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Adjustments Part II

One of the most noticeable adjustments in the time I have been gone, apart from changes in the lives of friends and relations, is the oil price: at the time I was gone, it was soaring at 140 dollars, now it is down to wait, 116 and a few odd cents.

This was noticeable in Eire, of course. As we set off, petrol was selling for up to 145 cents per litre, upon retuning to Dublin, we could fill up for about 10 cents less.

The problem with the pastoral scenes, mentioned below, is that, once you get out of the car, you are stuck bang in the middle of them. This also means being immersed in the side-effects. They are also mentioned above. After a week of these and accompanying scenic effects, such as cows, hunchbacked horses and loads and heaps of sheep (where all that knitted and woven Irish wear comes from), a life-long city boy starts to yearn for the polluted canyons of a city. I got those too, later on.

Renting a cottage in Port Nua (or Port Noo), next to Narin, Naran, An Fhearthainn (or Narinein French), proved to be a bit of a search, but well worth it. For a week, we lived in the last cottage in Ireland, on a hilltop, surrounded by hill, glenn, ocean and stone. We also had spectacular beaches, celtic dolmens, crabs, yummy dinners, stinking pubs (generations of frying since 1905).We undertook drives to dramatic scenery, explored the lost caves, found sand paths to Inis Caoli, hacked our way through forests of fern and did all the usual touristy stuff.

After about a week and a half of this, we rode into Dublin, which proved to be an interesting agglomeration of architecture, incomprehensible to the fleeting visitor and unexplorable due to a Bank Holiday Monday which means that everything closed at five. Cue lots of frustrated reading.

We left through an awfully staffed, terribly expensive and absolutely vast airport, with more hand luggage than is healthy. Why is it that many countries don't understand that, most of the time, their airports are the first and last impression of their people the visitor retains? It would be so simple to enhance the traveling experience through friendly and informative airport staff, which should be easy to find a a country filled predominantly with friendly and generally helpful people.

But despite this final reminder as to the grating unpleasantness of contemporary travel, it was a nice trip.

Good fun Ireland


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