Thursday, July 23, 2009

Exploring Wicklow

[Kyle]Our next day in Wicklow, the weather was fairly dreary in the morning, so we lingered about and didn’t really get out until the afternoon. We had been unsuccessful in finding a good wireless connection, so we had a quick orientation walk with that as our focus. We found one signal that would always disappear before completing the connection process but nothing else. There are two internet cafes in town but neither of them had wireless, which was pretty useless for us since we wanted to upload stuff from our computer as well as download grib weather files that we need our software to interpret. All we could do with their machines was check email, which wasn’t cutting it.

We finally gave up on that and had a walk along a ‘nature’ trail. It started off okay in a nice park along the river but eventually wound itself through a bunch of construction sites and ended up being decidedly unlovely. We decided to make a loop and walk back along a road and happened across a grocery store. We only popped in for a few things but kept remembering stuff we needed. Fortunately, Maryanne had the presence of mind when we left the boat to bring her big camping backpack. We filled it and then some with stuff that was mostly heavy, like cans and milk. By the time it was filled, it probably weighed half as much as she did. When we got into the parking lot, I balanced the thing on the edge of the shopping cart and she backed up to it like a truck picking up a trailer. After much strap adjusting and wiggling to get as underneath the weight as possible, she put her muscle into it and heaved it into the air. It was like watching the space shuttle take off. She had gravity beat, but just barely. We hadn’t quite been able to fit everything into the pack and had three shopping bags as spare; one light, two heavy. She insisted on taking the two heavy ones because she was worried about my back, which was barely functional by that time, and I got the light one. I’m sure it looked pretty bad. Maryanne was stoically marching ahead making cracks in the pavement with every footfall while I followed behind carrying a sack that contained a bag of potato chips and a roll of paper towels in one hand and her coat in the other, which was making me miserable because my hand was getting kinda hot.

The walk turned out to be longer than we thought. Like going through a line at Disneyland, every time we would think we were almost there, we would come around the corner and find that we were definitely not. When we finally got back to Footprint, Maryanne then had the frightening task of swinging the pack over the side of the wall and climbing down the ladder with it, poor thing.

The next day, the weather was clear and beautiful. We got up early and packed a bag and headed off on the coastal trail to Wicklow Head. The woman in the tourist office the day before suggested we take the road and avoid the trail, implying the trail was dangerous in places. We both decided she seemed like a bit of an indoor girl and that we would take our chances anyway. The trail had a few spots that were steep or overgrown, but there wasn’t anything I would consider treacherous for a person with normal balance. There was one spot that did have me scrambling up a steep hill away from the cliffs on all fours. I was practically buried in the thick heather, but that was because I lost the trail in an overgrown part. Maryanne had the sense not to follow me.

The trail was absolutely stunning. We snaked our way over cliffs and around coves through ferns and heather with little purple flowers with a background of either sea or rolling green hills. Eventually, we returned to the road right at the gate to the lighthouse. We took the path in and had our lunch looking out at the sea past the lighthouse we had sailed past a couple of days before.

Back in Wicklow Town, we had showers to get the mud off and then resumed our search for internet. Our first stop was the sailing club bar, where the woman there impressed us by remembering what we had the one other time she had seen us in her life. No luck there so we wandered off. Eventually, we found a weak signal from a park bench on a hill, but only if I stood a certain way with the antenna. It reminded me of the old rabbit ear days of TV. Oh, if only we had some aluminium foil! It was windy and very cold, so we could only stand to get the bare minimum done. Everything else would have to wait until Dublin.


Mommy Dearest said...

Sorry to tell you, Kyle, but you're too young to remember rabbit ears.

As for loading up Maryanne with all those might have been better to go hungry. Poor Kyle with his hand getting tired or hot or whatever it was you complained of. Maryanne as Beast of Burden is nothing new, but just as shameful as ever.

Seriously, so good to see your posts again. You've been missed!

Anonymous said...

You could at least have carried her purse, Kyle!

Anonymous said...

We your fans are exceptionally proud of you. Kyle is a lucky man to have you. Very few women are capable of the things you have accomplished. We are more than proud of you.