On Sunday we worked our way mostly south from Adare to Kenmare, again following R-roads. Took a couple of wrong turns, but with the GPS and our map book (one tour guide said if you're going to drive in Ireland, immediately buy the Collins Atlas; we did, the first time we bought gas) we managed to recover. Some scenes along the way:
There may be oodles of Irish scenes like this, but they're a little hard to capture. For one thing, many of the roads are lined by overgrown walls and hedges, so you just catch occasional glimpses behind them. Second, there may be no place to pull over and take a picture; shoulder? roads have shoulders? Not the three-digit ones.
Saturday evening I felt that my driving acclimatization was going pretty well, albeit with some bush-slapping once in a while (Susie never flinched or hollered, so I thought it was acceptable). I think I mentioned that there is a tendency to drive too far to the left of the lane. Then, when you meet an oncoming car on a narrow road, you (I) tend to flinch to the left, thus occasionally encountering bushes and tall grass - but no wall, so far. After a couple more days, though (this is being written Tuesday evening - driving day 4), I started using the right side mirror to gauge the amount of room between me and the center line (when there is a center line). Thus, as someone approaches I can see where they are and where I am and hold or adjust my course accordingly.
What Susie did tell me Saturday pm is the you're driving TOO FAST. Too fast to look at the scenery. (Scenery? All I see is the road between my white knuckles.) Well, the local drivers drive faster than I do. They know where they're going and they know the roads. Consequently, we're often overtaken. I've gotten pretty adept at spotting left-side pull-outs where I can get off the pavement and let them by. And they'll pass in the blink of an eye give a piece of straight road. But, I think I was also trying to minimize overtakings by driving faster. I felt I definitely slowed down on Sunday, but still not enough. Still working on it.
I brake for cemeteries.
We found a cheery place for lunch - Bob's, in Ballydesmond, I think. If you've got Google Earth you can look up some of the roads we've traveled.
Our destination is the Harbour View B&B, located on the Beara Peninsula just a few miles out of the town of Kenmare. We didn't have an address for the B&B, just directions from the owner that were not too clear on how to get through Kenmare and on to the Harbour View. After a couple of loops through town, and some gentle coaching from Susie, I finally stopped at a grocery store and ASKED FOR DIRECTIONS.
Here's the B&B.
We had a choice between a normal room with a view out the back of the building or a little room tucked under the roof line behind the middle dormer above with this view of the harbour:
We took the room with a view. Here's an interior shot.
I tend to move around the room in a crouch, but, yes, we've bumped our heads against the ceiling a few times. The en suite toilet is really tiny with a sloping ceiling. To use the facility, in the manly way, you bend your knees and jam your head against the ceiling in order not to fall, inch forward, and try not to make too much of a mess. Sometimes, sitting has its advantages.
But enough bathroom humor. Monday morning we enjoyed the second B and struck out to explore the Beara Peninsula. Next installment.
Susie and Rob