Right, sorry about that post cut off halfway yesterday. Fell asleep lying on the bed. Brother was watching Wanted (which, coincidentally enough, a review of can be found in the archives of this blog)

This journey; making me feel like I’ve been cursed. Woke up at 4am to catch the bus to Stanstead airport. Cycled to the bus stop, and the bus comes 15 minutes after it’s scheduled time. No problem.

Stanstead airport: Deja Vu extraordinaire.

The gate opens for boarding 20 minutes late. Reason? Waiting for cabin crew to be available from the previous flight they were working on. Still no worries. Get on the plane. Sit around for an interminable wait. Again, still not a problem. Finally taxi to the runway. Pilot decides it’s a great time to notice a problem with the weather radar. Taxi back to the gate. In short, half the day spent inside a cramped Boeing 737 squeezed into a 3,3 configuration. (I kid you not. 4 hours might as well be half the day when the airport is smothered in fog in winter, when the sun sets at four in the afternoon). We arrive at Shannon airport ridiculously late, in light rain.

(Well, a four hour delay is an improvement from the six hour delay on SIA. Percentage wise, it doesn’t fare that well, with a 50% (of journey time) delay compared to a 250% one. And service wise, well, let’s not go there shall we? Just leave it that I’m glad we brought some snacks on the plane, and how I now know the devious methods in which budget airlines like RyanAir make turn a profit [selling food to starving passengers they’ve imprisoned for hours; fortunate then that my brother’s principles of thrift(?) are stronger then the combined strength of our hunger])

Right, back to Shannon airport and the light rain. The kind of light rain that doesn’t stay for long. Oh, the rain part stays, the light part tends to vanish. And come back. It kind of takes turns working shifts with the heavy. Well, at least it’s the first day in the whole holiday it’s rained. And just when my shoes decided to start doing the worn-out-leather-at-the-front-so-that-water-goes-in-really-easily thing.

Catching the bus from Shannon airport to Ennis two seconds after clearing immigration did us the most kind favour of not having to spend a moment longer in the warm, sheltered, and dry airport, letting us get into a warm, sheltered, and dry bus taking us to a colder-but-not-as-cold-as-London, open, and wet town (Ennis, apparently the largest urban area in the county). So, with the rain providing a constant cadence (as well as fun games involving raindrops, puddles, old shoes and wet socks), we wandered single-lane-roads Ennis, popping into various shops selling assorted paraphernalia (Sports clothing, books, sweets, chocolate, you get the idea I hope) Okay, perhaps it wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be (wasn’t that cold after all); the shops were pretty nice, and Ireland is full of friendly people. The Clare County Museum was interesting too. But would still have been much more preferable without the rain, ya? At least the four hour delay saved us from enduring the rain for another 4 hours.

Right O! On to even more travel nightmares. How about an hour delay on the bus meant to take us to Lisdoonvarana (where we’re staying the night) at 6:20? Please try and remember that it’s already dark by six. And getting colder. And that Lisdoonvarna is the kind of place where the shops close at 5. So, uncomfortably damp shoes/socks and an hour bus journey later, we get to Lisdoonvarna sometime past eight, and check into the (really posh) SleepZone hostel. (Note, my brother now thinks I’m a jinx on all transport (bicycles aside, so far). But really, what were the odds of all those delays, especially the aircraft ones? (Seriously, an antenna? Never fly RyanAir again))

Now, bear with me a bit, and let me tell you about this hostel we’re boarding at for a couple of nights. Converted from a former hotel, it is outrageously spanking posh. And the receptionist is really nice. There’s a dining room, a bar, a drawing room, and huge, very warm looking beds. And best of all, it’s almost empty, giving a quaint, peaceful feel. plus the internet access with which I’m posting this. And it’s ten euros a night per person. Which is less than the rent my brother is paying for his room in London

So, after checking in, we make our way to the only place in town that sells food after dark. Chinese restaurant. (So, only the Chinese care to work?) Eat in prices are 40% higher than takeaway, so you know the obvious choice, no? Although I do pity the owner’s daughter. They’re most likely the only Asians in the whole town, so let’s hope 800 years under the English have mellowed the Irish some, yes?

Dinner was 8 euro spring onion beef, 7.50 euro General Tsao’s chicken, and two of the four oranges we bought in Ennis earlier. And now, I’m sitting here typing this post for you to read. Here’s hoping it makes up for the dropping to the bed like a pacific island stone head in the middle of a blog post yesterday, eh?

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2 Responses to “”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hi there! We’re delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us at Sleepzone – we love your description and yes, Sleepzone – The Burren is really lovely…well, it was a 3-star hotel, I suppose!

    If you travel this way again remember that we have two other properties – one in Connemara (overlooking The Killary, Ireland’s only fjord) and one in Galway City (which they call the Cultural Capital of Ireland).

    If you have any traval pics that you’d like to send us then we’d love to see them, and to post our favourites to our facebook group!

    Happy travelling 🙂

    Sleepzone (www.sleepzone.ie)

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Hi there! We’re delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us at Sleepzone – we love your description and yes, Sleepzone – The Burren is really lovely…well, it was a 3-star hotel, I suppose!

    If you travel this way again remember that we have two other properties – one in Connemara (overlooking The Killary, Ireland’s only fjord) and one in Galway City (which they call the Cultural Capital of Ireland).

    If you have any travel pics that you’d like to send us then we’d love to see them, and to post our favourites to our facebook group!

    Happy travelling 🙂

    Sleepzone (www.sleepzone.ie)

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