Clamming for the Craic

 

Dingle, ahhhh

Well, you all know I’m sort of a random person….I don’t think I ever spent 2 days with a more random crowd since the spanish club on the cruise when I was 12. I arrived in Dingle on Wednesday night, exhausted again after 5 hours worth of bus rides. The road to Dingle is one long windy, hilly, twisty, turny, BEAUTIFUL and small; and along the way we picked up a boat load of school children and dropped them each off at random dusty roads without names. Most of the time I couldn’t even see a house that they’d be walking to! Anyways, as soon as we hit the coast, I knew I was going to love it here! The air has that amazing ocean breeze smell and it’s an ultimate beach town. Supposedly a surfer mecca for Ireland, a beach called Inch Beach – which I later got to drive alongside and it is indeed gorgeous.

At this point it was about 6:30, I hadn’t eaten since 11 that morning and I had absolutely no idea where my hostel was, LUCKILY, I stepped off the bus and I saw a van waiting there that had the logo of my hostel on it, Rainbow Hostel. The hostel is a bit hidden so the Polish guy who runs it apparently sits at the bus stop 3 times a day waiting for people like me. Whew! He stopped at a market on the way so that I could pick up some food and when we arrived, there were two men making dinner in the common kitchen area who seriously changed the idea of what I thought my time in Dingle would be like. They were making a seafood feast of food they’d just foraged off the beach and trying to convince me within minutes to try an oyster, which I did eventually – still don’t like!

Ladies and Gentleman, Michael Wild Freeman

Michael Wild Freeman, a 65 year old Keith Richards look-a-like from South Devon, England; and Dave Jones, yes a real live person named “Davie Jones,” an ex-rugby player from New Zealand. These are merely small depictions of these interesting fella’s and not only did I eat dinner with them and drink all night but I woke up the next day and they were eating breakfast and invited me to go dig for clams with them. CLEARLY this was something I had to jump on.

A little backstory of why they’re so interesting…Michael is a a festival architect, who got his degree from Oxford university by chance of meeting a nicotine addict dean of students in a weak moment who signed the papers to let him in in exchange for a pack of marlboro’s. – Now I’m fully aware that this could be a made up story, but if you met the guy and spent a day with him, you wouldn’t doubt the validity believe me…plus he’s a great story teller! He is a self-proclaimed hippie who carries around an envelope full of some of his most prized moments in time and other memorabilia to add to his stories. He’s also the most brutally honest person I’ve ever met in my life, which I have always respected in someone, as long as it balances out with a good heart, which it certainly does in him.

Dave has traveled all over the world playing professional rugby for New Zealand. He is also a musician and

In a van down by the river...I would not mind living in a caravan with this kind of view!

videographer for festivals all over Ireland. He’s been living in various towns in Ireland for about 13 years but recently found Dingle and fell in love with it, as I’m sure most do including myself.

The stories that the two of them could tell were incredible of their insane life stories and they were happy to take me under their wing, which clearly I loved. So beginning at 10 am, we head out to an incredible beach with an incredible view and Michael showed us how to dig for clams, periwinkles and oysters. We walked away with buckets full of everything, half of which we kept for our lunch/dinner the rest given to Dave’s friend who owns a restaurant in town. We take a bit of a drive around the coast, then head to Dave’s place to cook up our clam chowder! Amazing! The view outside of this caravan was seriously to DIE for. Even the beautiful views make me feel the history of this place. The cliffs, the barren mountains, the small home-towny feel. Just absolutely amazing. We ended up chatting and singing and listening to each other’s stories for the entire day, combined with chowder and wine – a great day indeed. We polished off the night by heading to a “local” pub, and I say this because it was about a 15 minute drive on twisty, turny pitch black country roads to get there – Jesus these roads are small!

Incredible - I wish these pictures could do the landscape justice but obviously they don't

I am in full belief that everything happens for a reason and though I don’t know exactly the reason for this chance encounter of three unlikely’s I can feel in my bones that this was meant to happen. (Plus New Zealand accents are wonderful! 🙂 hehehe

So this morning, I woke up in Dingle and got a ride with Dave and his friend, Ken, on their way to Velencia to work on winterizing Dave’s boat. It was a two hour drive away and he wouldn’t take any money for gas, so freakin’ nice! He dropped me in a small town that has a direct road to Castletown Bere, which was my original plan…BUT it’s lashing rain here today and I am in no mood to figure out logistics. So I hitched a ride to another small town, also in Co. Kerry and booked a room in the first B&B I saw, so I shall most likely have another randomly awesome night in another randomly awesome small town. I am now sitting in the most fabulous coffee house/restaurant enjoying a cup of tea, eating a cup of homemade vegetable soup and watching the rain go down as I enjoy the free internet access. WHEW! Busy few days, if I hadn’t booked the flights to the other country’s already I’d be seriously tempted to stay in Ireland and do exactly this for the next three weeks.

Dylan, Bob Dylan

P.S.

If anyone has any suggestions of how to inexpensively do this – meaning changing flights or something, please let me know! I ❤ Ireland to much to leave so soon.

Fun Facts:

  • Michael has a dog named Dylan, Bob Dylan. He got the privilege to watch a Bob Dylan concert on the side of the stage and yelled to the man himself at the end of his set, “Can I name my dog after you!?” – He had his 10 week old puppy with him at this time and Mr. Dylan walked up patted him on the head and said, “That’ll be fine.” – Again we can all believe what we want, but I don’t doubt a word this man says that’s how sound he is…in a mad sort of way. Ha!
  • Dave and Ken are currently working on a piece of art which they are carving from a piece of whale bone, just a bit shorter than me. It will take the form of a guitar when finished – I’ve only seen pictures of the work in progress, but really freaking cool – and Dave feels very strongly about gifting/donating things before reaping the benefits so he will be giving this guitar to Keith Richards (an idol of his and probably what attracted him to Michael – who he only met hours before I met themselves) – supposedly he has a friend who knows the man in some way shape or form.
  • Please for the love of God if you want to know more of the insane, ridiculous details of these last few days, which I have not relayed here as it would take way too much space, Ask!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Eileen Webb says:

    OMG Shan!! You are goin to be bored when you return to the U S of A

    Like

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