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Trajectory to Nijmegen, summer 2003

Republic of Ireland

I wanted to get out of town. I'd been in Kilkenny for nearly two years, rarely outside of a small perimeter.

I picked an arbitrary bus going west.

Removing my pack from stowage upon arrival in Killarney, I started talking with a Wicklow lad. We agreed to go for a pint. AFter finding the hostel that we had both seen listed in the Lonely Planet guide — not where the book said it was — we decided to go for a pint. We drank until closing time.

The girl at the hostel had said that there would be no beds the next night because there was to be a David Gray show in town. Over pints, Eoin and I agreed to travel north together, to Tralee. There, we went drinking again.

My original arbitrary destination was Staigue Fort on the Iveragh peninsula, west of Killarney. But here I was in Tralee, at the base of the Dingle peninsula. That next day I took a bus to Dingle town, near the extremity, and booked at a hostel.

In the kitchen that evening, I overheard a couple of girls speaking Dutch. I had lived in the Netherlands for a while, and we talked.

The next morning, I met up with Kim again when she joined me at the breakfast table. Her friend Esther had abandoned her. Kim and I took a boat to Blasket Island and spent the afternoon there.

The following day we got on a bus together, eastbound.

We slept in her tent on a stretch of grass in the Killarney National Park.

She came with me to Kilkenny, where she spent the remainder of her weeklong vacation. A couple of months later I went to live with her in a tiny student accommodation in Nijmegen, close to the Dutch border with Germany.


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