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ReportsDuring my travels, my compensation for free accommodation for one night, was for me to write a daily travel diary. Of how I got to my next location, the people who would host me, the food I was offered and everything else. Below you find the archives of the highly extensive reports. Know that English is not my native language and most reports were written at high speed around midnight. Enjoy.
Sunday, 1 July 2001
Douglas Village --> Dunmanway (IRL) After last night I needed a good rest, which I had. And then later that afternoon Niamh took me up to a place where I’d meet Liam Fanning, my host for tonight. He lives in Dunmanway, just a bit southwest of Cork.
I think I hit the bed very hard, last night around 2.30am. And I slept on until Fiona woke me up, around 1pm the next afternoon. She said she had to take off to her appointment and that Niamh would arrive back from Dublin around 4pm.
She saw that I was still sleepy and said goodbye. I –honestly- wasn’t there to thank her for all the positive things of yesterday.
Because she indeed bought me lunch and took me to the dog races and she was a very nice lady. I just want to say I never meant to state that she wasn’t nice to me.
We all had some drinking behind our throat and of course that makes everybody different. I may have even been too hard in yesterdays’ report and I apologise firmly if I may have hurt certain people about that.
And the reactions to the previous report were enormous. It was suprising to see how the Irish told me to get a life and that I have been to hard on it all. And what kind of lazy person was I to have a 12 hour sleep?
It might be because I have a different life style and probably the person who asked about my sleep did not see all the previous days I have been travelling.
The non-Irishs’ people mostly emailed me support, writing I probably needed the rest as they also understood I did drunk too much.
I believe it wil stay an one-off occurrence. I will use of alcohol and I will just report on the Irish’ way of live, without getting too much involved in it. But I’ll still be honest in my writings. Whatever happens.
Afterwards I could see my writing was a way of dealing with the fact that I lost drinking to a woman! The Irish will always win, I’ll know for sure!
I hereby admit:
1 – 0 for the Irish…
A little RE from the messageboard:
Jim from Dublin: \"And as for the central issue - Ramon was invited to stay in cork by the girls. On Saturday night there seems to have been a situation which led him to get upset. None of us were there, so we don\'t know exactly what happened, and neither Ramon\'s report nor the postings from the girls present make it any clearer, so it is impossible to jusge for sure where fault, if any, lies.
By the sounds of it, the girls were very hospitable, and Ramon certainly acknowledges this elsewhere in his report and his posting the messageboard. Whatever really happened on Saturday is probably lost in the mists of time already, and best forgotten by the lot of us. Be good everyone..."
A little while after Fiona took off, I decided I had been in the bed enough. Please know, I just use sleep in a different way than people with a 9 to 5 job do.
I took a shower and as I was told I could make myself something to eat in the kitchen downstairs. Tommy wasn’t there either, so I was in the house alone, until Niamh came back.
I was already packed and settled to get on the road again and Niamh only needed a quick shower and a change. She offered me to take me halfway to Dunmanway, where my next hosts live and that was very kind of her.
When we were in the car and she talked to my next host Liam Fanning, who was an old friend of her, he decided to collect me halfway.
Eventually I made it all the way to Dunmanway withouth having to hitchhike to it!
I had already met Liam before, when Niamh took me out to this pub in Cork on last Friday afternoon and I met his wife Christine for the first time.
They were very pleased to meet me and immediately offered to take me down the south coast to show me Irelands’ beauty before even going to their home.
So they took me to the first village we came across, called Clonakilty (also called Ireland’s Best Kept Secret) and as we walked on Main Street Liam took me into De Barra’s Bar, while Christine did some quick shopping to tonights’ dinner.
De Barras Pub is owned by Noel Redding, the gitarist of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and therefor it already was a joy to sit in there.
All the walls and the ceiling was covered with things from the past, music, golden records, guitars, flags, anything was there! Except Noel Redding himself, what would you do in a pub all day? But down in the back of the pub, a lot of bands still play and some of them even grow out big.
Inside we met some friends of Liam, Donald and his girlfriend Olra. We sat down for a chat and as the others drunk a small beer and I just had a 7up.
As we got along again from Clonakilty, Liam and Christine thought I really had to see Castle Freke. The castle has been abondoned since the 14th century and it all looked so mysterious in there. The walls were covered with graffiti, but if you’d look close you could see the really old patterns in the concrete and you can easily imagine that you are walking a room that once probably was the ballroom.
From Castle Freke we went up to see the Dromberg Stone Circle, dating from 100 AD. That was my first time to see an original stone circle in my life and it was very impressive.
With upmost respect I first walked all around it before entering it from the entrance side, just as it is supposed to go and to respect the unknown gods, like Liam explained me this all.
Christine told me all about the nearby kitchen, where stones were heatened up in a fire and water came from a well. Put those things together and you can boil meat in boiling hot water!
From the stone cirlcle we drove along the coastline until I saw this sparkling beach with blue water waves rolling down on it. As I really liked to take a picture of it, Liam stopped and we all got out of the car. We first had to climb down to roadside to get onto the beach, but when we where there I just had to give the camera to Liam and run off into the water.
Yes, my shoes are really waterproof!
Christine sat into the sand and laughed about me running around like a little child. “Ramon, you are mad,” she said. The madness is probably just a little Dutch thing.
From the beach side we drove along the coast into a little village called Glandore, where very expensive houses rise along the shores and the rich tourists would take a break during their sailing in the Atlantic Ocean.
At a little terrace along the road with a beautiful view we had a little refreshment. Liam and Christine like to come here most Sundays, just as their little break out.
And the view is marvellous out here. From the left I could see all the way to the ocean, with two small island called Adam and Eve are at the entrance and to all the way up the right where the harbour of all the luxurous yachts, were down below.
As the sun was going down we decided to head back. It was a very strange feeling to still see the sun shine around 9.30pm. But in the wintertime the sun would already been disappeared around 4.30pm, it is a price to pay.
On the way to their cottage in Dunmanway, Christine called some friends to meet each other at their place and go to the pub tonight. When we arrived, Donald and Olra (from this afternoon) were already waiting outside for us, while Christine’s dog Moll de Gulde protected the house with her barking and showing off her teeth.
Liam and Christine live in an over 100-years-old cottage in the middle of nowhere. They have some land around it, but don’t use all of it as it would just be too much grass to mow… It really looked great to live here between the grass hills and Liam told me that only 10 people would pass their house on a regular day. Amazing.
Their shepherds dog is called Moll de Gulde and named after a very famous Irish tippmann, but I could call her Molly for short.
Inside the little and totally renovated cottage (not built for tall people) Christine made some Mexican burritos with great self-made guacamole.
And George, a friend of Liam, joined the group and after the nice meal, we all six packed ourselves into the car and head off to Ballingurteen (which means Townland of the small field), where we’d go to Tot’s Pub, between the villages Clonakilty and Dunmanway – like everything here: in the middle of nowhere.
So all the people inside the pub knew each other and everybody would now what had happened around lately.
Inside I drunk CocaCola, just because it was wiser for me, while I sat behind an original old school bench.
George was a real pub singer and he also joined Irish Pub Singing Competitions. So when the noise went down inside, George started to sing this Neil Young song. And within a minute, the whole pub was quiet and listening with all respect.
When George finished singing, he received a great hurray from the others and everybody started to look out for the follow-up. Most times one singers warms up an other singer and just a few minutes later this lady at the bar starts to sing a very sad song about Michael Collins.
He was an Irish Patriot and he was killed after he signed the papers saying that 26 counties on this island would be Irish if he would give up the north part of it to the British. Not every independence fighter really agreed with him signing that paper, so he got shot… and died.
A lady at the pub showed me a picture of him in the pub, framed on the wall and said that if he wasn’t killed, there would not be an ongoing struggle in Northern Ireland.
It’s just an amazing experience to be in a real Irish pub where people respectfully silence for a person singing. Everybody goes Ssss or says the word ‘silence’ in Gaelic and everybody would listen.
George and Liam also kicked in some songs. I really didn’t know any of them, but they were very old and serious songs about life.
The bar was closed, the singing was over and Donald and Olra were staying the night over, just like me. So we all got back in the car again, driving with the streets lightened by an almost full moon. Christine brought George home as we got out.
It was a nice day and I wasn’t that tired at all. What would you imagine after so much sleep the last days?
This day was very nice, very inspiring and very impressive.
Very good night Dunmanway!
Telling a teenager the facts of life is like giving a fish a bath -Arnold H. Glassow.
Where is Ramon?
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