No WiFi today, Saturday, the storm knocked it out. So, if there are several posts from me in a row, you know why. I’ve gotten into a kind of rhythm of doing things, once I get up, though my sleep patterns are still very strange. I get drowsy and tired around 8-9pm, but I do not let myself go to sleep. Then what ends up happening is I am up until 1 or 2am. I was up until about 3:30 am this morning because of the crazy wind storm! I could not get settled down. Once I am up, I get the fire going, start the kettle for tea and sit down to do morning pages.
Today I woke up around 8:30am, noticed it looked like a gorgeous day outside, and promptly went back to sleep. I thought I heard a knock at door through my dreams. I climbed down out of the loft to find Steph at the door. She checked to see if I wanted to go in to Tulla with her, or needed anything. I opted to stay at the cottage. We talked about going to Peppers Pub in Feakle Sunday night for dinner and some music. And I think I am going to Ennis with her on Monday for a few hours. I consulted with her about the direction my walk took me yesterday, and found out I was on the road to getting to Feakle.
I had a few leftover dishes to do. As I was standing doing dishes and absent-mindedly looking out at the road through the kitchen window, I noticed a boy dumping something from the folds of his sweatshirt at the end of the drive. A pile of something or other, but I couldn’t tell. And then he picked them up one by one and started throwing them up the hill. I learned later these were pinecones. He and a friend looked to be having a pitched battle, though I could not see the other party. Laughing while jumping around in his knee-high wellies with sweat pants tucked in, I realized boys are quite the same from one side of the world to the other.
After talking to Steph, I decided to go exploring further up the road. She told me there is a bridge and she often will walk to that point, and then turn around and come back. I decided to give it a shot. It was nice, but cool. We had sun, rain, wind, sleet and hail. I bundled up, grabbed my camera and headed out. I headed back up the hill and came to the crossroads where I could go right and head into Feakle. The rain would blow in, and just as quickly move West through the glen. You could see the rain coming, and then feel it pass over and move on. Steph told me to start walking when the weather is bad, because then you’ll get the sun. And, she was right. I got all of it. And it was exhilarating!
I met several dogs, all of who were very friendly. Some would run and jump and walk with me down the road until I passed some invisible property line. They would bark and bid me farewell as I continued on. Several tractors passed me, more than once. I did meet a few people along the way, and as always, plenty of cattle and horses.
I came upon some farmers trying to corral their cattle. They had switches and were yelling and cursing at them and chasing them into the shed. Running up and down the hills, climbing over rock walls and guarding any possible exit, I think they finally got them in. Photos would have been awesome, but I’m not sure they would have appreciated them at the time, as they appeared to be getting a bit frustrated.
When out walking, everyone says hi or waves as they drive by. I do have to be careful because these are very rural roads, almost one lane most of the time. But, well-maintained. And there are always driveways or areas I can step off the road into to be safe. The drivers are not that crazy though, and always slow when they see me.
East County Clare, which is where I am, is quite the walking country, or so I have learned. There is a walking trail called “The East Clare Way”, and I am not very far from intersecting with it. It is 172 km in length, and encircles the area I am staying in. I saw trail head markers for it yesterday. After I got back to the cottage I found some information on the routes.
There is one walk I want to try called “Ballycroum”. I think I most likely walked right by the trailhead yesterday, but did not realize it. It passes by some megalithic tombs, over the Maghera river and partially follows the East Clare Way. It took me a little time to get oriented to where I am. Out in the country, there are not well-marked streets or addresses, just signs pointing you to here or there.
Once I can get back on WiFi, I will upload more pictures of my journey today on Flickr, where you can view them all at your leisure. As I came back to the cottage, at one point a rainbow touched down over the valley. I did not realize how beautiful this area is. It is so nice to have time to wander around and explore. The area is beautiful. I do not mind at all that it is so rural, and I don’t even mind not having WiFi. I seem to have plenty to fill my days, between cooking, tending the fire, doing dishes, walking, reading and writing. It’s very soothing and restful. I could get used to this kind of life.
All of my newest photos are here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/128803341@N02/