Feckin’ roundabouts. Everywhere you drive in Ireland and Northern Ireland there they are. (Feckin’ is not a bad word. It’s what you say instead of the F word here.) You think you know where you are going then you come to a roundabout. First off, you have to remember to go to the left. It’s not too hard because you’re already on the left. Then you have to figure out which way you are going. If you can’t figure it out, you can drive around in circles until you do.
There are other things that drive me crazy about driving in Ireland. People just park any which way. You don’t know if you’re going down a one way street or not. Then cars are parked halfway in the street. It’s up to you to go around them. Another car might be coming in the opposite direction.
My journey to Rostrevor through the roundabouts
I woke up yesterday to a windy, cloudy and rainy day. I wasn’t looking forward to driving the 192 kilometers to Rostrevor, but what choice did I have? Luckily, it never rained really hard and I figured out how to use the windshield wipers pretty quickly. I got gas (or petrol as it’s called here) in a small town called Milltown just a few miles outside of Sligo. I could hardly understand the girl the counter. She was asking me if I got petrol or diesel. When I couldn’t make it out, so I just pointed to the pump.
I got lost in Enniskillen, but luckily a nice lady in the Tesco (a huge supermarket chain over here) parking lot gave me directions. I have no idea when I drove out of Ireland and into Northern Ireland. There were no signs saying “Welcome to Northern Ireland” nor were there signs that said “Leaving Ireland.” I figured I was in Northern Ireland when the signs gave the distance between towns in miles instead of kilometers. I got lost again when I came to a roundabout in Ballygawley (aren’t Irish names cool?). Suddenly I realized I was heading toward Londonderry or Derry if you are an Irish Republican. I pulled to the side of the highway waited for the traffic to clear and did a u-turn. Don’t tell the Garda (police in Irish).
I got back to the roundabout and picked another direction. I had no idea if it was the correct direction, when I realized I was entering another roundabout! This time I was able to figure out where I was going. Once I got to Newry I knew I could find my way because I was here two years ago. Newry is a fairly large town, and the traffic is bad. Again, the roads are narrow. I found the turn off for Rostrevor and I knew I was home free.
I arrived at my accommodation about two miles up Kilbroney Road. It’s called Rostrevor Holidays and owned by the Baxter family. Liam Baxter met me and showed me around. Liam sure can talk. But he’s such a nice man I had to talk to him. Later I went into town and bought some groceries. I now have a kitchen and plan to cook some meals. It’s getting expensive eating out all the time.