Thumbing and Bumming, A Ballybunion experience for the books.

hitch

It’s exactly what you think.

One of the oldest methods of getting around in the book. It is now I can say, I too, have done it(successfully).

After leaving Galway, I decided I wanted to go to a beach. Being from Florida, I guess it’s no surprise that I was dying to swim in the ocean. So, I checked out, headed for the train station, and started making my way out west.

The journey consisted of 1 train and 1 bus, all together it was about 5 hours, and I landed in a town called Listowel.

The map was showing me that I was about 10 miles from the beach, but there are no busses that drop you off there. Damn. So close, yet so far. But I was determined to get there, and so I took off on foot.

It is, after all, Irelandso with having a pub to choose from literally every 5 steps you take, I stopped and had my much deserved beer.

Here is where I met the bartender, her name was Claire. She was a very pretty, younger looking woman who seemed to know everyone who was there by name. In between her bursts of being bombarded by thirsty Irish folks, she’d swing by and chat with me.

Ballybunion. I told her that’s where I was headed. She said it was beautiful and definitely a must see. Then, with her heavy accent, she asked me if I was “tumbing

Barley understanding what she was saying, I gave her a confused look. She repeated herself, and did the “thumbs up” hitch hiking gesture. Ohh thumbing! The idea had not even crossed my mind, so of course I answered with a yes, yes I am. She was certain I would get a ride, since it is a smaller town and everyone was friendly for the most part. So I finished my drink and continued off on foot, in the direction in which she pointed.

“Am I really going to do this right now?”  I asked myself.

In my head: Shit, it’s a 10 mile walk, it’s extremely hot, the road is busy, there’s no sidewalk,the cars are flying passed me…

I’m cracking up,  I was sweating, but still dying laughing cause I just could not believe I was actually doing this. Still laughing at myself, I stuck my thumb out and kept walking.

Not even 5 minutes went by and someone pulled over for me. It was a guy and a girl, the guy was in a wheelchair, driving one of those crazy handicapped little black vans, and the girl was in the passenger’s seat. They seemed ok to me and so I hopped in. We were chatting it up, you know, “what’s your name, where are you from, where are you going” blah blah blah the usual. The girl mentioned that we were coming up on a bar that her sister and brother in law owned and asked if I wanted to stop.

You already know my answer to that.

So we stopped, and there was a good crowd of people there. Everyone knew each other and they introduced me to the bunch. It was great, it felt just like home. The weather was nice so all the people there were very happy. One girl said it’s the first time in a long while that she’s gotten to wear her sunglasses. Crazy how back home we take the sunshine for granted.

Anyways, after that, they took me the rest of the way to Ballybunion. Filled with gratitude, I probably thanked them a million times.

Finally, I finally made it.

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Not going to lie, the environment made me feel a little bit out of place. Mostly everyone there was on a family vacation, I was a fish out of water. I could definitely feel the judgement from people as I walked around, but screw it, I bet they all wish they could have as much fun as me.

The only hostel I found was completely full, shit. Gotta keep looking. Still don’t really care though, worst case scenario, I set up shop on the beach.

Walking, walking, walking, taking in the awesome views, and then…

boom! I found it. A small restaurant/bar/hotel on the top of the hill.  Nothing too special, but not terrible. The people hanging out there seemed alright, good location, why not?

I go inside and ask if they have any rooms and sure enough they did. Here I met a chick named Fiona. She was pretty much like me. Working at the hotel check in counter to get by, living by the beach. Yea, you get it.

She was amazed that I was going around the whole country by myself and kept saying I was so brave. Anyways, she got me a sweet deal on the room because she thinks girls should look out for one another. Something I’ve spent damn near my whole life preaching made its way back to me. I was so excited.

This was the view from my balcony

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Not quite sure where I’m headed next, but I guess anything can happen!

much love

-Erin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Gift Of Galway

I arrived at the airport in Shannon and had no idea what to do where to go from there. It was 8am so I knew I at least had all day to figure it out. As soon as I got off the flight and went outside, I spotted an old man sitting on a bench, smoking, who appeared to be waiting for a bus. It was then I simply asked him “Where should I go?”

He recommended heading to Galway to start, mentioning there was plenty to do and pointing out that it would be easy to find a hostel to stay at as well. He told me he came to Ireland for the weekend, 25 years ago.

I thanked him for the help, went back inside the airport to a little vending machine that printed bus tickets, and got mine right then and there. It cost me $11 for the ticket, and the bus got there about 30 minutes later.

The ride was very smooth and there was a lot of beautiful, green scenery to watch pass by while looking out the window.IMG_8185

 

I managed to find this hostel when I finally got to Galway.filename-kinlay-hostel.jpg

After checking in, I ended up walking for the remainder of the day. I made sure to drink a Guinness (or 2) at the pub. Then by the time 6 or 7 rolled around I was so exhausted from all the travel, I felt disgusting, and I was ready to call it a day. So, that’s just what I did.

The next day I got on a bus and here’s what I saw:

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After another day of covering a lot of ground, I’m calling it a day, early. Tomorrow I plan to migrate but I have yet to know where, or how. Stay tuned!

-Erin