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Mariam's Amazing Race to Cannes and back to Cambodia: Day 12

Breakfast was a healthy serving of muesli with fresh banana, pear, yogurt and milk. The coffee tasted sooo good. Jim had to cater an event and left early. Nathan and I looked at photos I brought in my computer of Cambodia, America, my family, and other places. Being Sunday, it was Vic's day off so she chose to spend it relaxing while I went with Nathan by bus to meet up with Jim in Blessington for a ride through the mountains.

We got to Blessington at 12:30pm, but Jim wasn't going be finished for another hour. Nathan and I scouted the possibilities for lunch and decided on The Tudor Inn. I got a plate piled high with a roast pork chop in pepper sauce, veggies including carrots, turnips and cauliflower, mashed potatoes, one roasted potato, mushy peas and gravy poured over it all. It was amazingly delicious! Nathan was more simple, this being everyday fare for him. He only got slices of roast beef and potatoes, but I let him order dessert - two scoops of ice cream. I enjoyed a hot cup of coffee with milk. I have to say while everyone tends to think of Ireland as the land of Guinness (a brand of beer), I have had the best coffee here.

We didn't have to wait long after finishing our meal for Jim to arrive. We headed off by car into the Wicklow Mountains. It was gently raining as we drove past sheep and green rolling hills covered with gorse (a yellow bush that smells something like coconut) and dormant heather. Old fieldstone walls criss-crossed the landscape. A large hare narrowly missed becoming roadkill as he hopped over the edge of shoulder into the bog.

A steep hillside covered with planted pine trees for wood harvesting ended in a lake that was mystical as the brooding sky covered the mountaintops with clouds. Through the mist it was possible to catch a glance of Guinness mansion.

Coming out the other side of the summit led us to Glendulough "land of two lakes." Part of the film, Excaliber was made here, where the sword comes out of the water. We stopped in Greystones to drop off Nathan, then took the seaside route back to Dublin. The first glimpse of the coast was amazing. This area reminded me a lot of Malibu. The homes of Enya and Bono can be found protected between land and sea.

We drove around Dublin to see where the river meets the sea. The area used to be industrial warehouse, but it has been redeveloped with modern commercial business and arts centres. There were bronze statues of Irish peasants, thin and bare from famine, making their way to the coffin ships with hopes of beating the odds and making alive to America.

Back at the apartment, I showed Vic my photos and then everyone took a nap. We were going to have a nice dinner but we all slept through the evening until late. We chatted a bit and had some tea, then went back to sleep.

Mariam Arthur


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