I knew it was going to be a long day. It was a 3 hour drive to the ferry at Holyhead, nearly 2 hours on the ferry, and another 3 hours to Kiltannon Farm. Given that I was to do all the driving as Steve still has not received his driverâ€™s license (VERY long story), I knew that Kiltannon would be a very welcome sight indeed.
The first drive was relatively uneventful and we arrived in perfect time to drive onto the ferry. It wasnâ€™t until we reached Irish soil when we ran into problems. Somehow, we wound up on the wrong motorway (for anyone who has ever been to Ireland, you know this is easy to do) and of course, none of the maps we had gave us any clues as to where in Ireland we might be. We knew as long as we headed southwest, we would eventually get close enough, but after the morningâ€™s trek, I was not really in the mood to go for a Sunday meandering drive. Thankfully, we reached Limerick, found a map, and got back on the road. We made it to Kiltannon Farm (near Tulla) in roughly 4 hours.
Mary, the lovely caretaker, greeted us and showed us to our small apartment and after a few minutes of instruction, left us to get settled. I wanted nothing more than to throw on my p.j.â€™s and find a movie. The three of us walked out to the car to gather our things and as the liftgate rose, I counted one, two…bags.
“Where is my backpack?” I asked Steve as if he were playing some cruel joke.
“Uh…I don’t know. Where is your backpack?”
That’s when I realized I was now at least 8 hours from my belongings and in the countryside of Ireland. The nearest town, a whole block long, boasted a very small grocery store and a few pubs. So…back in the car to the larger town of Ennis for some groceries and toiletries. Now, for the vast majority of people, being without clothes, etc. is not a big deal. Nor was it for me EXCEPT for the fact that I wear contact lenses, I am virtually blind (near-sighted) without them or my glasses, and as I mentioned, I was the sole driver. In Ireland, contact solution is only sold in pharmacies or drug stores and many of them are closed on Sundays. Well, having arrived on Saturday night, they were already closed for the weekend. Lovely.
Crisis was very narrowly averted, however, as I remembered I did have a very small bottle of solution in my purse, which I was supposed to have ditched back in New York.
So, here I sit, nearly a week later in the same clothes I wore upon arrival. Thank goodness for free laundry, some clothes I had in the dirty bag, and a quick trip for a few essentials!
My backpack has been retrieved by a friend in Blackpool and I happily await our reunification in a few days. While there are some creature comforts I have missed, I really have been fine without my things and I now know I can easily survive with even less than a backpack full.
So the moral to this story is simply that when stripped of everything, all we really need is vision.This entry was posted in Gypseekers, Ireland