“We’re taking country roads” Thom was in charge of mapping our adventure driving from Limerick to Galway via small hamlets where his Irish relatives were born. Cool, an adventure driving through the Irish countryside. Right? Wrong! Little did I realize that this would mean taking what amounted to a cow path (and I’m being generous) for miles, avoiding head-on collisions only by luck and chance and several turnouts we took full advantage of when faced with another vehicle using the single lane.
Just to give you an idea of how tight it was, even when not trying to avoid oncoming traffic, the blackberry brambles made some significant scratches on the Audi side mirrors as the wall of vegetation on either side of the path left no room for a normal size vehicle. Here’s hoping the rental car company doesn’t examine our car upon returning to Dublin. And speaking of cow paths, may I say that some of the cows we saw in this bucolic Irish countryside, when I didn’t have my eyes closed praying we would live to see another day, were HUMONGOUS, as my granddaughter Mia would say. I’m talking mutant big heads that had bodies so large they probably wouldn’t even fit down this cow path we were driving on.
Given the car that the rental dude tried to give us initially bodes well for us. After paying a ridiculous amount of money for this car, we went to find it and I took one look, turned around and entered the crowded rental counter area, pronouncing in a not-a-soft-voice, “WTF-that car has bent rims, no hubcap and significant dents in multiple places-it looks like it’s been in a demolition derby!” The rental guy had been peering out the window to see our reaction and already had the keys to an upgrade for us in hand. “Please come with me-I have an Audi for you.” We marched out and got into our much nicer car and proceeded to say our mantra for our road trip, “LEFT, LEFT, LEFT”
Back to the cow path experience-after we drove through one of the birth towns of a relative and stopping at the local church to take pictures, I cracked open the wine and proceeded to make good use of the flask I had brought with me for just such an occasion. After a few hearty sips, we hit the road again and I begged Thom to give up the next remote location and hit the motorway. Even driving on the wrong side, I mean left side, of the road was nothing compared to the one lane fright so he agreed to hit the motorway and we proceeded to find our home for the next three nights, a thatched roof ARBNB cottage near Galway.
Greeting us with the fire ready to start and homebaked Irish soda bread, our host wished a quiet and restful vacation without TV or internet to distract us. Ahhhhh…..feet up, blanket on and fire lit. Heaven.