Traveling Europe // The Curse of the Leprechauns
Read Pt. 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5
The original plan on our fourth day in Europe was to spend the morning exploring Dingle, Ireland, then head up towards the Cliffs of Moher. However, sometimes fate has other plans...
After the tour around the Irish coastline, we climbed back into the car to head towards northern Ireland. We couldn't help but stop here and there along the way to snap some pictures of the incredible Irish countryside. The road to Dingle is quite treacherous and at one point, as the road wraps up around a mountainside, it narrows to allow only one car to pass at a time. It was nerve-wracking, but we seemed to make it through the worst part and were headed towards our destination when we decided to make one more stop.
There was a particularly pretty spot where other adventurers had stopped to go for what looked to be a short hike. The parking area was next to a small waterfall, so I knew that there must be something even better at the top. I decided to leave all of my belongings - except my camera - in the car so I could fully enjoy this experience, and then excitedly hiked up the mountainside. As I reached the top, my eyes were greeted with a magical sight as a dark and mysterious lake, surrounded by fog that rolled over the mountain's peak, came into view. I climbed up to a spot where I could be alone and just sat for a while, soaking it all in.
I spent as much time on top of that mountain as I could before I knew we needed to hit the road again, and as I climbed back down I stumbled across a beautiful crystal. It was quite large and I felt like it would make a great souvenir, so I put it in my pocket - happy with my small discovery. I then met my friend and we climbed back down the mountainside to our car. However, when we reached the vehicle, my friend could not find our key.
In a panic I started back up the mountain, scanning every rock, bush, and mud pile I could. I was completely determined to find that key - I knew how expensive it would be to replace and was terrified as to what would happen if we didn't find it. As we searched, it started to rain (of course, right?), and I started to reach my wits end. I knelt on the mountainside, praying for help and guidance, but not feeling any direction. I cried as I was on my hands and knees - reaching into crevices in the rocks and digging through the bushes. After an hour of dedicated searching, I stood up - soaked to the bone - took my souvenir crystal out of my pocket and said to myself "This place, this crystal, they must be magical. That is the only explanation!"
I had looked everywhere, I couldn't imagine where the key could be. At that point, my sanity settled on the conclusion that the crystal I had taken belonged to Leprechauns, and since I took their crystal, they must have taken our key. So as tears welled up in my eyes, I placed the crystal back onto the soft earth, asked them to please return our key, and began my search once again...
Now, I never found that key, nor did my friend. But what we did find was the amazing family in the picture below. They wouldn't leave that mountain without us. They drove us back to Dingle, made sure we found a place to stay, and let my friend charge her phone with their charger.
Of course, I was still distraught, as was my friend. But their help and kindness eased our burden of being stranded in a foreign country, and I will forever be grateful for them!
We were able to find a hostel for just $17 per night, so after grabbing some toothbrushes, toothpaste, and apples at the local market, we walked over to check into our room. Since all of our belongings were in the car on top of a mountain, we had to wash what clothes we had in the sink with hand soap and sleep wrapped up in our towels while they hung to dry. But we were able to shower, sleep in warm beds, and contact our families. So even though the situation seemed bleak, we were truly being taken care of... No thanks to the leprechauns.