It was good to be back in Ireland. My annual trips to Sligo had not only helped my understanding of the ancient language of the land, but given me an almost native comprehension of the modern as well.
It was a warm morning for Sligo; the sea breeze was usually cooler this time of year. Doesn’t matter; I’ll just lay here a bit longer; eyes closed, pondering the first cup of tea like you can’t get anywhere else in the world. Milk, not cream; no sugar, please.
The pain in my temple made me shoot upright in bed, which not only made the pain worse, but confused me immensely—there was no reason I should be in Sligo right now; the first glimpse of the room confirmed that, indeed, I was not.
I should, in fact, have been on the floor of the shed outside this house, not lying in my underwear in a feather bed in an upstairs bedroom.
Memory; that’s it, I’ve been having trouble with my memory.
An excerpt from my book, “Through the Fog: An Irish Advenure”. It is available at Amazon.
I love maps. I love the visual representation of a reality that allows us to go somewhere and look at things we might not otherwise be able to touch and see and smell.
Maps can show us where Marco Polo went. They can show us how to get to San Francisco or Montreal or some other beautiful place. In his book River-Horse William Least Heat Moon included maps of his voyage across the United States by boat. Virtually all my adventure travel books, The Ra Expeditions, Kon Tiki, The Brendan Voyage, Enchanted Vagabonds: they all include maps.
Maps are visual and tactile. I like maps printed on nice paper, whether it’s in a book or hung on a wall.
But maps without words are less than half of what they should be.
Location names, topographical features, labels, directions, all give meaning to what would otherwise be amorphous colored blobs.
Even better are maps which have personal notes on them. When a previous adventurer notes here’s where that exciting event happened, this is a place to avoid, you have to see this, a map becomes more than a representation of geographical features, of direction and distance.
It becomes an adventure in itself.