Travelling & Kerry – day 268 (J)

It has been a day of radio and photos. 

Completely shattered from so little sleep, it was hilarious to see Katherine & Tracey getting drunk on Pina Coladas and waiting for Domino’s pizza dinner just as I was about to leave for the journey west. No tinterweb for a few days, perhaps she was drinking herself into a coma until Sunday when I returned from the land that time forgot. 

After getting diesel for the car, we switched over to RTE Radio 1, where an interview started with a girl who had been off travelling and is currently working on some 5* train/hotel holiday packages until jetting off to Nepal at the end of the season and continuing her adventures. Mam was saying how I should ring in to the station and tell them of our journey to date and I was doing quite well ignoring her. Next caller put us to shame: herself and the hubby had been travelling for 10years and only settled down in Ireland for a family and were about to set off again with them now they were old enough. I don’t know if this lady had a blog or not, but the first girl did, something called ‘Flight of the Flibberty Gibberty’ and her name is Ciara Flynn. Need to look her up for the craic!

The next few segments on the radio were different aspects of Brexit and politicians arguing back and forth over topics. Boris Johnson’s dad Stanley was interviewed from Greece and was interesting to listen to, if taken with a pinch of salt. There was a joke made either before or after this segment how Boris had led 17million people up a hill and then left them with a compass and told them to find their own way home. We stopped in An Cruiscín Lán (the full jug – Gaeilge/Irish) for breakfast and a break to the journey. The river behind the cafe was flowing pretty fast, if not as deeply as it sometimes does and the heavens opened as we went in for grub. Ladies and gentlemen… I give you… ‘The Breakfast Roll’! Ranging in size from a small bread roll to a demi baguette (full baguette if you’re sharing and cooking at home), it is filled with a range of fried goods and can include: sausage, rasher, black and/or white pudding, egg (fried, omelette or scrambled), hash brown, beans, mushrooms and sauces if one chooses – ketchup and/or HP brown sauce. Generally it is a mess to eat, with the tin foil wrapper or cling film holding the contents in place and one of the many oils, fats or sauces dribbling down hands or face. What’s more is, you normally have this heart attack food item in the car as they serve the best ones from a garage when on a road trip. On this occasion a more demure and manageable size was served and I loved it. Washed down with a nice coffee. Why has this not caught on to more corners of the globe? They have Irish pubs everywhere, why not Breakfast Rolls??? Back to the journey at hand, we were leaving the Gaeltacht area into The Kingdom (County Kerry) and the topic had changed ever so slightly to issues between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and how the Brexit could in effect trigger old agreements between the parties about dissolving borders and such. It was all a little too confusing and worrying for myself, with some of the largest implications explained by my Dad, much more knowledgeable about pretty much everything. Frightening times lie ahead and it’s scary in one sense about to go back travelling with things looking so uncertain in the UK. We’ll have to wait and see. Plus, Grizzly was getting bored of all this interview talk and wanted us to change station.  So arriving in Kerry myself and my Dad went for a spin with the dog. Heading towards Ballyferriter and Sybil Point the posters and memorabilia were increasing and quite amusing. See, we were getting closer to where Star Wars VIII had some scenes filmed and the whole area was cashing in on the fact. The most surprising was seeing a billboard in the church yard.  The set they had built was all removed and the clean-up crew were hard at work restoring the landscape to its original state. This involved removing paint from rocks on the cliff face. Apparently!? The gallery we visited afterwards had signs saying ‘In A Gallery, Not Far Away’ using the recognisable font and scrolling text across the stars to catch tourists attention. It worked and we visited the small establishment and admired the artists paintings and decorative work. It was only round the corner from a beach and Grizzly finally got what he came for… a run on the trá (beach).  Back to the main village of the area we stopped to get an ice cream. There was a compulsory photo taken next to the shop as there was a sign showing the Death Star imagery in the shape of a coffee cup and the slogan ‘Dúisigh an Fórsa’, which I think is a literal translation of ‘Awaken the Force!’ This could be a play on the idea of coffee waking you up as well as referencing SW-VII. All very clever and enjoyable.  Back to collect Mam from her snooze, she was hard at work finishing off more of the Leaving Cert Honours Maths paper. She had most of it done in the car coming down and I think it was what tired her out in the first place causing her to need a break. Hmmmm!!! Back in to Dingle we picked up some burgers and fish and chips and enjoyed them in the car – they apparently go cold really quickly, but I think it’s an excuse to just eat them straight away as they tasted amazing.  Chilling out for the evening, what do you think I did? I introduced my parents to Candy Crush Soda Saga. It was slow going at the start trying to show the different moves and the two of them explaining to each other why they would make a move and which one to go with next. Mam got seriously in to it and got as far as level 16 before calling it a night. I’m not sure if I should download it on her phone for her or pretend it can’t be done. It could be disastrous. Friday 1st July 2016

Travelling – day 80

We were up at 6am to finish packing up our stuff, get ready, finish off the Indian Christmas cake for breakfast and head out to find a taxi to take us to the airport. Jayne found one almost immediately that was willing to us the meter instead of taking a pre agreed amount. Think he may have driven the long way to the airport but £2.80 for 22kms didn’t seem like something to complain about! He also drive really well for an Indian taxi driver and he spent most of the journey pointing out different sights that he thought we might have found interesting (they weren’t!!!). Got to the airport and, after a slight faff over having to show our passports and flight confirmation before they even let us into the building, we got our bags x-rayed, sealed and checked in. Headed to the departure lounge where I indulged my week long craving for hot chocolate! Day 80 aThe cafe also served LGBT sandwiches… Whatever they were but in a country where all that is prohibited or frowned upon, it certainly did make Jayne and I chuckle!! Tried to look for some speakers to use with the netbook but the choice of airside shops was a bit disappointing. Had a browse in the bookshop and became strangely nostalgic for the children’s adventure books where you got to decide what happened based on what page you turned to after each cliffhanger!! Boarded the plane and settled in for our 3 hour flight to Goa. Used the time to catch up on some of my blog writing(!), sleep and reading while Jayne played Angry Birds and read.Day 80 bHad preordered food on the plane and got two different sandwiches. One was a cucumber, tomato, cheese and lettuce sandwich which felt a little bit British afternoon tea! The other one was a spinach, sweet corn and cheese sandwich which looked a little bit like eating a massive bogey on bread! A non eventful flight and landing later we were in Goa!! Had a vague plan but wanted to see if it was possible so went straight to the tourist information desk. Apparently, one can get an overnight bus to Hampi and, after getting some instructions, we left the airport in search of a bus stop. Stood on the wrong side of the road for 10minutes before we realised we needed to cross back over to be next to the airport. Got a bus to the right place quickly after that!! A quick change of bus in the next town and we were powering off towards Goa’s main bus depot. Tried to buy our bus tickets to Hampi but all the ticket desks were closed so we needed to place bets on which bus stand would most likely have space for us. Decided to try the private bus stand across the road from the government bus stand as they had one guaranteed ticket available – we just had to wait to see if there was a cancellation… About 20 minutes before the government bus was due to leave, Jayne ran across the road to see if there was space for us. The conductor was willing to let us share a single person bed even though we would still need to pay for two people.Day 80 cDecided that we would be better off on a bus rather than potentially stranded at the bus stand so we went for it. When we got back to the government bus, he then gave us two beds – our lucky day!!! A quick toilet run where I had to argue with the attendant that it was never 10 INR to use the toilet and had to demand the change (and then the correct change!) only to find out another tourist on the bus had the same issue – bloody cheeky bastard! Settled into our bunks for the long journey ahead. 

Saturday 26th December 2015

Mumbai – day 52

Woke up in a bit of a grumpy mood having had an awful nights sleep. Was feeling a bit homesick too. Mumbai reminds me very much of London except with a much hotter / humid climate so made me feel a bit nostalgic. Spent the morning eating toast, drinking coffee and catching up on Facebook. Jayne did a superb job of trying to jolly me out of my hump, despite her stinking cold, and we left the hotel around 11am to buy train tickets to our next town. Walked for 20 minutes to Central Mumbai station only to realise that we’d forgotten to bring our passports which we needed to purchase our tourist quota tickets – put me back in a weepy bad mood!! Headed back to the hotel to pick up our passports and then went back to the train station. Purchased our train tickets and then realised I had written the wrong date on the request form so had to cancel our tickets and rebook. The day (and my mood) just kept getting worse!! Jayne took me to Starbucks to cheer me up. Had a Christmas red cup but as a frappuchino – it was so weird to have a cold Christmas drink!Headed to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (Victoria Terminus) station. An extravagant Gothic building built in 1887, it is a mixture of Victorian, Hindu and Islamic styles creating an imposing Daliesque building of buttresses, domes, turrets, spires and stained-glass windows.It also is a UNESCO World Heritage Site so Jayne was super excited to tick another location off the list!  Since I was still feeling homesick , we decided to jumped on the metro from CST station to head to the cinema to watch ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2’. Was nice to lose myself in the film for a couple of hours! Plus, someone got a bit excited over the advert for the new ‘Star Wars’ film… Guess what we’ll be doing on Christmas Day!!   Headed back on the metro to the hotel, stopping en route to have dinner at the railway cafe. Found a guy on the street corner who would download films onto a memory stick for 20p each. Decided to try it out with ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy to make sure it worked on our netbook and was in English! It did and it was, so we’ll probably head back over to him tomorrow to get some more films to keep us entertained when we need it!

Had a lovely long Skype chat with Clare whilst Jayne watched ‘Godzilla’ on Hindu TV (with a box of tissues for her runny nose – she would be the only person to get a cold in this weather!) before we went to bed, hopefully to get a better nights sleep!!