Wednesday, June 20, 2007

easkey 2007

ooookay, so much further than i expected to, i'm adding some pictures and snippets from easkey 2007. in fact, so much further that i've already been to ireland and back again in the meantime, so probably around easter you'll get those pictures and update.

i guess today is just a super productive day for me... but european travels are deservedly worth putting up online. :)

we stopped at tesco's on the way out for some essentials, leaving the car looking like this:

sarah w-s came to visit me abroad. she's brilliant. but it provided for serious back-seat adventures on the, what, 7 hour drive from cork to easkey, in county donegal.

the first night we got there it was rainy and absolutely gross- as well as everyone else already having achieved their goal of chasing sobriety away for the evening. however, the next day provided little surf and a river to challenging for a mere fresher such as myself.
sarah and i explored the castle instead. :)

however the nights' activities were as they should be when one is with a group of paddlers from cork....
it started with a beautiful sunset that i captured with some essentials in the foreground... hehe

you see, at easkey, the clubs captaincy is passed down to the new committee. for ucccc, this meant a celebration of willy and his exploits. we were so kind as to get him what he really desired....
a gift certificate to munster dive and canoe so that he could get a paddle. :-D

international love

sunday was beautiful. there was a close by section of the easkey river that we were all able to do.

here's me! woooo!

here, noelle is trying to explain to willy (still drunk from the night before) something of utmost importance.
probably along the lines of: "it's cold, willy, wouldja put some pants on??"

the river poured out into the ocean where there was a tiny bit of surf :) i would have liked a liiiiitle more, but, it broke on a reef, which was a little scary for someone who wasn't entirely experienced.

the sunset was beautiful again. bean, one of the paddlers from dubland, took this picture.

that night was more drunk adventuring, the way it should be done ;) me and shiv

at one point, sarah w-s, ally, and i went to go sit near the ocean and just sing songs we all knew because we were sad. i was sat to have to leave, ally missed the ocean, and sarah w-s just graduated ( i think she was more exited than sad, though, but she likes to sing too )

the following morning was defo a late one. we were all exhausted after the previous session, so it wasn't till afternoon that we actually awoke. here's another picture bean took:

before we were capable of cleaning up and driving back, i came back to the campsite after breakfast to see willy chasing cian around the site with a huge dead fish someone found on the beach. there was lots of screaming and running, from all parties involved.
clearly.. it was kind of gross...

it was a good weekend, all in all. a good trip, too, i'd say. :)
i do miss it....

alright, i'll get the pictures from this past jack's weekend, as well as some photos from my road trip across the uk up here eventually.
hehe, whenever that may be.

love, chris

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

leaving on a jet plane.

such a corny title, i know, but i guess it's how thing will be. i'm sad to leave. i'm terrified to leave. i'm excited to go home. i'm happy to see my family.

last night we all went out to dinner... we all being me and 10 other paddlers... it was only supposed to be a small thing, but i was THRILLED to see everyone one last time outside of the context of a drunken easkey weekend.

tomorrow morning, i'm going to get into a car with WAY more shit than i came over here with and then fly away back to america... my belly turns into a rock of anticipation just thinking of it.

i'll miss:
relaxed schoolwork
paddling with everyone here
thinking nothing of a pint or five on a random night
ucc campus
the river lee
the paddlers.
green hills in every direction
the smell of turf
living by myself
going out on the piss
learning in a group re: paddling
the clubs and nightlife
feeling connected
crazy party weekends that go into history
seeing rainbows
the irish accent all around me and within me
sausages for brekkie

i'm excited for:
giving my family their prezzies
getting to camp, meeting new people
learning some wiki wiki moves in my own boat (but i'll have no one to show them off to *tear*)
cheaper drink
reuniting with my smith friends
sleeping in my futon
with clean sheets
and not having to buy my own toilet paper
riiiiise and shiiiiine and give god your gloryglory
figuring out my life from here
buying things and not having to worry about how i'm going to pack them

ohhh man i'm going to miss it here though. there's so much here for me.

so here's what'll happen with this blog: i've got an entry or two more for you with photos from easky weekend and the dinner last night, (i'll probably plug 'em in in chronological order, before this one) ..i've a writeup for joy, i'll put that in here too... and i'll probably leave it all at that. i don't want a consistent blog up online anymore. just for travels, and this year.

love, chris.

Monday, May 28, 2007

sherkin island

almost a month later, i'm getting back to my lazy self about getting these up.

well, let me start by letting all of ye know about the State of Affairs here... i've got 10 days left and i'm so mixed up inside about leaving. most americans when they study abroad, i've found, spend their time for the most part with other americans... so leaving means a mass exodus as well as common feelings of reminiscence. they know that coming back to the place wouldn't mean as much because the people wouldn't be here..

..but as for me, while i've the american girls with whom i go out on a regular basis, and make dinner and cook and all that... i also have the paddlers, with whom i've been friends since october. while i know that they'll miss me, they'll still all have each other, you know? so i'm just.. not here. ahhhhh it actually kind of hurts to think about. anyway. let me tell you about sherkin island, a month ago ;), and then i'll have one or two more posts for you before i leave. promise. i might get to them at home, but they'll happen.

SO: we packed up our gear and boats onto the cars and drove through skib and baltimore. we parked the vehicles just along the shore, and unpacked gear, and off we went!!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

look at all the paddlers... it was just the 5 lads and myself. WHAT a weekend though... it was more a large piss up upon an island with a population of around 100 people. total. and then there was us, i'd say we scared the locals pretty bad at the pub later
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

we got the shore, and dragged our boats halfway across the island. then discovered that, tanks as they are, h3's make great benches. :-D
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

then, out comes the tescie wonderstoves... and the lads decided that i had to cook. this was more of a.. well, they can't. they'd fuck it up, for sure.
this is tommy trying to help... trying. ;)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

me and anto. he's been one of my closest friends here :) in the back you can see the love boat... we assumed they were out for a dirty weekend ;)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

so we had a buncha cans, then stumbled our way to the pub. like i said earlier, we terrified the locals, and discovered that half of them were named 'matt.' as we had our very own matty muscles with us, we realized the he had finally discovered a home. look at all the pint glasses in front of the boys... they decided to have a murphey's contest... and kept going, and going, and going... and i wisely abstained in favour of my carlsberg, and in moderation at that.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

finally, meandered back to the tent... and passed out. gunt and i got lost on the way.. i was CONVINCED... absolutely certain that the house in the next field over was our tent. i fell over a barbed wire fence and into a bush. i couldn't stop laughing.

wonder morning after faces. i was the only one who thought to bring breakfast. so i shared. as one would. ;)
me and le gunt aka cian
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

and the lads in their own compartment.. they just wanted to check out matty's muscles... =D
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

on the paddle back, we went out of the bay from which were staying and around the island. a slightly longer paddle then the way over. then, i noticed some CAVES in the side of the cliff! in we paddled... SO COOL. it kept getting darker, and narrower... till we were afraid to go farther in case we couldn't get out. or at least i was... brilliant as adventuring goes...

the paddle back was much more bumpy than the 20 minute paddle over. over all it was a shit hot weekend... i REALLY enjoyed it...

more posts for you soon. odds are i'll get them done at home and stick them in... with a farewell post here. xoxo.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

glastonbury, england

i was in some state after leaving girona. i mean... after not having slept at ALL within 24 hours, i was thrilled to catch the right plane, and then be on the right bus, at the right time, heading from bristol into glastonbury.
i was a little worried, though, as i had no idea when to get off the bus, or where, or how to get to the hostel i had booked. however, i met a woman on the bus- simone- who actually was in the same room as i was in the hostel.

you know, in glastonbury, i met the most inspiring, beautiful women: simone and landi. both of them are from south africa originally but moved to london at different points. we all met there in glastonbury.

the first night was just simone and i. we got there late, so we just had time to have some wine and conversation before passing out. of all the deep sleeps in my life, this one was definitely in the top 10.
that next day, simone and i wandered the town shopping (i got loads of gifts for people back home) and went to the glastonbury abbey. i stole some rosemary for my sandwich.

a picture of some of the ruins at the abbey.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

because this abbey wasn't agreeing with the church of england, it was destroyed by the king. these two arches mark what was left of the building in which the site of king arthur's grave is said to have been located at one point.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

a picture simone took of me walking up to the site of the original high alter
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

the site at which arthur was said to have been buried..
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

after seeing the abbey, we went back to the hostel where we met landi.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

we packed up some dinner and games on my part and started walking towards the tor. here's pictures, as we get closer... this can be seen for miles in every direction, it's a beacon of spirituality.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
getting closer...
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
you can see the people, now :)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

and finally, our victory pose, at the top!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

this is where i had probably the best sandwich of my life. with stolen rosemary, and yummy bits. i had a serious happy belly and SUCH a feeling of this is exactly where i was supposed to have been at that point, you know?
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

mmmm. yesh. so then we opened our bottles of wine and sat, talking, contemplating life, and meeting new people who where at the top for one reason or another. some pilgrims like ourselves, and some there to access the spiritual lay lines which converge at the top.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

the tower in the sunset
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

me, at the top.. a hike, and a perfect evening
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

photographers, landi and simone ;)
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

the tower, as the sun as set. it was so beautiful. the simple agedness of structures in europe is outstanding to those of us who are from cocky baby countries. not that i need to get into anything political. but this history seems so much... more.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

me, just... sitting.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

what a night, though! we met this guy, matthew, who seemed to have an answer for everything, and then another woman, she was older and kind of kooky, who seemed to make up an answer for everything. i guess she hikes up there every night or so.

during the walk home, we stopped at a pub for some more wine, and then we went back to the crown hotel pub where we polished off even more wino for ourselves. we met this family, ros and mark and their son, and his band.. they invited us over for sunday roast the next day and i was like, sure!
the following morning i woke up around 12:30 to find directions and a number and time written on my arm.. so we called, and over we went! it was wonderful! and so great of them to share with us... it reminded me of my family at home, with people coming out all the time-- i missed it. and i pretty much laughed so hard with the banter between.. goofballs. it was spectacular.

we went home that night, and passed out after some embarrassing makeshift karaoke. i don't want to talk about it. simone had to head back to london on the sunday, so it was just landi and i. we woke on monday and walked up to the chalice well gardens. when we woke, it was pouring out, but by the time we got there, it had faded, leaving this mist over the whole garden and looking up at the tor. i could understand, then, the mists of avalon, and the relevance the area had.

the view from the garden swing bench
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

an arch within... this must be so nice in summer when it is at full growth.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

the chalice well itself.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

i picked some of the healing waters for pops, but don't tell him till i get home ;) i also waded in them, as the blisters and various other feet pains (like my broken toe in barcelona) needed some healing. :-D

after that, i hit the train and headed to strawberry hill in london to see kimmi and mike!
our train from town
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

kim and i shopped around and wandered, and had a grand old time. then, we met up with mike later for...
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
possibly the best production ever. it was brilliant.

kim and i out front
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

the next day, i had to head to the plane to fly home to cork...
as much as i loved traveling, it was such a relief to be home. and get rid of the backpack. and relax. and unpack.

the view of ireland from the plane
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
it was time.

i learned so much! and i finally got it all up on here updated, huh ;) i do what i can.
to those i've met, email me for the craic!
to those i know, i wanna hear: wow, chris, nice travel blog. that must have taken some kind of effort to get up. it looks great!

love you all.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

girona, spain

well, walking around girona for a day on no sleep was some sort of feat on my part i'd like to add.
i had a hate love relationship with those busted old walls, for the view at the top and the pain of actually walking them.
but it was worth it in the end...

there was this cathedral, with 86 steps leading up to it. lotsa steps. it's ancient.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

we only went down those stairs, not the other way. i wasn't up for it.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
oh shhhh you're just sore because you didn't get the pun UP for it....

visited what they called the "arabian" baths. really they are just a roman bathhouse. but WICKED cool! i remember it from my latin class. this is the frigidarium. that means cold room.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

the view above
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

and me across the way!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

girona is so quaint.
check the nun and stairs. it seems to be some sort of time warp.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

and that view from the old roman wall i was telling you about... the spanish countryside!
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

this is a nice picture. of flowers. i like flowers.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

finally, a picture of the three of us, me juerd, and jeroem on the wall.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
they're great!

och. i kind of gradually failed at this entry... just pictures no explanations, really. i apologize. :)
i'll do better for england.