I’m writing again from Dublin, a night before my departure back to the states. I’ll make a note now, that though I’m returning at this point, I am going to try desperately to come back, perhaps even as early as late summer. I do love it enough to stay (in fact, I found a lovely town that I would nearly kill to live in), and I am going to check into the legality of getting a job without a work permit. I have heard conflicting reports from various Irish folks I’ve talked to about this, so I am unsure about how that would work out. I would rather not risk getting deported or arrested, but if it is common for foreigners to do so, then I will certainly return. I do need to take care of some things at home that I was unable to do before I left. In all, this has been a good “beginner” course, one that has provided me with good leads, should I return.
Okay, to finish my Stranded story…
My second day on Inisheer proved to be accidental. I was to catch a 10:30 ferry to Inishmore, but the weather made passage impossible. I was stuck, but it was just as well, as I hadn’t yet explored the island. Inisheer is the second largest of the three Aran Isles, and in most people’s opinions, is the least touristy and most interesting. It boasts a very small population, three pubs, an airport, and a lighthouse.
I felt I could explore more judiciously on a bicycle, so I rented one for 8 Euro for the entire day. Good for me, too, because even though the island is small, it still has some very long roads, almost all uphill. I rode to the end of the island, near where the lighthouse is situated, and discovered an old wreck. The discarded and rusting hulk of a ship cast aground many years ago, abandoned to the mercies of the weather and sea, its size and loneliness frightened me, and I dared not explore inside through the twisted and broken hole in its hull. I contented myself to rest for a moment on the rocks below, desperately holding on to my hat and wishing I had brought some water. The air smelled of stale fish scents and tires; a very curious and disagreeable smell. It sat in my nostrils and I wanted to be away quickly from that place. After only a few minutes there, I mounted my bike and began the trek back.
There are a remarkable number of stone walls on the islands, just as there are on Ireland proper. Going back hundreds of years, these walls perform double duty, protecting their animals (cows, horses, sheep, and even the occasional goat) from weather and containing them. Additionally, the cleared land is now pasture which the animals graze.
I negotiated to the top of the hill, where simple stone houses and the barest of dwellings sat. The land here is mournful, and the yards and homes reflect this. They are sometimes decorated with flowers and herbs, small gardens under windows and next to walls, but other than that, they are quite bare. There is a homely feel there, a mixture of comfort and striving against the harshness of nature and the difficulty of island life.
Other than the two major “sights” on the island, it is unremarkable. Miles of stone walls, and a few hundred cattle and horses. But that was enough to keep me occupied, and I enjoyed my time exploring, sometimes simply riding and enjoying the view of the Atlantic Ocean from the very top of the island. An impressive sight.
I enquired about leaving in the morning, and being tired from the day’s exploration, turned in around 6:30 for a nap. This sadly turned into a 6 hour sleep, upon which I woke up and listened to the rain and began work on my second screenplay. I was strangely uninspired to write any on my Irish script, and I dare not wonder or question the Muse which directed me instead to write my serial killer story.
Day 3 follows.