OTOOLEFAN GOES TO IRELAND – Part 5
May 2 – Today was a very special day in my life. Today I saw Peter O’Toole’s house.
This morning we rented bicycles and rode up on the Sky Road. We called it our “Journey to the Top of the World”.
The weather was a collage of clouds and sunshine. The wind was the fiercest I’ve ever faced. But that didn’t stop us – nothing can stop the modern day Lewis and Clark.
The road was skinny and many times we had to walk our bikes up the steep hills – especially since we were going against the wind.
Nevertheless, we pushed on and on. We stopped one time to walk around a castle. In front of us, snapping pictures right and left, were two nasty looking French girls.
From the castle we rode and walked our bikes to the lookout point. What a view. What colors! What wind!
After a few photos we coasted back on the Sky Road. Then we went down to the Beach Road and walked on the beach for a minute. It was here that I wrote the words Don Millard.
Soon after this we rode back into the village of Clifden and ate at a proper restaurant called Doris’s.
After this, Steve announced that he was going back to the room to rest.
It was then that I decided to see the house that Peter O’Toole built.
I asked the lady of our guest house where his house was and how far it was.
She called out to her middle aged son. “How far is it to Peter O’Toole’s?”
“About five miles.”
Then she handed me a map of Connemara and I was on my way.
The going was rough at first but I was determined that since I was this far, I should go all the way.
And go all the way I did. At first I passed a house on a hill and I thought it might be his. But I kept on until I got to the end of Eirephort Road. I stopped at the beach and watched the white caps crash into the rocks. While I was there, two men in a crude speedboat bounced by. One of the guys waved to me, I waved back. Maybe it was Peter O’Toole.
After some peaceful meditation in the fierce wind about my future, I turned around and headed for home.
It was when I passed that house on the hill again that I realized it was the home of Peter O’Toole.
The house stands on a hill, overlooking the aqua blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The outside of the house is made of stone. There’s a dirt driveway leading up to the house, and at the head of the driveway a sign reads:
Horses & Dog
The gate was closed.
So there it was before me – the home of the greatest actor – Peter O’Toole. It was a thrill.
When I turned around, I had the wind at my back and most of the hills were in my favor.
It was here that I saw the wildest, most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen in person. I couldn’t say anything or think of anything to write that might in some way capture even a part of its beauty. And the color of the water! That aqua blue that seems too breathtaking to be real.
All through this landscape the sun was out and I was coasting down hill after hill. I felt like I was on my own private tour of paradise.
I’ll never forget that rugged scenery and the blue Atlantic. Never.
It was here that I felt like a true explorer. It was here I felt that I imbibed Ireland. I defy anyone to take in more beauty in one afternoon!
Had a pint of Heineken at the Abbeyglen Hotel. This is an old O’Toole hangout.
The Abbeyglen Hotel is a tacky middle age lodge. The building is in the form of a castle. Inside there is a Castle Bar, and beside that there is a dance floor. And yes, the dreaded strobe light hangs from the ceiling.
We went back to Paeder O’Toole’s this evening and watched the worst Robert Mitchum movie ever. It’s a chase movie which ends in a footrace between him and Wilfred Brimley.