Friday, September 23, 2011

Where the Grass is Greener: Day 2

Kenmare, Ring of Kerry

After a night’s sleep that felt deeper than a black hole, we got dressed hurriedly in time for breakfast. Our hostess brought out the infamous Irish breakfast, a plate of every kind of animal, meat and delicious fat. The slices of bacon were Canadian-style: thick and salty ham. The sausages were juicy. My favorites were the fried medallions of pudding: one was grayish and full of pork and cereal, the other was dark and made of blood. She said that she made the pudding herself. The whole plate was set off by charred pieces of tomato and potato. This would be the first of many devastating breakfasts.

As we set off towards Kenmare, the sky was rainless and the roads were narrow. Disobeying trees and bushes lined the slim strips of cement and I stifled a gasp every time a bus came careening from the opposite direction. I squealed over quant little houses with brightly painted doors and window frames, some rose red, others royal blue. M relished the driving and would bark out orders at me to take pictures of the scenery.

By the time we had dropped off our things at the Abbeycourt bed & breakfast, the afternoon was already nearing evening so we decided to have a quick picnic inside an abandoned church next door. The gray stone walls were overtaken by vines and its floor was now a bed of weeds, yellow buttercups and wild bushes. We perched ourselves on one of the windows, feet dangling, gazing over the cemetery and fields in the distance. Our sandwiches had too much mustard, the wind was whipping and a drizzle started to descend, but nothing could have been more magical than that picnic in the ruins. I thought of the people who used to come here every Sunday and the priest who thumped his sermons. As the drizzle started resembling rain, we ran back to the car and went on to the Ring of Kerry... More >>