October 29, 2018
One week and one day into my quest. “What quest?” I hear you say. Here’s the backstory.
I’ve been to Ireland twice before, but both visits were brief add-ons to longer sojourns on the European continent. Ever since I rode a bus beyond the Dublin city limits as a college student, I’ve been itching to set my feet down in this bewitching countryside for a good long ramble.
After reaching Santiago in August 2016, I visited Ireland again on the way home. At Glenstal Abbey I met a fellow pilgrim, also fresh from the Camino de Santiago, named Yvonne Tyler. She lives in Waterford. Yvonne told me how she once walked the camino for over four months, starting in Ireland! All ears, right here.
Fast forward two years. I have a heavily marked up NatGeo “Adventure” map of Ireland on the wall over my bed, a stack of Irish travel memoirs and historical fiction on my nightstand, plus John G. O’Dwyer’s authoritative guidebook, “Pilgrim Paths in Ireland.” I briefly tried using DuoLingo for Gaelic, with the unfortunate result that I now comprehend that language even less than I did before attempting to read words like “sliabh” out loud.
At some point, enough is enough of dreaming and you must simply go do it while you can. In typical form, and despite all the musing and reading, I have not exactly planned anything specific, so this is still a free-form undertaking. The goals are simple: walk some old pilgrim paths and see different parts of the country. (I just like using dramatic words like “quest.” It adds intrigue, wouldn’t you say?)
At some point, enough is enough of dreaming and you must simply go do it while you can.