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During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
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Reports

Friday, 6 July 2001
Galway --> Connomara --> Galway (IRL)

About Onno showing me around the Connemara mountains and I dived into the sea at Dog's Bay. I love it, I love it, I love it! (No, I will not stay here, but I understand if other Dutch do)...
After my second night in Galway, Onno took me out again. I just had to see more of Ireland before I would leave the country – a very good reason to stick around here a couple of days on his invitation.

This day would be all about the Connemara mountain range, west of Galway.

As we drove west, leaving the city, we crossed different little villages, where English is not the first language. Even all city signs and directions were in original Irish and I cannot even pronounce it correctly.

An Spidéal would be the name of Spiddle, Indreabhán is Inverin, Scrib is Screebe and (just try it:) An Toach Dóite Crosaire an Mháma is translated into English as Maam Cross.

They did not want to make it to difficult for us...

And as we travelled through those places the view on the countryside would change again, just like yesterday in the Burren. Trees would disappear and the only thing we could see for miles was green gras, brown hills and rocks. A lot of rocks.

We drove through the hill areas and along the coastline of the west coast of Ireland and the scenery was just immense. And as lucky as we were again: the sun was shining and the sky was almost clear blue.

We drove all the way along a village called Roundstone and Onno wanted to show me Dogs’ Bay (all below on this map), where an eyestunning beach really rocked me.

As we walked along the white sand beach (the sand is pure white as it is not formed of quartz grain but of shells only), knee deep in the clear water, I was amazed by the beauty of it.

On one side I could see the mountains and on the other side I just looked straight on to the Atlantic Ocean.

As I was getting wet anyway, splashing around, going into the water as far as I could, I thought: Hell with it and I jumped in all the way.

And on some places the water was biting cold, but in the far corner of the bay a stream of warm water made it all pleasant.

Onno played the sunbathing father and I was the little kid, who got to the beach for the first time in his life.

Onno said it reminded him of beaches he had seen in Thailand: white beaches and such a clear water. Just remove the rocks along the beach with palm trees and you were there.

And I never knew the water could be so see-through in any way, so close to my homeland. I only thought that would be possible in unspoiled areas in the tropics.

There were not many people on the beach. However the sun shined, it still was pretty windy.

So when I got out of the water I imagined I would catch a cold, but that would then also be the prize for this tropical sensation. (Am I still in Ireland, by the way?)

On our way back, through the Connemara, I sat on a plastic back, not to spoil the car seat with wetness and sand.

As we got home in Galway again, Colette was already back from her work. It was already getting night.

After yesterdays’ pizza Onno wanted to prove himself again as a good cook and he achieve something pretty fine: chicken legs with enough vegetables and original Dutch spicy sateh sauce.

Just to feel a little at home, I think.

We kept it with this tonight. Going out is not a thing a lot of Irishmen do every night, eventhough they say that the best remedy against a hangover is another drink.

So as Colette went to bed and Onno tried to find a good movie on television, I reported about the last nights on his computer.

How could I ever reflect back to my hometown while living this life? Impossible and just too enjoyable.

Good night again, Galway!

Ramon.




Interviewer: Do you feel you are a star?
No. I do see stars sometimes, though.



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