[Exploration]

Again, today got off to a late start.  I hope this doesn’t become a theme with our group, especially since I’ll be catching an early bus to Inis Diomain (Ennistimon or Ennistymon, we saw it spelled both ways on various signs today) every day in the coming month.  We didn’t eat lunch (grilled cheese, courtesy of Megan) until around 2 p.m. and we didn’t set off until around 2:40 p.m.

Where we were headed?  Inis Diomain, of course.  It’s a town about the same size or a little larger than Lahinch, where our house is.  It’s also only about 2 kilometers away, ”Just down the road,” according to the locals.  Right.  It took us about 40 minutes to walk that road, even on the newly constructed bike path.  I’ll readily admit that part of that is my fault, since I’m just about the slowest walker on the planet, but I’ll also say some of it was because everyone was taking photos.

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom

Here’s our group setting off down the path.  I’m up in front (which didn’t last long, let me tell you) with Megan, while Sam and Liz are in the middle.  We all have our bags and computers with us because our house in Lahinch doesn’t have Internet.

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom

I wouldn’t be a true Nebraskan if I didn’t post a photo of cows.  Ireland is known for its dairy products, but the beef is rather good too.  But yes, we did see a lot of cows during our walk.  And apparently, judging by the amount of photos the group took, we’re still fascinated by them for some reason.

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom

We also saw a horse.  It was quite friendly, coming right up to the barbed-wire fence separating it from the budding photographers.  It’s a pretty little buckskin (if that’s wrong, please correct me), isn’t it?

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom

I got a little winded after trekking over hill and dale, so I decided a low stone wall would be a nice resting place.  Kaitlyn apparently thought I’d be a good photographic subject.  From the expression (or lack of) on my face, I would guess I didn’t know this was being taken.

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom

We found a pair of asses while traversing.  These ones had four feet and liked head scritches, if their willingness to entertain Sam’s invasion of their pasture is any indication.

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom

Megan took a chance and hopped the wall into the pasture too.  The darker donkey really seemed to enjoy Megan’s presence.  At least, it liked her more than the other one liked Sam.  Maybe it was the fact that Megan is a pretty lady with nice head scritches?

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom

Kaitlyn decided against joining Megan, Sam, and the donkeys in the pasture, but she got some head-scritching action in too.  I think that tail in the background is moving in a happy gesture, but no one was bitten, so I think that’s a good assumption on my part.  But you know what they (who, exactly, is they?) say about assuming things.

Well, after quite a walk, we made it to Inis Diomain, where we saw a lot of color, and a lot more people than we have been accustomed to in Lahinch.  (I swear our town is deserted.)  There was also a lot more traffic, and we had to look carefully no less than twice before crossing the street (remember, in Ireland people drive on the left side of the road).

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom

Liz found an abandoned building with interesting art and crumbling stairs, so of course we took a photo of her next to it.  I think the contrast between the stone and mortar and the clapboard walls is interesting, but I’m not an artist, so what do I know.

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom

Crossing the river into downtown, we found our next rental place.  (Hint: It’s the one with all the “open” windows.)  Don’t you think that would be a stellar accommodation?  I mean, look at the view.  (No, really, look at the next photo.  That’s the view.)

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom

These are the falls of Inis Diomain, and they’re really quite pretty.  My mental story-maker says that the building in the background is a boarding school, which would be pretty awesome, in my mind.  In reality, it’s probably a hotel of some sort.  But the water is lovely, if really dark.

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom

Here’s downtown Inis Diomain.  As seems to be the thing in Ireland, the storefronts are very colorful.  And, of course, there are the Clare County flags here too, with some additional ones hanging from windows.

We ate lunch in a little galette (crepes, guys) shop called “Oh La La.”  From what Davy and Chris Spillane told us, the owner is actually French.  The crepe we had (banana and nutella) was delicious.  We split it four ways (Megan was off doing her project work), because none of us were especially hungry at the time.

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom

I just love the color contrast here.  I think the flowers are a nice touch, too.  Sam and Megan went under the arch to get a photo of the sign, but you can just look below for that.

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom

There’s a sign I’ve never seen before.  Maybe it’s because Nebraska doesn’t have too many rivers, or maybe Irish people just drive into rivers more.  After all, warnings are made because someone’s done it before.

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom

Don’t I look pretty?  (Don’t answer that, please.)  I like the sun off my face, and the angle of my arm leads you straight to the river, which is really the point of this photo, no?  And of course, this serves as proof that I am having fun in Ireland.

Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom
Courtesy of Kaitlyn Baucom

That’s my actual smile, when I’m not caught mid-laugh.  Eh.  I don’t like the light as much in this one, but my hair’s a little better-behaved.  A little.  It was a bit chilly today, hence the sweater.  Don’t judge.  I get cold easily.

Did I mention we weren’t hungry earlier?  Yeah, that didn’t last.  We made it back to Lahinch about 8 p.m. and we were starving.  Of course, we had to talk with Dr. Babcock and Dr. Johnson, and then we spent some time checking email, but we got back to the house and immediately started cooking.

We had pasta with chicken, mushrooms, and some sort of white cheese with bacon sauce.  We thought it was alfredo.  It definitely wasn’t.  It still tasted good though.  Mix that with a little wine and we were grand.  It was a good way to spend our third day in Ireland: exploring our new territory.

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