One of the things Andrew wanted to do most of all was to go scuba diving while we were in Ireland. He’d never mentioned the desire to scuba dive before, but was really keen on doing it in Ireland. So Dean, being a water lover himself, set up a scuba diving lesson and actual dive for him and Andrew for today.
Clare and I should have asked to be dropped off in a market town or something — or even left at home, because, while we expected to go shopping in Kilkee while the guys went scuba diving, we soon discovered that Kilkee is not a market town.
We even asked at the local tourist office where the shops were. Their reply was, “Ohhh, Kilkee is a holiday town, not a market town. You’ll have to go to Ennis or Limerick for shopping.”
When we got to Kilkee this time, we accompanied Dean and Andrew to the scuba diving place. Kilkee is supposed to be the best place to dive in Ireland, so they made a good choice. The guys at the scuba place told Clare and me that they had room in the class for us, but we politely declined and said we were going shopping. An elderly and unkempt gentleman, who seemed to be there for the free coffee warned us that we’d find no shops in Kilkee. Kilkee was not a market town.
Clare’d had enough of walking on the beach on Wednesday, so she didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to walk on the rocks because I’d been scared last time, when Dean was around. We ended up walking up and down the main drag. It had a few shops — a couple of small stores with tacky clothes and one or two with plastic toys for entertaining young children at the beach.
We found one shop that had a few books. Clare bought a signed copy of a book about fairies by a local author, so it wasn’t a complete waste.
After walking up and down that street we decided to hang out in the car for a while. Clare read her summer reading for school and I watched the people on the beach.
After what seemed like hours…oh yeah, it was hours…the guys came back with tales of their adventures scuba diving.
We then ate a delicious lunch of sandwiches purchased at a local deli while sitting on a bench overlooking the beach. Andrew and Dean wanted us to see where they went scuba diving, so we drove around town to a really cool place that Clare and I would have gone to had we known it was there.
There were tide pools galore! In fact the tide pools were so huge that they were where the guys went scuba diving. We spent a while exploring the tide pools and Clare took some great shots of some crabs under just under a bit of rock.
We also had fun with the sea foam. If you’ve ever read the real version of The Little Mermaid, you know that when mermaids die their souls don’t go to heaven, they turn into sea foam instead. So I always call sea foam, dead mermaids.
After wandering around for a while we realized the tide had come in and we were slightly stranded. Dean carried Clare through the water and was about to come back for me, but a young couple encouraged me to take off my boots and wade through the water. I was afraid the barnacles on the rocks would hurt the bottoms of my feet, but they didn’t and the water was not that cold. When we got to the other side someone joked that I’d walked across the Atlantic Ocean. I guess I had.
We returned to Parkduff Cottage and I cooked a delicious salmon meal. I’d seen fresh fish for sale in a “victuallers” shop in Kilkee and bought a couple pounds of salmon. I braised it in a lemon butter – garlic – rosemary broth and sliced up some carrots which steamed on the top of the salmon while it cooked. We had it with rice and a salad. It was truely wonderful. Very fresh.
At the victuallers I asked the butcher why it was so hard to find fresh fish in Ireland. He told me that the Irish who lived by the sea wouldn’t eat it to save their lives. In fact, during the great famine people would die rather than eat fish. He said that folks inland ate more fish. I’d actually heard that story before, but thought it an old wives tale.
Gregory came by to settle our bill before supper. He disagreed with the butcher’s theory. He said that the Irish were sick of fish because that is all they had to eat.
That evening I took a few photos around the cottage to remember it by. I forgot to take a picuture of the exactly 4 forks and butter knives, but I did take photos of dust, cobwebs and the one sharp knife in the house.
They had a killer pan though.