nights rest I did just so.

A beautiful experience well worth the effort. I travelled through town after town making my way down the east coast of the island. I made my way through arklow and wicklow counties until I arrived in Kerry county.

The first night I arrived late and after eating a delicious dinner I realized it was too late to find a reasonable place to sleep. So after a few mintues of investigation I found a nice well lit parking area and bundled up in the back seat of my rental. I have not experienced a night so cold in a long time. The kind of sleep that came was the tense kind. Muscles tight this way and that struggling between balancing myself upon the bench or of appropriatly spreading each square inch of my coat over critical areas or undoing the cramp generating in my leg. My muscles were occupied with the work of squeezing and hanging onto every conceivable bit of heat my shivers could generate. Each imperceivable block of time seperated by passing car or the bitter chill. After the night wretched by and morning approached i wearily promised myself i would not do that again. Not without something to keep me warm. The following morning I made that promise to myself once again and even the next morning after that I repeated the words I knew I would break. One part of me didnt mind anymore and the promise was hollow. The other side meant Word for the sake of my self. Words of comfort and hope. Words that I knew I would not follow through with but would aide in the next nights endurance.

The days themselves passed by with wonderful events. Great experiences such as running along the atlantic coast, bounding over steep ocean rock which would not allow a foot to slip. Smelling the brisk air rush past me on the winding coastal road. One day I even rode a horse named budweiser and learned how to trot him. Days and days that i would not trade but it is the nights that stick with me. Subdue my memory. I would not trade these either.

Pictures I will have to share when I get home. there is just no time!!!

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