Although we have had good practice at transit days, they haven’t necessarily been getting easier. We woke up before the sun, and rode a taxi that smelled of stale cigarettes to the bus station. The morning felt like a scene in a movie or television show where the scenery and periferal characters seem to be moving on fast forward while the protaganists are carried along on a conveyor belt. First it was the cold wind, then a bus emptying and filling of people going to their every day jobs, while we stared bleary eyed on the biggest adventure of our lives to date. Another cold wind greeted us at the still pre-dawn shuttle to the airport, and another silent speeding bus brought us on still farther.
It was there that it seemed that we were finally asked to resume the speed of the real world. A foot tapping wait in line for security lead to a rushed checklist: take off belt, liquids in bag, check keys, jacket, coins, iPod, laptop. Through the metal detector foot still tapping waiting for our belongings to catch up to us, we shoved on shoes, and clutching belt, jacket, backpack, and powercord to my chest, I ran after Chris. Our gate, of course was through, down, accross, up, down, and a few turns away– at the very last gate, where we found our place in the very back of the line to board our plane to Ireland.
The rest of the trip was in and out of poor sleep, on a short plane ride to Dublin, and a four hour bus ride to Ballina, Co. Mayo. I was still shaking the sleep from my eyes, wondering what the next step was, and heaving my massive backpack over to a bench when I heard, “Emilie, hello!” from a woman in a BBC newsreader British accent. Perplexed, I turned, and there was Clair, ready for a hug.
Chris and I popped into her car, and through the “Wild West of Ireland” as Clair called it, we drove to our new home in Castlenageeha.
Each trip of our journey, we have been heading North. It seems that just as the weather in one place is starting to become really lovely and warm, we decide to travel North again. I had been worried that this stop would land us in snow, which, quite frankly, I have not been missing this winter. However, instead of grey and bleak countryside with depressed sheep plodding through the muck, the Emerald Isle revealed itself to us.
We had arrived in paradise. Our new home was built by Clair several years ago . It is surrounded by small, long fields dotted with sheep and cow, and thanks to our springtime arrival, calves and lamb frolic on the regular. The stone floors of the house are heated from below, a jaccuzi tub in one corner, and the other half of the tiled room is haloed by a rain type shower head. The kitchen was designed and stocked by a chef (our host), and the view from the living room (and our private suite) look out across a verdant field onto the bay. Accross the bay, stand grass covered dunes to the right speckled with windmills, and at night it is easy to see the small village in the neighboring county by the string of sparkling lights that line the shore. This is our home base, a dreamy ending to our adventure, complete with outdoor cats, and lapdogs, the wide open spaces and the warm welcome cause my chest to swell– lungs full with sweet air, and heart open and full of peace.