Leinster, Ireland

October 10th to October 20th, 2002

Thursday & Friday - October 10th & 11th

We arrived in a dreary and rainy Dublin early - about 8:30 a.m. After a longish wait for our baggage, we looked at the possibility of buying a cell phone (too expensive), tried to change our return to the 23rd from the 20th (plane was full) and successfully bought a couple of hiking maps. Then we took the Air Link bus to Heusten Station, passing through the center of Dublin along the Liffey River. We were amazed by the narrowness of the bus lanes, uneasy to be driving on the opposite side of the road and clockwise on the roundabouts.

Bon was jetlagged and queasy but we managed a scone at the railroad station and bought tickets for Carrick-on-Suir.

On the train, we sat across a man and his son from Donegal who were headed to Cork for a conference. The father was dressed in a suit and tie with a cardigan sweater and had a “Promise” lapel pin, signifying that he had not had a drink for over 25 years. The son said there weren't too many pin-wearers around anymore! The father, particularly friendly, told me the Irish word for seagull was similar to the surname Phalen. He also introduced us to magpies, large black and white birds we saw from the train.

Dense clouds and rain moderated as we changed trains at Limerick Junction. The flat countryside we passed near Dublin became more hilly and green. We saw the ruins of one castle on the right before Limerick and what we thought was the Rock of Cashel in the distance.

When we disembarked at Carrick-on-Suir, we were alone in the empty station. Adjusting our packs and walking towards town, we soon came upon a park with large trees where we asked a young woman for directions. She indicated the way to the center of town clearly and directly.

As we walked up a major side street, we experienced our first waft of the smell of peat or “turf” burning. I asked a young French woman we passed if she knew of any B&Bs in the town and she directed us to Fatima's. We did not go there initially but walked the cozy main street of the town in the drizzle.

At Fatima’s, we met Dick Gaule who had one last room with bathroom – en-suite, as they say – € 50.00 with breakfast. He recommended possibilities for dinner, offering us a ride to the pub. We acquiesced and I started to get in the passenger side only to find the steering wheel there! Dick drove us into the town where we picked one of his pubs and had cod and chicken with beer and wine.

After dinner, Bon noted that it had stopped drizzling – this lasted for about three blocks. We walked around the town again, passing a fair with Ferris wheel in the park, phoning Patrick, and buying some supplies at a grocery store. We then returned to our little room (a great improvement over our first room in Tende which had no windows).

South Leinster Way to Inistioge and bus to Kilkenny

(Click on map to enlarge.)

Copyright 2002 Donald R. Chauncey - All rights reserved