Things didn’t go exactly by plan the first couple days of the hike. The rain, even heavier than expected, made driving and hiking difficult, so we opted to settle in to a B&B for an extra day to wait it out. A bit turned around along the way, Stacey decided to pull over and ask a local antiques dealer, who was outside opening his shop, for directions. He agreed that she wouldn’t want to take the scenic route due to it being a “shit day” (declared all Irish-y), and the two bantered as I shopped about.
I sprung from the “car park” and beelined towards a intricately made Buddah for sale on the wall of the building. But deciding that Buddah was too big to make the trek home, I found a Labrynth-like gargoyle hanging a few steps later and pulled it from the wall for purchase. We made our way inside to explore and, thanks to Stacey’s keen eye, I now have the coolest of books for my coffee table: a collection of early 1900’s stamps from all over the world. Each time I look at it I notice new things; it’s truly captivating. Having watched a few episodes of BBC’s “Antiques Roadshow”, I think I’ve readied the perfect “ooooooh, really!?” as it’s valued by some on-air personality at $10,000.
I made my way down to pay and, having noticed a sign that said “No Reasonable Offer Refused”, knew it was time to bargain. The shop owner was playing old Elvis records for a customer, but had taking a liking to us American girls immediately, convinced that he had to give us some books for free and entertain us. When I made offers for the book and gargoyle, he responded, “Are you poor love?”.
I laughed, and confirmed that I wasn’t. I explained that the trip had a rough start and some unexpected expenses. He empathized and said that he sensed some strain had come over the trip, having a sort of 6th sense.
“I have a message for you,” he said, handing me an old book. “Now I haven’t read what’s on the inside of this book, but you can see what it’s called: Far From Over. And this is what I know about your journey. You’re meant to be here. And there’s been strain getting here to this place, but you’ll see it’s all right.”
He accepted my offers, and added that I’d be “a damn fool” if I didn’t take the scenic route out of town. So much for it being a “shit day”.
I felt full of excitement. This was such a powerful interaction and message; it felt purposeful. One of those precious little moments in life…
We, eventually, took the scenic route through the Ring of Kerry. And he was right; I would have been a damn fool to miss it.