Desperate to escape the familiar staleness of Dublin’s urban suburbia, I fled in my rental car and drove south. A kilometer outside of Dublin immediately revealed the beautiful heart of Ireland’s countryside that I yearned to savor. It wasn’t long before I drove haphazardly through the hilly narrow roads of Co. Wicklow. From lack of attention, to the fault of the transfixing lush that surrounded me. The intriguing, endless views of greens and yellows were captivating and quite seductive.
I was heading into the tiny village of Doolin following a visit to the Cliffs of Moher and an hour shy of the night’s festivities. Feverishly unpacking my effects at the Aille River hostel, I managed to wash up and hastily set off just in time.
Doolin is one of those quintessential places that let you experience everything you’ve dreamt it would be like - or at least it was for me and my comrades. I want you to think of your ideal experience of Ireland, as it’s likely the same as I imagined prior to my travels of this past April. Beautiful views of a humble village, a pub of locals and other friendly faces passing the hours of night without an eye at a clock. Whilst having the time of their lives, accompanied with rounds of flowing pints and cheerful moods, inspired by vibrant local song.
I watched as a head disappeared into the crater beside the mound of earth. Out of the deep, another head bobbed slowly, struggling with a heavy lifeless load cloaked in a grass tarp. A rush of thoughts gripped me as the driver closed the door beside me. I squeezed my eyes shut while I tried to put the thought of what I’d just seen out of my mind.
The hull shuddered as the ferry pulled away from the old ports of Belfast. The waves were lapping against the windows below me on the foot passenger deck. The ship was clean, newly modern and rather spacious. I was able to claim a private set of chairs next to a window - luckily, I’ve never been one to succumb to sea sickness. It was a perfect setting to be alone and process the cluster of thoughts from the previous evening.
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