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  • Saturday, July 19, 2014

    The World Cup Finals

    From July 13th...

    The score was 0 to 0 in the second overtime. Well, if overtime is what they call it in soccer. I'm not sure since I've never been able to watch a game to the end. Since I'm in a country that actually cares about the sport, however, I wanted to find a pub and watch Germany play Argentina at the World Cup Finals.

    I walked into The Hawthorn Bar in Glengarriff ready to root for the underdog, Argentina. Well into the game I found that I still don't like soccer. Actually, the highlight for me was when an Irishman yelled, "fucking bullocks!" at the screen. I don't know why he yelled it. I just liked hearing it. By the second overtime, the sun had set. It'd be too dark to find a place to camp, but I was determined to watch it to the end.

    The four hours of sleep I had the night before started to take its toll. My eyes burned. I closed them and rubbed them with my hands to soothe them. What they really wanted was to stay closed, so I let them for about four seconds.

    "Yeeeaaahh!" the German couple sitting next to me suddenly yelled. I opened my eyes and saw their fists in the air. I missed the only goal. Germany won.

    Oh well. I didn't stay up because I cared about the outcome. I just wanted to witness life in Ireland, randomly and without any real plan. The World Cup just seemed like an important part of that. I would have regretted missing it for some reason.

    There was still the matter of it being nearly midnight and having nowhere to go. I left the pub and walked to the edge of town, but I couldn't find anywhere inconspicuous to setup a tent. Then it started to rain. With the roads, which have no shoulders to walk on in Ireland, now dark and wet, I went back to town to find a hostel or B&B. Unfortunately, they were either closed or had no vacancy signs displayed.

    On a bench with my pack next to me, I debated sleeping in an abandoned house just up the road. Bar chatter and live music poured into the streets.  A car drove by with a passenger waving a large German flag out the window yelling, "Deutschland!" which drunken people outside the bars along the street yelled back to them.

    When all the pubs closed for the night and the streets were quiet, I just setup my tent in a spot under a streetlight next to a stone bridge. People walking along the bridge would clearly see me, but I'd be invisible to cars. Before falling asleep, I set my alarm for sunrise, so I could get out before being spotted.

    It was another night with four hours of sleep, but I'd get an early start to make sure I get to Dursey Island and finally begin my hike across the country.