I have joked about the roads in Ireland, and I have ranted about the roads in Ireland. This was a day when I had to respect the roads in Ireland, the way a lion tamer respects the dinosaur that just crashed through the circus tent and is clearly attracted to the sound of a whip-crack. Here’s the reality: the Irish just don’t need many roads. There are towns, and within those towns are whatever roads are necessary for the conduct of business. Then there are one, MAYBE two, routes to get from point A to point B. In this case, we had the option of taking (you’ve heard this story before) the highway from Dingle to Tralee (a waypoint on the way to Limerick) or the other route. The scenic route. Well shit, we came all this way to see stuff, and they’ve even gone to the trouble of naming it “the Conor Pass,” so we gots to go. Do I have to mention that today’s episode is brought to you by Comprehensive Rental Car Insurance(tm)?
I swear, we had an omen. A chance to turn around. The picture to the right? We were on this road less than 30 minutes from when we set out from Dingle. We leave, we take a right at a T-intersection, and we start to climb the hillside… and we’re immediately on to the classic one-lane road. If you click on the photo you can get a better look at the camper coming along. Those particular vehicles are ubiquitous in Ireland, the favored vacationing vehicle for natives as well as Europeans of all stripes. If I had to guess, there’s probably a pull-over spot just behind the 1st bend in the wall on the right, which is where we probably dove in and waited for them to pass. If not, well, one of us did some backing up at that point. You may be wondering to yourself why I don’t remember the details. The mistake you’re making is in thinking that this was “the time” that we had such an encounter, instead of the multiple-times-a-day that it did. In any case, we ignored this omen and pressed on, gaining elevation and making for the Conor Pass. Continue reading