Day Twenty-five: June 27th
We had one more brunch with our gathered family at Janet and Finbarr’s. There were homemade walnut cinnamon rolls, kugel and scones—Janet is a master baker—delicious quiches, sausage, fruit, and loads of coffee and tea. Everybody ate to bursting. After breakfast Jevon’s friends from medical school followed Liam to the water’s edge where a small stone pier lay low to flatten out the rocks. Liam threw in a last handful of Jevon’s ashes and about ten brave friends followed Jevon one more time into adventure. They had stripped down to skivvies and lowered themselves quickly into the sea for a screech-filled swim around the stone point.
Before leaving this week’s group we corralled them all in the kitchen to sing a video-taped rendition of Happy Birthday for Irene who turned 21 this day. Posted on Facebook she could see all of her cousins, uncles, aunts and new babies and hear good wishes for an official adulthood. The process of saying goodbye was a long one; many times the goodbye was also an introduction as often happens with a big group. Just saying goodbye required a number of questions and conversations.
We left to return to the Ring of Terror. Though there were as many coaches full of tourists as on our first day, at least we were going in the same direction as they were. They proved valuable sweepers, sending all oncoming traffic scurrying to the pockets of refuge off the side of the road. We will never go against the current on that road again.
We traveled through Killarney National Park on our way to Ennis, the largest town in County Clare and another well-known sweet spot for traditional music. Killarney National Park is gorgeous. Parts of it seem as wild and remote as anyplace on earth, yet five kilometers away it resembles the manicured grounds of an estate. The scenery was enticing but the press of flesh at all turnouts was enough that we didn’t stop except for a brief look at the Torc Waterfall. Steve waited a long time to get a shot without a flamingly bright orange-jacketed rock-hopper.
Killarney National Park
We checked into our B and B, the Clare Manor, hauled our stuff inside and went walking around town. This was a Saturday night and the narrow coiling roads were full of young people. The women wore very high heels and very short skirts. There is a new fashion trend which I think is a little bit clueless in effect. Imagine the pleat that allows movement in pencil skirts pulled around front to reside in a place of pride — dead center. As these young women walked they flashed a signal which I wonder if they were aware of. Young men in packs of threes smoked and leaned against walls, rugby shirts and khakis and posturing. Steve described the town as a river of pheromones in flood.
The bars were so packed it was exhilarating to enter them with the only goal of seeing how far you could penetrate. There were no tables within view of the sliver of space in which to pass. The revelers were of all ages. Brogan’s Bar coiled around and through rooms for a full block width, some inside, some outside— full of smoke. We finally found one bar around ten o’clock that had one table and a quiet bar. Within a half hour the place was full of people. By far the most numerous were in two separate bachelorette parties. One group of twenty women were all dressed to the nines, the bride-to-be wore a Miss America sash that read “Future Mrs.” The other bachelorette party theme was quite fun. They all wore headbands and granny dresses, tie-dye and elephant legged pants. A prettier all-age group of hippies I have never seen.
The scene at Cruise's Bar
Steve and I called it quits when we realized we were screaming at the top of our lungs to hear each other. I guess I am at the other end of the “Adult” spectrum, unwilling to work so hard at fun.