Bits and bobs

Random thoughts about random things by a random person

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Day 15 (Sept 26/19): Waterville to Killarney

I was up at the dark hour of 6 a.m. yesterday to get myself ready and out the door in time for the bus to Killarney at 7 a.m.

Before I got up, I could hear the wind blowing and was not looking forward to trudging with my suitcases to the bus stop. It is less than 5 minutes away, but if there was a driving rain like we’d had at times during the past few days, I would be sopping wet (good rain jacket or no) before I got there.

Plus, since there is only the one bus, I wanted to be there at least 15 minutes early to be sure I didn’t miss it. There was no shelter, so I’d be good and drenched for sure before getting on the bus.

Waterville is the first stop – the originating point – of the route at that time of the day so I also thought the bus might even be there a little early, to make sure the trip started on time. So if it was raining, there was a slight hope that I would be able to board before the 7:00 departure and not be as wet as I might otherwise have been.

Happily, when I did leave, I discovered there was no rain – only the wind!!

Before you ask, I had looked out the curtains, but it was pitch black. The windows were speckled with rain, but I couldn’t tell if it was still falling or not. Depending on the direction of the wind, the windows didn’t necessarily get much rain. So it wasn’t till I got out there that I knew for sure.

I got to the stop just more than 15 minutes before it was due to leave. The bus wasn’t there yet, but no biggy. It was just wind.

There was a bench in an uncovered recess near the stop, so I wheeled my suitcases in there – the stop was on an incline and those roll-any-direction wheels these days would have taken my bags on quite a tour in that wind had I just left them on the sidewalk.

It would have made for a funnier post, I suppose, to tell you about me having to chase them over hell’s half acre and barely make it back in time for the bus (or even miss it completely), but that’s not a story I really wanted to have to tell. Sorry!! 🙂

I alternated between sitting and standing – to make sure I could see the bus when it was coming – and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

By 7:05 I was getting a little antsy. As I said, it was the starting point of the route. How could you be behind before you even started?

By 7:10, I was double-checking the times on the route post sign at the stop. Yup…just as it had said when I looked at it yesterday:From Aug 31/19 to June 2020: 7 a.m. every day except Sunday.

The schedule at the bus stop in Waterville

I knew I hadn’t missed it – I was there more than 15 minutes early.

I started thinking I might need to reach out to the caretaker and let her know that, no, I wasn’t leaving today. I’d be staying at least another night. (I had it paid for up to the 28th.)

By 7:15, I was online (thank goodness again that I had bought that cell phone with its unlimited data!!!) to see if I could find any info about anything that could have delayed the bus. After a couple of minutes of searching, I found a real-time indicator for the route and my stop. The bus was due to arrive in 2 minutes. Whew!!

And sure enough, before long, the bus came round the corner. I loaded my bags in, got a ticket from the driver and plunked myself down in a seat, ready to enjoy another lovely ride. As dawn had risen by now, I was looking forward to the same spectacular views as on my trip down to Waterville.

There were only me and another lady on the bus at this point. They knew each other, but I inserted myself into their conversation fairly easily.

More people got on and off at the other stops and most, if not all, were regulars. They knew the driver by name and he knew theirs. That was nice to see. The familiarity between them made the whole thing feel somehow a bit homey and more comfortable.

The first lady got off at one point and another lady got on. I have to admit, I didn’t understand much of what the second lady said. She was rather elderly and, from what I could gather, had spent much of her life on a farm. She never had a landline. And beyond that, I didn’t understand much. she was pleasant, though, and quite happy to converse.

I had a very interesting conversation with the driver, though. It was fascinating to get a local perspective on Brexit, the EU and other issues. He wasn’t a grumbly, negative, “I just want to rant and complain” kind of person. He seemed quite informed on current events. I know it was just his own perspective, but I appreciated getting to learn about that perspective all the same.

For example, the only thing I had heard on the news back home about the impact of Brexit to Ireland was the in relation to the border between Northern Ireland (part of the UK and therefore about to leave the EU) and the Republic of Ireland (a separate country on its own, not part of the UK and therefore not leaving the EU).

But the driver explained that they anticipate a lot of impacts to their trade. A goodly portion of their exports go to the UK. The UK is also the land route for many of their exports to other countries in the EU. Ireland is also not allowed to negotiate its own trade agreement with the UK; it has to be done by the EU and, apprently, Ireland doesn’t even have a seat at the table.

He also explained some of the concerns he has about being in the EU at all.

Now, I’m no expert in any of that stuff and have no idea if any portion of what he said is true or not. But…it is what he believes. He is probably not the only one. Sometimes what is fact isn’t really the imporant thing – or certainly not the only important thing.

What the People think or believe is their reality and is true for them. It’s not something that can or should (in my opinion) be ignored. Nothing very good ever seems to come from ignoring the People and their concerns/fears.

Anyway, as I said, I was glad to learn of that side of things. It has given me more interest in following what happenns with Brexit and the EU – it’s easier to become interested in something when you have real, individual faces and names of people who are impacted by it.

Before I knew it, I was in Killarney. I hadn’t paid much attention to the scenery at all, but thoroughly enjoyed myself all the same, if for entirely different reasons. 🙂