Friday, 18 June 2010

mini-bussing down south.

The one true touristy splurge so far...a 3 day, mini-bussing, guided group tour. A welcome to Ireland! I arrived at 6am, trekked from the ferry dock to find the group in Dublin and met all the people who I would be exploring with for the next 3 days. Thankfully there was some gooduns. So tour was prophesied to succeed. There was a lot of 'taking the scenic route' which, being Ireland, was all about rolling green hills, blue-gray skies, the odd castle or ruin and lots and lots of black and white cows. It was beautiful...but inevitably most of my bus time was spent napping or in a dazed state of wakenness. I had to be properly prepared for full days of sightseeing followed by full nights of drinking and dancing; what else was I to do?

We followed the southern tourist trek right and true and, in the tradition of organised tours, packed as much as was humanly possible into each day. Blarney Castle, Mitchelston Caves, Beaches, Rock of Cashel, Galway, Killarney, Ennis, beehive huts, Fionn MacCool in the sea, Cliffs of Moher....followed by nights filled with a unique, newly invented (by us) Australian dance, reminiscent of Irish dancing/bootscooting. Mostly it involved us elbowing people out the way and looking very ridiculous. Nights filled with Guinness and Murphy's and group games of Kings in an old man's pub in Ennis. We know how to start a party!

The beginning of one night was spent listening to the stories, jokes and songs of a 40 year old Irish lad named Pa, with the energy of a 5 year old and a perpetual smile....his energy filled the room, it was not necessary for the audience to do anything but sit.....and laugh. And laugh we did, as he regaled us with the (fictional) story of the closing night in a country pub, narrated by the publican. In which he also played all the other characters in a most convincing way. Brilliant.

The traditional young, group bus tour of anywhere really...days spent gathering the necessary tourist photographs and nights spent drinking til two in the morning....magical. And if not magical, then a little bit of fun.

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