| Farewell to Inishbofin|
|Tattered flags atop Inishbofin ferry||In the morning, we travel from Inishbofin to Cleggan on the ferry. The seas are choppier than they were yesterday, but somehow the ferry ride is smoother. I think perhaps the captain is going slower, maybe because there are no tourist men in khaki trousers and leather boots standing in the bow to soak. None of the passengers are children, either, so there's no one to send squealing when the boat cuts through a wave and sends spray churning over the side.|
Although Cleggan is about 40 km from Westport, I discovered from examining the bus schedules that it was both more economical and faster for us to travel from Cleggan to Galway and then from Galway to Westport. It means we have to spend our whole day traveling, which isn't so bad except that on the first leg of the journey, I forget my book and the bus is very crowded. I wind up near the back of he bus with a group of vulpine teenagers. No matter what the culture, teenagers always seem to be the same. The quiet ones sit in front, reading their books, looking out windows and feeling outcast. The rest sit in the back, fidgeting, articulating their insecurity and banality at top volume.
|We change buses. Thankfully, this one is mostly empty. An old man in a worn coat sits in front of me and seems to go to sleep. However, perhaps fifteen minutes into our journey he turns to me and taps the top of my newspaper.|
"Look out the window," he says.
I lean forward. "What?" I am too surprised to decipher his accent immediately.
He points out the window. "Look out there and see all those who are gone."
I follow his pointing finger to a large cemetery, packed with gravestones. An old man sat on the border of a plot, rolling a cigarette. His cane lay next to him. I turn back to the man in front of me, but he's fallen asleep again.
In Westport, we find that the hostel I booked screwed up the reservation. It isn't worth hanging around since the hostel doesn't have any space, so we go to another, which turns out to be excellent.
Westport isn't too exciting. We have a beer at one of the old man pubs, but are disinclined to explore too much as the guidebooks universally condemn the place as a giant tourist trap. We return to our hostel and have dinner while eavesdropping on a nearby tour group and call it an early night. Tomorrow's destination has me all fired up, so I find it difficult to sleep. I get a few hours in after finishing Brian Friel's play Translations.
|The most melancholy petrol stations in Ireland|