Great Blasket Centre

Great Blasket Centre (a few seconds before hailstorm)

open quote'You'd get across maybe,' he said. 'But you might never get back. Many's the visitor has spent a month or more there waiting for the weather to change,' and he told me the story of the old Indian carpet seller who went to the Blaskets with his arms hung with rugs. While he was going round the cottages, the weather changed and he could not get back again. The islanders keep a guesthouse for stranded visitors and the Indian was put up there while the weeks passed and the winds blew a gale. The upshot was that he stayed on the Blaskets for six months and when he came off he spoke Irish as well as any of them. That's not the end of the story—for when he got back to Dublin he found a Gaelic conference in progress and decided to attend it. He went to the door but was refused admission—at which he swore so long and variously in Gaelic that he was invited in with all honours, for there was none of the delegates could speak the language as he did.” (Olivia Manning, The Dreaming Shore, circa 1950. Found in The Grand Tour of Kerry)

County Kerry, Ireland. January 2008.