A thwarted attempt to move on; Armin's truncated job search; Max the Friendly Frenchman; Baile mac an Doile Hill and Eask Tower in the rain

We’d planned to stay in Dingle for two days originally, but by the time we’d dragged ourselves down to the tourist information place it was too late - the only bus which would have gotten us a connection to Doolin, our next destination, had already left. Taking the next bus would only have meant staying the night in Tralee, only an hour away. We opted to stay and dragged our packs back to the hostel.

Max was an overly-friendly Frenchman working at the hostel, pathetically solicitous and seemingly determined to singlehandedly overturn his country’s reputation for rudeness and arrogance. I certainly can’t fault him for his friendliness, but his hyperalert chipperness was far too much for me and so I found myself hiding from him most of the time. His constant offers of tea, chess games, &cetera, and incessant ‘is everything perfect?’ questioning started off amusing and ended up just plain irritating. Armin, in fact, made a chance remark that the hostel had no more bread left at breakfast - only to have Max rush out that very minute to buy more. We found out later that he’d done the same for some other guests - a group of three American grandmothers - when they ran out of milk. This was in striking counterpart to the owner of the hostel, who was the crankiest, most unpleasant bastard imaginable.

We left Armin in Dingle Town and headed out for a walk. The last time in Dingle I’d hired a bike and ridden out around the bay to Baile mac an Doile Hill, and the views were magnificent. We decided to walk there, but sadly it was a washout - more or less literally. The walk was a couple of hours in periodic heavy rain, which we either trudged through or waited out under hedges or, once, in an abandoned house. When we finally got to the hill, it had stopped for a bit, which was nice, because we had to climb a few hundred meters through sheep fields. Very active and very well-fed sheep. We had to watch the ground constantly for fear of slipping and coating ourselves in sheep dung. When we finally got to the top, cold and wet, the view was obscured by clouds. We waited out another storm in a shepherd’s hut and began the long trudge back to town. Armin had had an email from his mother telling him that a job interview he’d been waiting for had come through, and so he had decided to cut his trip short by a month to head home. Out of curiosity I asked him what he’d do if they asked him to cut his dreadlocks off, having faced similar situations myself. He grudgingly allowed that the job was more important than the hair, which is the opposite of my usual decision. Funnily enough, he reported a month later that he’d gotten the job and thought it was because of the dreads.

Chris Liberty - Dispatches from a Gentleman Adventurer
Being the internal dialog of a vagabond who chased his own tail across five continents for 4 years and 2 days from May 2008 to May 2012, in search of something that never really became clear.
This travelogue comprises 16,426 photographs and 402,515 words in 307 dispatches written from 335 places in 52 countries on 6 continents around the world.
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