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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Bounty Information | Wanted Dead or Alive: Mad Scientess Nanila
Deeds of Derring-Do | Full of Wild Inaccuracies and Exaggerations

Day 1: Getting lost [20060626|23:16]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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Torc Falls


omniana and I left London on the 5:00 AM Gatwick Express. Everything went smoothly until we got to the departure lounge, where the signboard told us to "Please Wait" for a gate specification right up until our flight was supposed to leave. Then it said, "Delayed Until 8:25." We were not amused. We went to eat breakfast and grumble until the sign said "Board Gate 9." Gleefully, we rushed to Gate 9, sat there for a bit and boarded.

Then we sat inside the plane at the gate for another hour because, well. Nobody on board could actually fly the plane. The pilot had gotten stuck in traffic en route to the airport. Our bike-riding resolve began to waver until, over three hours late but moving fast, our pilot arrived and we took off. One hour and a complimentary soft drink later (big conciliatory gesture from EasyJet), we landed in Cork. We dashed through immigration, jumped on a bus to the center of town and then on a train to Killarney. We had to change at scenic Mallow, home to a large Darigold Corporation plant. We only had an hour during which to sample Mallow's charms before our train went, but I think we managed to do a fairly thorough job of it.

By the time we got to Killarney and rented our bikes, panniers and helmets, it was nearly 4 PM. We had five hours in which to get to Kenmare, 31 km away, which should have been easily doable.

Except that we messed it up, led astray by the vague maps in omniana's cycling route book. We sailed cheerily through the first half of the journey, even while I was adjusting to the notion of being on a bicycle that wasn't affixed to a gym floor for the first time in years.

Until we took a wrong turn. Befuddled by a sign at a T-junction that claimed the trail we were following continued in two different directions, one down a paved road, the other down a gravel path, we selected the latter. We should have realized we had followed the hiking trail that runs between the Peakeen and Mangerton mountains after being forced off our bikes for the fifth time by the steep, rock-covered tracks. Or possibly after the seventh stream we had to ford by pushing our bikes through them while hopping from stone to stone. But we didn't.

Once we recognized our mistake, we dealt with our predicament with perfect lady-like aplomb. There was no falling in the dirt, no swatting frantically at the midges devouring our tender flesh, and absolutely no cursing whatsoever. Honest.

We finally rolled into Kenmare at 8:15 PM, having stretched a journey that should have taken much less time to four hours by dint of extreme cleverness. We checked into the lovely hostel where we had a dorm room all to ourselves, some very hot showers and then Chinese food, served with a choice of rice or chips. Chips. Very authentic. I don't think anyone turns up her nose at a nice hot meal after an afternoon of pushing a laden bike up a mountain on a hiking trail, though.

omniana's take on the day's events.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2006-07-01 14:33 (UTC)
Is there still a small French restaurant and B&B in Kenmare? 20 odd years ago I rolled into Kenmare on spec and decided to stay there. The breakfast was so good (and so un-Irish - great coffee and fresh squeezed OJ) that I decided to stay another night and dine there. I was rewarded with the best meal I have ever eaten in Ireland and which was truly spectacular for Ireland in the 1980s.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-07-01 18:17 (UTC)
I don't remember seeing anything that wasn't pretty much standard Irish fare except for the Chinese restaurant, sadly. Otherwise I think we would have pounced on it!
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[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2006-07-01 18:20 (UTC)
I imagine that if it were still there you would have noticed. It's not like there are that many distractions in Kenmare!
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2006-07-02 07:27 (UTC)
Eeee! Have I told you lately how much I adore your travelogues? *scuttles off to 'memory' with glee*

And incidentally, I'm trying *really* hard to not snicker & tut-tut in dismay at once... ;)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-07-02 10:55 (UTC)
Even if you had told me recently, I don't mind hearing it again. These entries never get many comments so often after I post them, I have moments of doubt and uncertainty about whether or not it's worth it to put in the effort. I know I should be doing them for myself, and mostly I am, but since I'm sharing them here it's nice to know that they're enjoyable to others.

Man, you should have heard us up on that mountainside. I bet those sheep thought a couple of sailors were passing through.
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[User Picture]From: taische
2006-07-03 00:54 (UTC)
I have to echo danaid_luv's love of your travelogue entries! My mind's eye often paints you transitioning between your human state and something vaguely edge-of-anime as your descriptions unfold. And the cursing on the mountainside.... an almost-tangible haze of profanity flowing out over rocks and moss. Precious. It is so good to read your posts again; I think a lot of us were starting to suffer withdrawal.
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[User Picture]From: sadira42
2006-07-05 14:30 (UTC)
Mmm, Chinese food and chips. And rice. Put it all on there! More starch! More carbs!

Heh.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-07-07 18:22 (UTC)
Add a dash of MSG for further excitement and adventure!
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2006-07-08 17:18 (UTC)
Hey, as this is a public post, would you mind if I did a cut & paste to your story to share w/ the fam? My brother & his wife are currently in Ireland for another week maybe, and regardless, this is a riot story and I know the clan at large would appreciate it.

(I'd cut & move because they're unaware that I journal) Heh.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2006-07-08 21:33 (UTC)
Go right ahead! I'm delighted if our extremely well-orchestrated adventures give a few more people a laugh.
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2006-07-13 08:07 (UTC)
Excellent! (Sorry for the delay in responses--I've been being manly & burly at the fam's work, which leaves precious little time for anything else).
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