Day 41

Feeling: tired and heavy, never hungry, a little lonely
Tasting: cheese and onion Taytos, banana and marmalade on toast
Seeing: sweeping views of the Atlantic and Killarney National Park, shells in the narrow cracks of the rocks of Derrynane beach
Hearing: the tides roll in and out, the High Kings live DVD
Smelling: fresh air

Even if it was the day we returned to Cork, it was a packed day. I mean, that’s the way road trips go.

After rising ridiculously early again, but managing to go back to sleep for a bit, I had breakfast, packed up, and hit the road. I discovered that banana and marmalade is not as bad of a flavor combination as I thought it would be. Actually, orange and banana in general doesn’t get enough credit.

Side note: does anyone ever have marmalade and peanut butter? I remember when I was little I wanted to have a PB&J and sometimes marmalade would be the only fruit preserves in the house. It’s such a middle-of-the-Atlantic combination to eat a nut butter (something very American) and marmalade (something very British) together.

We visited Derrynane House first. Our tour guide emphasized to us and to the tour guides that they wouldn’t keep us inside for too long so we could enjoy the weather. This house was the one where Daniel O’Connell lived (and died) in. It was a brisk and brief tour indeed, and a lovely house.

We were then led down to the nearby beach and given freedom to explore the black boulders on the shore. This is one of those things that made the Irish (or just European?) school experience feel so much different to that of America– there was just a little more trust put in us. Our tour guide (I know I keep omitting her name but I’m not really sure how it’s spelled) kept saying things like “I would tell you not to climb, but I know you will, so just don’t climb too high or too far.” Well, I don’t know if that’s trust or if it’s more like giving up, but it was different. Or maybe I should take into account the differences between grade school and college…

We stopped by Torc waterfall (in Killarney national park) for a brief fifteen minutes, then gathered up again to go to Muckross Gardens. The estate was fantastically beautiful, but at this point I’d let go of any scraps of trying to be sociable and presentable, and basically felt like a garbage bag of mediocrity.

I thought the ride home would be when I could finally listen to my music uninterrupted, but someone had decided to play a concert DVD of the High Kings to the whole bus. Which wasn’t the worst decision but I wasn’t too stoked about it.

I know this post may have come off as pretty negative, which you could probably guess was because I was feeling burnt out as heck. I need some recovery time.

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