Monday, September 12, 2011

Bud, Jimmy and Asterix

Friday, 9th of September. Someone had told me it would be worth it to visit the Aran Islands, so Carl called the ferry people in the morning if they would go to the islands and yes, they would go to Inisheer, the smallest and closest of the three islands. So I cycled the two kilometres up to the landing place and there I had to learn I better should have booked, they were full – but there was a little chance they could take me with them if I wait and maybe some people didn't come… In the end they picked me up, and I don't think they counted all the people.

I saw my first wild living dolphin! And how big he was! And all the people shouted "Aaah…!" and "Oooh…!". He seemed to be very used to the ferry traffic and swam around the ferry all the time when we were still close to the sea – they must have trained him somehow… The crossing was interesting. I was surprised the ship didn't tilt off, so much waves such wild sea– usually people go to amusements parks to feel like this. Once again I met nice people and hat nice chit-chat. One of them called me accidentally a tourist so I made sure that there's a difference between me and a tourist, although I was doing touristic stuff at the moment. Before entering the boat I had some silly experience, when a group of real tourists came to the ferry place, driven to this place in a small so called Safari bus, and when exiting one man shouted: "Adventure!" Adventure? Excuse me? What an adventure? Maybe an interesting nice trip, but what on earth is his definition of an adventure? In this sense I can be really arrogant to other people…

Inisheer is really small. I did the one half of this island in a horse cart. It was fun to experience the coachman. When I asked him what he offers he explained he would drive me around the island and explain everything, but what he does wasn't much about history or other typical sight seeing stuff, he just named everything we passed through – here's the school, this is a lovely playground, here I used to do fishing when I was a fisherman… But he was really lovely. He was constantly talking to his horse, called Bud, what is short for Budweiser, and he sang and hummed along traditional Irish songs all the time and also when he was talking it had a melody.

The other half of the island I did by foot. All this island is about stone walls, and these are maybe the main reason why to come to this place. But it's also somehow curious… The islands' geology is mainly karst limestone. So the Aran Islands are one of the finest examples of a Glacio-Karst landscape in the world. The other interesting thing is the wreckage of the MV Plassy, which was shipwrecked off Inisheer in the 1960s, but the islanders rescued the entire crew of eleven from the stricken vessel using a breeches buoy. Nevertheless all in all to come to this island wasn't better than most other places I had seen, but it was nice.

When crossing back I was so extremely tired and exhausted. This was very weird, because all this cycling all the time don't effect me, but walking for one or two hours… Maybe it was also the weather, the air, the crossing. On our way back I dozed. But I still wanted to go on cycling this day. It was 4:30 P.M. when I was back on my bike, and the weather had become really good! Bright sunshine, although somewhat sticky. But as I once again had no host for this night I could just cycle as long as I felt like it. And it was just great cycling, refreshing and new. After the first ten kilometres I met another cyclist, who stopped me and we talked from the first moment as we always had know each other. Jimmy is doing skateboarding for a living and when he wants to relax he does long distance cycling tours. I met him on his first day of touring, it was just a pity he cycled withershins. Jimmy is such a cute guy, I thought for a moment to take him with me for kissing and touching… We talked quite a while and hugged each other for goodbye. I would love to hear from him again.

Close to Derreen the R 477 was barred to traffic, a policeman made sure that no car passes, because in this area there is the film shooting of the new Asterix movie, but if you are a cyclist they let you pass. I don't like the life action adaptations of the Asterix comic books, but crossing the scenery was just great. First I passed the area were the staff is located, lots of signs guide to the catering, the place for the extras and so on, then lots of actors in their costumes passed me (one Norman acted like a Norman to me and shouted a very wild roar while looking very angry) and then I came to the shooting place, where I had to stop and be quiet, but had also some nice talk with some Romans and another French guy. And all were extremely friendly and invited me to stay, so I did for a while.

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