Tag: hiking

Life in Zdiar

 The High Tatras in the Fall

With a week left on the road, I went in the opposite direction I should’ve been going in and headed east to revisit the Ginger Monkey for two days. By the time I got to the Poprad bus station, twilight was encroaching, it was cold, the gypsies were emerging, and I had another hour to wait alone for the bus. At least it’s not raining, I thought to myself. Sure enough, by the time the bus pulled up beside Zdiar’s petrol station, the biggest rainstorm I’d yet hit was pouring down buckets and I tumbled into the Ginger Monkey’s bright kitchen dripping, shivering, and sporting soaked shoes.

I again met (Czech) Dan the manager, Ivan, and a dance party in the kitchen. We drank through a bottle of something clear with a worm sinking at the bottom that Kevin had left behind, possibly the best drink I’ve ever had. Under its mysterious influence I made the split decision to extend my trip after all and volunteer at the Ginger Monkey for the next three weeks, Vegas wedding style.

Wicklow and Some Musings

Wicklow, Ireland

A little hung over, I walked the next morning from my hostel in Dublin to the car rental place where I was to pick up my manual car. I had driven a manual car twice back home in preparation (renting automatics is hundreds of dollars more expensive), and I was sure driving on the “correct” side of the road would be no problem with a little concentration.

I happily picked up some strawberries along the way and ate them walking down the empty street. They were normal sized strawberries and also smelled like strawberries, facets that were still novel to me. The woman checked over my paperwork as I mentally prepared myself for the driving ahead, and then said, “We can’t rent to you. You’re not twenty-three.”

You would think there would have been a question on the website, wouldn’t you!? Well, to the Busáras we go. So I put on my backpack again, made the fifteen minute trek over there, and commenced busing around Ireland….

No buses went to my next destination, a hostel in the old monastic village of Glendelough, so I looked at a map and picked the closest town, Wicklow, canceling my reservation and booking another en route as I got my first exciting taste of flying by the seat of my pants. I knew nothing about Wicklow.