Today was an interesting travel day to say the least. We got up early and after breakfast checked out of the Kilronan Guest House and headed off to Hertz to pick up our rental car. It was about a 1.4 mile hike but we got there in 20 minutes or so and picked up our VW Golf then headed out.
The good news is that we didn’t kill either ourselves or anybody else. The bad news is that the combination of driving on the wrong side of the road, driving from the wrong side of the car, and Connie’s navigation issues made it a really interesting couple of hours until we made it out of Dublin, figured out the whole driving things, and figured out how to make the navigation work.
Driving on the wrong side of the road wasn’t too bad…you just have to remember that everything is backwards and have both driver and passenger pay attention to make sure you don’t get into the wrong lane, turn in the wrong place or anything like that. With our previous experience in Saint Croix and the UK…this didn’t work too bad. Driving on the wrong side of the car caused more of an issue…because figuring out where to position yourself in the lane is sort of disconcerting since it just doesn’t look right from the other side of the car. Nonetheless…we persevered and headed out.
Navigation was another issue…we have a GPS app on our iPhones that sort of works but it doesn’t quite work like the Garmin app we’re used to using works. Combine that with a lack of understanding the Irish road numbering system and we had several (5 actually) navigation oopsies in the first couple of hours…but by lunchtime we had pretty much figured it out.
Our day consisted of a sort of counter clockwise drive through the Wicklow Mountains National Park…but then National Park has a little different definition here. In the US…when a park is established the government buys or uses eminent domain to get ownership of the entire block of land that’s going to be the park. In Ireland…they buy as much land as possible and the little pockets of land that either the owner won’t sell or the price is too high they leave in private hands with some restrictions…so you sort of get a hopscotch park. Can’t say it works any better or worse than our system…just different. We did see lots of land that was grazing sheep commercially where as in the US the sheep would all be wild. Other than that…the park looks a lot like the landscape in Montana or Wyoming…except the foliage is heather instead of grass and it’s mostly green instead of mostly brown.
Anyway; a few pictures Neil grabbed.
Following that we headed off to our next overnight stop at the Bungalow Farmhouse B&B. First off we had trouble finding the place…driving back and forth through Freshford and stopping at several places to ask…but we finally found it. Then we knocked on the door, wandered around the farm, hello’ed a bunch and concluded nobody was home. We drove back over to Urlingford and found a phone where we called the owner. Gretta said she was there the whole time…but had been doing laundry so maybe she was in there and just didn’t hear us. Anyway…we drove back over and got checked in. Gretta made it all better with a glass of wine and then we headed into Urlingford to Butler’s Pub for dinner. A couple of pints of Guinness each and Duck for Neil with Smoked Chicken Creamy Penne Pasta for Connie and it was pretty good. Headed back to the B&B and had some apple pie and tea before heading off to a shower and bed.