Tuesday, 12 July 2016

The Return to Innisfree - Day 4

Me Outside the Quaint Irish House Pub, Castlebar

Cong                                                                              Ireland

Monday 9th June 2014

Today was the first day of my father’s dialysis session at Castlebar general hospital and we had to be up quite early for the 30km drive. First though we decided to make a quick trip to the butchers in Cong to meet an old acquaintance who we hadn’t seen for many years plus to grab some good mince for this evening. The person we were meeting was the owner of the butcher shop and unfortunately, he wasn’t going to be there until the afternoon which was no good for us as we had to head to Castlebar. Within our time in Cong we couldn’t help but notice how quiet the village was; maybe it was because of the heavy rain. It was quite amazing to be alone on the small streets of Cong but it would be short lived as it was finally time to head to Castlebar. The journey there was long but peaceful as we were not on the main roads and it was still quite early in the morning. I also enjoyed driving through the Irish countryside with nothing but huge green valleys as the mist was beginning to disappear from the rolling hills beyond. Moments later, we had arrived in Castlebar with such ease and good timing. The streets were full of shops which were mostly supermarkets, gift shops, fishing tackle shops and cafes beginning to open there doors to visitors. There were some unique shops too which were quite interesting and I was eager to get into them to admire the unique trinkets of Irish culture. We were confused on where we were able to park in the town so we pulled up along the main street and got out the car to find someone local to talk to. Of all the people we could have asked we decided to speak to an old drunken Irishmen who of which decided to complicate things more and talk about other things but helping us out. After the pointless but funny conversation with him, we decided to have our dinner at a place known as ‘Grandmas bistro’ where I would have a lasagne with chips with a mocha coffee. The lasagne wasn’t a patch compared to the one I had in Venice. Even still the food and drink were nice then suddenly; I felt something land on my head and into my coffee. I first thought it was birds mess but it turned out to be moss coming from the rooftops possibly getting kicked off by the birds. After that slight setback, it was time to take my father into the hospital for his first treatment of dialysis. A long walk finally brought us to the renal dialysis department. Me and my mother left my father for his 4 hour session and went back into town with the dog to look at a few more shops we had missed beforehand. However, the first place we went to was an Irish pub where I would finally have my first proper Guinness in Ireland. I entered into the small quaint bar so full of Irish trinkets, trophies and old men ordering my drink all the while with Gaelic music playing in the background. I headed back outside with my mother and as soon as I drank my Guinness, I realised it was a lot different than what we get back home despite the 4 Euro charge for it. It was absolutely beautiful to drink so smooth and creamy and I found it funny when I thought of how Irish Guinness and Irish women compare to each other; it was a lot better than what we get back home. We decided to get some gifts from the unique shops which were selling things such as Guinness merchandise, sheep skin clothing and of course Leprechaun merchandise too. We also grabbed essentials to take back with us and from this moment on the rain became absolutely torrential and we were completely soaked through. It didn’t help that I was wearing grey clothes which made it look worse as though I had wet myself. We used the time very well in Castlebar being amongst its people and Guinness as we made our way back to hospital to pick up my father. After squelching my way trough the quiet corridors of the hospital to pick my father up we were soon back in the car drying up from the heavy rain making our way back to Corrib view villa. The journey seemed quicker on the return trip despite the slight build up of cars and tractors taking over the small roads but we eventually made it back where we would relax for the rest of the evening. It was an incredible feeling being inside all dried up looking out of my window at the pouring rain. It never dampened my feelings of this fine place of Ireland but only enhancing my spirit still looking forward to the coming days.
Good Old Pint of Guinness
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