When you are coming from Australia to cycle along the Wild Atlantic Way you have to first get used to the Irish landscape (or you’ll fall off the bike looking at all the green fields). Luckily for Karli, the intrepid Ozzie cyclist, she had relatives in Tipperary who could take her in and allow her to get her head ready for the surroundings. This would get her prepared for the wild animals, the history and the mysterious substance called Craic that everybody referred to. Here is what her first impressions of Ireland were like;
During my first few weeks in Nenagh I was awash with complete mystification. Everything was so green. I could lie down on the grass and not get bitten by unreasonably painful insects and arachnids. Some people in town were actually complaining about an infestation of wild kittens! I was beyond elated. My phone storage had hit capacity with excessive images of grassy fields and my arm fearlessly placed in long grass without any fear of snakes thanks to St Patrick.
I loved the fascinating history that existed in every place we visited. Nenagh has a castle, built around the 1200s, that was viewable from my auntie and uncles window!
We also visited the great Rosse Telescope in the grounds of the Birr Castle. Built in the early 1840s, it was the largest telescope in the world at that time (shoutout to my bro Google for always having my back). Historical monuments such as this are uncommon in Australia and so I had a great enthusiasm for every stone gate we passed.
Nenagh was such a quaint, beautiful town and was a great introduction to the rest of the country. I had learnt that you let a guinness sit, that yourman over there isn’t the same yourman that was mentioned in the last story, and that even though everyone’s having good craic, serious nation-wide substance abuse intervention is not necessary. As I lay on the wet grass of a gorgeous open field, surrounded by sheep I thought to myself ‘is this heaven’? And ‘God I hope this is mud’.
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