March 18, 2005
This morning, as I sat and enjoyed my breakfast, I spent a few hours chatting with a blind man from Belfast who is staying in the same B&B as I am. After learning only a few things about me, he was able to perceive what kind of person I am and he seemed to know me in a way that many don’t. He offered some wonderful Irish wisdom that really spoke to my current situation in life which, in some ways, I was only ready to really hear at that time even though I may have heard some of it before. To think, a blind stranger was able to “see” me for who I am even as I feel somewhat invisible when I’m around many who have their sight.
After getting a later start than I had planned, my options for the afternoon were somewhat limited because of the bus schedule. I decided that my best bet was to travel out to the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge for my first touristy stop of the day. As I walked down the winding coastal path to the bridge, I was once again amazed by the shear beauty of the landscaped that surrounded me. It’s awe-inspiring how green and lush it is even on such a cool, cloudy, and drizzly day. Definitely a high point.
From there, I hopped on the bus to head back towards the west so I could see some of the other sights. When I reached the point where I was supposed to change busses, I notices a sign pointing the way to the Giant’s Causeway and, being near the coast, I assumed that it was nearby. So, instead of getting on the bus, I decided to walk down the road to see it. Yeah, that was a mistake. After walking for about 15-20 minutes I came to the ruins of a castle with a little sign out front which had a map of the area on it. Yep, I was about 4.3 miles from where I thought I was. Excellent! It was approaching twilight and I wasn’t really expecting a bus to come by. There was a bustop just down the road and after not too long, a bus came by from the other direction. I talked to the driver and he said another one should be by within a half hour or so. So, I waited. Many cars passed by and there was no sign of the bus. I wasn’t so much nervous as I was impatient. Just as I was considering starting to walk, a car pulled up and asked if I needed a ride. Now, I’m not one to just get in the car with a stranger – my parents taught me well – but he looked like a nice old man and was heading back to the same town I was. So, I hopped in. I wasn’t really nervous, though I was on my guard. The Irish are very friendly people and always willing to lend a hand. I found that whenever I mentioned that my family was from the area I was all the sudden treated as though I was a native rather than a tourist. People became more open and much warmer in their reception when they found out. It was great.