That very well may have been the fastest 32 days of my life. I can’t believe my trip and time in Ireland has come to a close, for this chapter.
Yesterday was my last full day in Ireland. Like my first day here, it was raining all day. I meandered through Co. Kerry, making my way very slowly from the Ring of Kerry area to Shannon Airport. Because of the rain, I did not stop much or take pictures.
It was a lovely drive. I would like to go back and spend some time in Listowel, which looked very cute. There’s an annual writing conference/literary festival, the Listowel Writers’ Week, which I’ve looked at a number of times and may need to seriously consider.
At one point in my wandering, I had to dodge a cow’s head – that was a new one. She was basically hanging her head over a fence, down a steep embankment, so that her head was sticking out into the middle of the road. She had no intention of stopping her snack, just because I was there.
Toll Booths: I am proud to say that I believe I have perfected the toll booth from the right side of the car. My first toll booth encounter was a complete disaster. I didn’t get anywhere close enough to the attendant. I had misread the sign, so gave her the wrong amount of money. I hadn’t memorized each of the different coin values yet, so couldn’t figure out how to give her the right amount. It was a bit ridiculous. My 2nd toll booth encounter was better, though still a bit of a struggle. But the last one, you might have thought I was a local.
Farm Equipment on the Highway: Note to self… before returning I must figure out what the proper protocol is for passing farm equipment as it inches along the ‘highway’. Call me crazy, but I’m not comfortable passing huge tractors, especially in a “no overtaking” zone.
There also appears to be a whole code system to the use of directional/blinkers that I just never did figure out. They don’t just mean you intend to turn, apparently.
There are probably more than a few Irish out there who would be glad to know I’m leaving. My driving seemed to get slower and slower each day. I may have been getting used to it, but I was also getting very tired. It takes a lot of concentration.
I ended the day with the practicalities of ending a trip. I discovered my cell phone was missing and made a few phone calls back to the B&B to see if it had been found. I had to get ‘petrol’ to top off the tank, then return the rental car. Then I checked into the airport hotel and proceeded to empty all my bags, reorganize and repack.
In the morning, I checked out of the hotel and walked over to the airport. I checked in with Enterprise regarding my phone. Still no sign of it. It apparently really did not want to leave.
I love Shannon Airport because all of the customs work is done here, no forms, short lines, no having to juggle all your luggage. Sweet and easy. The good news is… my 2 bottles of limited edition Jameson have made it through customs and are being loaded onto the plane. I’d have been much more upset over an issue getting that Jameson home than I am about the phone.
There is no question in my mind… I will be back to Ireland. I’m addicted.