Days 61 & 62: What Can You Do With A Blister On Your Foot

The rather large set of answers to the above question apparently includes “help lose a pub quiz, learn a historical poem, do a dry run of your upcoming route, and hear some trad.”

So the 23km on pavement – one of the longer days I have walked since I started trying to actually be careful of my overall physical condition – really did a number on one of my feet, as I mentioned yesterday. So I gave the resulting horrific blister (below and between my toes, sigh) two whole days to heal, which annoyingly also involved doing a whole lot of nothing because strangely enough if you are trying to heal feet you need to not walk on them, a fact that still irritates me after nearly a month and a half of this business. (answers to the titular question also included “watch a lot of Fringe and binge read some Brandon Sanderson”)

However, I did want to find the more interesting answers. I was actually hunting for the music at the local trad venue, Spells, but instead managed to land myself into the middle of a random Irish pub quiz night; before I entirely knew what was what I had been recruited onto one of the teams, for what good it did them. Mostly the players were older ladies, a bright and funny bunch with names like Eileen, Anne, Mary, Sheila, and so on. I mostly listened, though I managed to contribute a few useful answers (includiing tomatoes, herons, and Lady Gaga) as well as a bit of banter here and there. Our team lost, but no one much seemed to mind.

And as a bonus, one of the ladies, Eileen, towards the end of the evening shared a poem she knew about O’Sullivan’s march, The snippet she knew went:

“We reached the Breifne border then but hope was hard to find
For now the twelve men marched in front and twenty four behind
From out the frozen woods of Truagh the voice came in the dark
Is that you, O’Sullivan, who goes to join O’Rourke?”

The following evening as I came down to dinner I happened to run into a fellow Andrew Durkin (being awesome again) had summoned to answer some of my questions about the next day’s route. The gentleman – one Jimmy Coogin – did one better and actually drove me over several options, and also showed me a few local sights I would have otherwise missed including the Four Arches (a site for hedge masses with a little alcove facing in all four directions, the better to hide from the winds and weather and to keep watch for English troops coming to kill you for being Catholic) and Captain Coslow’s Palace, a very fancy estate built by a soldier for his Austrian wife. (it didn’t work – she later left him, and the estate ended up in the hands of the Catholic church. They currently house the local bishop there but are looking to sell it because the upkeep of the house and grounds is prohibitively expensive)
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Kind of a crap pic sorry I only had my phone and the light was terrible
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The towery bit cut off in previous pic even more poorly framed ugh

After that I went back to Spells to try again for the music. I couldn’t stay out too long as I hope to walk on the morrow, and the music started quite late due to the entire pub being happily distracted by Ireland’s victory in a football (soccer, my fellow Americans) game against the Italians. Still, eventually a pianist and accordionist settled into the back corner and began to reel out some lively tunes, which I enjoyed for a while before retiring.

So I found some good activities during my rest time. I do hope I can get back on the road tomorrow, though!

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