Republic of Ireland - Round The World Tour 2 2003 Day 167

Cork

Tuesday 26th August

Ireland is a very green country. I’ve heard this many a time before and never really gave it much thought. Green is all around us for miles around. In every direction that you look, deep green fields segregated by even deeper green hedgerows and trees stretch outwards across the rolling hillsides. Even many of the buildings are green coloured. Up till now, we’ve been extremely fortunate with the weather with mostly clear skies and warm, sunny days abound. We awoke this morning, however, to the sound of raindrops tickling the roof of the brick. There is a very good reason for why everything here is so lush and green. It rains a lot. Ireland is covered by overcast skies for much of the time and the rain is never very far away. As we move closer to the end of summer, I wonder just how long will our luck with the weather hold up. It didn’t today and so we were provided with the opportunity to take a break from touristy sightseeing. Wandering around historic sights trying to take photos through the raindrops is probably not much fun anyway.

Our camp-site is just up the road from the city of Cork on Ireland’s South coast so we took a ride into town to check out the city. The rapid growth of this country’s economy in recent years has brought with it the usual scourges such as road congestion and it took us a while to find somewhere reasonably close to the city centre to park. With the help of an accommodating, if rather depressed looking, parking attendant, we ultimately found a nice place to park along the banks of one of the two rivers that straddle the city either side. Technically, Cork is built on an island. Since the rain was rather light at the time, we decided to brave the weather and took a stroll into the city centre to do some window-shopping. That was shortly before the heavens opened up on top of us.

After a while, all cities tend to look like each other and although Cork has its own charms, it is ostensibly just another city. After wandering around a bit aimlessly for a while, we returned back to the brick for some lunch. By this time we were both half soaked through to the skin. We spent the next hour or so sitting in the van playing logic puzzles and generally tinkering around.

The rain did let up again later in the afternoon and the sky actually threatened to clear up a bit so we ventured out again to do some shopping. Sitting in the van had given us the chance to come up with a shopping plan of attack. We’ve now exhausted all the Star Trek Deep Space 9 DVD episodes but season four has just been released and I was keen to see if it was to be had anywhere in town. It wasn’t.

Towards the end of the afternoon, we stumbled into an Internet café and I managed to fire off a new World Travel update along with another page of photos representing our trek through the UK and Ireland thus far. It will be interesting to see who responds this time.

We returned back to the same camp-site as yesterday since I still want to knock off Barry court Castle and the Blarney Stone before we leave Cork to head farther towards the South West. It also won’t hurt to give the main camper-van battery another good eight hours of charge overnight.

It’s taken me a couple of weeks to get back into the routine of summarising our daily events through this journal each evening. I guess that writing a full page to cover what was essentially a boring, uneventful day must mean that I’m back into the swing of things again.

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