Today’s Theme: ‘I guess I’m a loner; confirmed’
I should be used to shared dorm life by now but this morning was still a rude awakening. Noise I can handle but light is just rude at such an ungodly hour.
But I have nowhere to go until 10.30 this morning anyway so I go down to the dining room and chat to others about their plans for the day. For me it’s a tour of the Ring of Kerry but for others it’s walking and cycling in the national park for which I now feel like an old hat doling out advise on the best paths and spots for excellent views. Not even 4 days and I’m an expert.
The weather’s not great today but not bad either. It’s still warm enough to not put on my puffy jacket and sunny enough to potentially take some nice photos.
At 10 I get cabin fever and leave the hostel to visit a few music shops I saw on google maps. They’re cute shops but nothing calls out to me – I was considering an Irish pin whistle but the cheapest I can find are made in China and not worth the €10; no surprise.
Still with time left before my tour I head over to the corner opposite the small church and people watch until it’s time to check in.
Paddywagon’s Ring of Kerry tour is the pick of the day. I’ve used them before when I traveled around Ireland with Maxine in 2013 and really enjoyed the driver’s story telling each time. I watch other tour buses come and go and still ours doesn’t show. I had read a review that said the bus was late but I assumed it was just a bad day. There are two groups waiting – Ring of Kerry goers and Dingle Peninsula goers. A staff member calls out the register and a number of people aren’t here but at this stage it’s not really fair on the number of people waiting to hold up the tour for them – and yet they do hold it up.
My plan tonight of ice cream at the famous Murphy’s and Logan at the cinema are starting to fade when the staff finally makes another appearance and walks us 15minutes away to a coach park.
We board the bus to find it is packed to the brim already. I have to almost forcibly move a grumpy dude’s phones from a seat just to sit down. He huffs at me and refuses to stop his man spreading so my feet dangle awkwardly into the aisle. Later it turns out he is a smoker and so every stop I am bombarded with a new cloud of tobacco next to me.
We make a few stops as the driver tells his stories although it clear from the start that these guys have been on since cork and clearly we are stepping onto the bus somewhere halfway through the chapter of tales.
Both the stories and the sights are not worth mentioning. I feel completely separated from the past few days on my self lead adventures – they were touristy but on completely different levels. I’m being shuttled around to each mandatory stop and forced to enjoy the selected views only. Why I thought this was a good idea I don’t know. All I can think is about the tour ending and at least being able to say I have been around the whole ring of kerry.
We stop in Waterville for the beach and Charlie Chaplin and unfortunately are unable to see anything of the Skellig islands due to the clouds. Our lunch stop is pure tourist bait and prices are ridiculous. I opted for a glad wrapped (hard-as-a-rock) egg sandwich and it still ran up €11.90. I was then awkwardly shuffled onto someone else’s table who ignored my existence entirely.
I ate quickly and moved outside to at least feel less claustrophobic but was immediately joined by a smoker standing a foot away from me. No respite.
The rest of the tour is again pretty average and I am relieved when we finally get back to Killarney. I don’t think I’ve ever power walked as fast away from that bus and down to the main street for some ice cream.
After ice cream I have some time to kill before the movie so I head back to the hostel and hang out in the lounge with some people talking about life and work and redundancy. It was exactly what I needed – real, not forced social interaction.
At 6pm I head over to the cinema to watch Logan – loved it. Really want to watch it again. I head back to the hostel and later at midnight the lights are still on in the dorm so I pull the granny card and ask everyone to either turn off their lights or leave the room – people are trying to sleep!
Tomorrow I have no plans what so ever. I think I want to go back to Muckross Abbey and Lake but I’m not really certain and my body is killing me (it’s a 5lm walk just to the exterior of the park). Otherwise maybe I can find a random bus to some place? We shall see. Whatever I do I’d like to avoid humans at all cost. Today was too much of an overload.