'I've never had so much adventure in my life until I met you', he was telling me as we sat on the bus to a destination other than the one we intended on reaching today. 'It's as if you're a magnet for adventure', he continued. I must agree it certainly seems this way but what is life without adventure.
Though our main objective for this trip was to simply get out of Ennis, our particular plans were not set in stone. We had been working around the plan of staying in Kenmare with an acquaintance of his over the weekend and into next week but those plans fell through at the very last minute as we waited at the bus station in Limerick.
He was checking his emails when I heard 'Oh, no...' followed by an explanation to me that the acquaintance would be leaving on a plane to Poland due to a family emergency. Thinking quickly, I decided we could now switch the B&Bs we had planned on visiting with the hopes the one in Killarney still had that sudden cancellation I was informed of the day before.
Before we could book our next bus ticket to somewhere, we needed to know if the B&B in Killarney still had availability. I called Mary and was told there was a room still available for three nights. Then I called the B&B in Inistioge to see if they could switch the dates of our arrival. All was set for the end of the week.
At the bus counter, I had the agent explain to me the different options we could take which would result in the least cost. An open ticket was our best option. This ticket would give us three days of bus travel to use within six days. Our journey to Killarney used up one day, but we could go anywhere we wanted in a day no matter the destination. If we went beyond the three days, we could simply pay an extra 16,50 Euros.
Had it not been for the first bus driver from Ennis being late, we would have ended up in Inistioge for three nights with no further options for the next two nights. The lack of punctuality along with an undeveloped transportation system actually worked to our advantage this time.
As we scrambled to find other transportation options with reduced waiting times, my inquiries as to an improved infrastructure akin to the efficiency found in Germany was explained away by the lady at the train ticket counter. 'Lack of funding' was her simple answer. Therefore, when traveling within Ireland, be prepared to wait for hours on end if using their transportation system as this is definitely not Germany.
After our two-hour wait in Limerick, we boarded the bus to Killarney and arrived two hours later. We were both hungry and thirsty and tired from all the waiting and simply wanted to get to the B&B. Before we found a taxi to take us the 5 kilometers to our destination, we stopped in a pub for the traditional Irish Guinness. I passed on one this time but had a few gulps of his pint.
The taxi driver was nice enough to drive us all the way to the doors of the Friars Glen Country House B&B, which was 400 meters from the Muckross Park Hotel and Spa. The long driveway leading to the doors of the house was lined with greenery on all sides. I was like a kid in a candy store imaging all of the photographs I would be taking during the next few days.
Mary, the innkeeper, was as nice as the reviews online made her out to be. When we walked into our room at the top of the stairs, I heard 'Are you kidding me?!' coming from my boyfriend. He first noticed the skylight in the bathroom, then the large room with both a king bed and a single. The room was gorgeous, but the views from two windows in the room (not to include the skylight) were magical.
After placing our bags inside the room and looking around in amazement, we decided to ask about extending our stay if another cancellation should come up. Once downstairs in the sitting room by the fireplace, Mary gave us a map and explained all of the different things we could do on this trip. At one point, I asked her about wedding options and she let us know about couples who married at various places in the National Park nearby.
One of the activities I planned on during this trip was horseback riding. If I go, I will be going alone as my boyfriend's sense of adventure in no way comes close to mine. Though it would be nice to share more of my love of nature with someone I love, I have come to realise sometimes we need to find people outside of our romantic relationships who share similar interests. So for this trip, I will explore the park on my own and enjoy making photographs of nature's beauty.