Tuesday, August 13, 2013

That time we decided not to pay for anything: Kilkenny via Thurles

 Leaving Kenmare we got a ride with Bob who was going to Killarney, it wasn't quite on our route but it was a ride and it connected us to a busier highway that was on our route so in we hopped. While riding with Bob the subject of hurling came up. As I've said, Eleanor especially but also I were quick converts to hurling, so we were quite excited when Bob mentioned that there was a county final (or something like that, forgive my crappy sporting knowledge) in Thurles (tur-les) that night.

He also took us for lunch at one of his hotels which was lovely!

So we started hitchhiking hell for leather to get to Thurles in time for the game! Some non-conventional methods were used including bouncing on the balls of our feet to convey excitement and actually making the 'please' prayer sign with our hands!
My "please, please pick us up" face
It worked! We made it 165km in 2.5hrs, which is actually pretty quick hitching and we were only 30 minutes late for the first game. We bought tickets, went to the wrong entrance, doubled back and finally took our seats at half time. The first game was Clare vs Wexford and Clare dominated most of the game until Wexford made a decent comeback putting the game into overtime to settle a draw. 

 The second game was Kilkenny vs Waterford and was extremely close. Kilkenny was tipped to win but we had some aggressive Waterford supporters behind us. I'm not very good at sports (though can feign interest on occasion - not necessary in this instance) so I took notes. Apparently you can yell 'over the bar' as soon as your teams has possession regardless of where you are on the field. In order to understand 'over the bar' you probably need to google hurling, here's a video I may have put up before but which is good. Again, the game went to overtime with a narrow win for Kilkenny (only one goal in it!)

 After the game a Kilkenny supporter saw our sign and offered us a ride and then offered us a bed (a single which we shared but it was palatial by our standards). I don't have a lot of photos from that night because it wasn't a great one. We went out, we danced a little. We met an inordinate number of creepy guys (a trend that continued the next day when we were hitching out) and then we went home.

There was however this sign - supporting Kilkenny hurling. Look familiar to anyone? E was outraged!

We left pretty promptly the next day being keen to get to Dublin, we did take the time to stop off at Kilkenny Castle where the equivalent of ANZAC day was just winding up! We'd had no idea!

 We also saw a hurling shop which stirred some left over excitement from the games. It's one of the things I love about hitching - taking suggestions from locals and changing your plans at a moment's notice to do something cooler than what you had planned.

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