This is a very long post, I am off to England tonight so mightn't blog much for the next week, although if they have wireless around, I will blog during meetings!
To get the gist of this post you need to read my other two posts Ireland calling and Liverpool to Dublin on this little Ireland journey.
Anyway we arrive in Dublin, put the tent up in phoenix park but then have to move on, we find out that U2 are playing the final gig of their European tour of the Joshua Tree in Cork!
So instantly out comes the chequebook, tickets in 1987 cost £14.00 each! Then all we had to do was get ourselves to cork. So we hitchhiked, it was fun, we camped out one night after going to a bar were they gave us some illegal potato whiskey called Puchine and then the following evening some wonderful people stopped and let us sleep in their living room, they were farmers and all I can remember is we slept till noon, when we got up they cooked us massive breakfast and told us about how they used to smuggle condoms into the south of Ireland from the North!
Eventually we got to Cork it was a festival so we set up camp amongst a load of other people and eagerly waited for the big gig the next day! That night I made a mistake of having drank to much cider of telling some boys from Newry that my Dad had been in the army there! They were republicans so the atmosphere got a bit frosty!
Any way next day we get up queue and get in to the concert, we somehow manage to end up 20 feet from the front. I get to talking with a girl called Megan from New York somehow we end up kissing! U2 were magnificent, it was the edges birthday, they brought a huge cake out and his wife jumped out of it. Watched most of the gig with this girl Megan, who then said she was off to get to the front, faint and get dragged out so she could get a closer look! Well I thought that was a nice little moment, then somehow she managed to find me again about 20 mins later, very weird. Running to a stand still was their best song for me that night, Bono said just "let the words of this song ring out across this city" and honestly there was silence it was phenomenal experience. At the end I kissed this girl Megan we said, “Have a nice life” and went our own separate ways.
When the concert came to an end we came down to earth with a bump, our rucksacks and tent had been stolen. Probably the guys from Newry. We slept outside that night all I remember was that in the morning some nice hippy guy lent us his toothbrush. We then heard there was a hippy commune in a place further west called Skibereen, so not deterred by lack of money or nowhere to sleep we set out for Skibereen.
Slept in the central reservation of a road one night under some cardboard, then tried to get some money from a priest, he gave us 5 punts and told us to clear off! So we then slept in an alleyway, under some cardboard we spooned for warmth.
The next morning we walked out alongside the lough pictured, it was very wet and drizzly, it felt about 10 miles from Skibbereen to the hippy commune. When we got there we found out it was drugs rehabilitation centre! There was no way they would let us stay for the night!!! The Brazilian guy in charge just kept saying "It is not possible" We were a bit down, cold and hungry after this. We had some lighter fuel and somewhere beside this lough we started to inhale it. After one inhalation I woke up in a ditch having wet myself, sad isn’t it!
Well we hitched back to Dublin in a lorry that was transporting animal carcasses and hooked up with some people who we had met at the U2 concert they were very helpful, we slept in their flat for 4 days it was on the North circular road.
We decided we needed to move on and we felt we were taking liberties with this nice couple, so we said goodbye and decided to try and get to Belfast and see my family! We went in to Dublin and stupidly got arrested for shoplifting it wasn’t hardcore just fruit, we were starving. I have since sussed shoplifting the secret is "don’t hesitate."
Thankfully the police took pity on us and told us where we could get some food for free. It was at the Hari Krishna temple in Dublin so we went along and got well fed. They then invited us to join the Hari Krishna’s; well we didn’t have much of a plan so said "YES".
Before you know it we were in a minibus and then on a boat out to their island called Govindadwipa, County Fermanagh. Their leader was an ex member of the IRA a scary sort of chap, but very chilled. He told us to go stroke the cows and commune with nature, we walked in to the field but just fell about laughing and talking about steak and chips! The Haris are vegetarians. We worked on the land for a few days, but the vibe was weird. Kind of claustrophobic, one guy told us how he had bought his ticket to go home but his brothers had found him at the last minute and talked real sense into him. The final straw came when they told us about the wedding they were going to have were they all stood around a great fire chanting with the main Hari from America and it would spontaneously combust! This was happening on the Saturday. Luckily we met a Hari who was going to Belfast on the Friday so made a decision to go back with him, the lead guy told us we were nice guys but needed to learn to work harder!
So we got a lift to Belfast found my Granddad, phoned my Dad for the first time in 6 weeks, he went mental. Jo then decided to go home and caught a boat back to England leaving me at my granddads. It was good to meet my granddad we talked a lot over the next 6 weeks whilst I looked for a job, he was a great man who died the following year, I am glad I spent that time with him i didn't really know him before that he was very kind to me. I never found a job and eventually, tale between my legs, headed home to England.
Remember this all took place a long time ago in 1987, sorry for the length but I felt I needed to finish the story. Any questions or comments would be most welcome, if you struggle leaving them because of beta blogger leave as anonymous and sign the post.