Ireland 2013 004-rev

Traveling Mercies

We missed our connection and were initially rebooked on the following day’s flight, as there’s only one flight a day to Ireland.  But I was able to negotiate a rerouting through Amsterdam (after a dozen or so transatlantic flights, you learn a trick or two).  We arrived 10 hours later than originally scheduled, but we were also able to sweet talk Delta into postponing our return, giving us an extra day in-country.

Score.

Unfortunately, one of our bags didn’t make it into Dublin so we had to wait for the next flight, crossing our fingers that it would be on that one.  Luckily it was, so at 7 p.m. we set out for a drive across this lusciously green island we’ll call home for the next week.

Now, we didn’t so much get to see that luscious greenness since it was dark and raining as we pulled out of the rental car place into the fast-moving (left-side driving) traffic, and from this point forward it took the full concentration of both of us to find “the motorway” that would take us to the half-way point in our journey.

That was pretty straight forward, but once we exited off onto the local roads an hour or two later, it was quite the wake-up for our bleary eyes, which had been open for 36 hours now.  The roads were hilly, winding, dark, and still wet – because, yes, it was still raining. As Ted was negotiating a tight turn on an incredibly narrow “2”-lane road, a garbage truck crested over the hill and was barreling right toward us. Oh what fresh hell is this (hat tip Sheldon Cooper)?  We each wished we had a rosary to kiss when we made it past the truck unscathed.

Sheldon Cooper

As we got closer to the cottage, the directions got pretty shoddy.  My point of contact at the cottage sent directions but they weren’t very clear after we got off the motorway.

Rather than giving actual roads to turn down the directions were, “After you get out of the town a bit, you’ll come across McLellan’s garage (it’s old).  Turn at the next road.  Pass a white farmhouse on one side, and then we’ll be a bit further down from that.”

I’m not kidding.

When that somehow didn’t seem to get it, we drove up into a little village where, thankfully, one of the pubs had a few elderly locals finishing off their last bit of stout.  They recognized McLellan’s and said we’d definitely be able to see it (even though it was dark out and there are no streetlights on these country roads).

So we drove on a little further, by happenstance saw the darkened garage off the road, and thankfully found the turn.  The white farmhouse wasn’t the best indicator because, again, it was dark, but there was a sign for the cottage nailed to the stone wall bordering the one-lane road.  Not sure what we would have done if we came up on another car…throw it in reverse, I guess.

Alas, after thousands of miles of traveling, we made it to our sweet, sweet cottage in the Irish countryside and stayed up long enough to have Irish cheddar and tea by the stove fire that Ted made.

Níl aon tinteán mar do thinteán féin (there’s no fireplace like your own fireplace)…at least your “own” for the next week.