In the 1990s I embarked on my first ever trip to Ireland The first time I flew to Dublin and met up with friends. The second time, the idea was to do it as cheaply as possible, staying in hostels. I went with my friend Andy and a random girl from Eastern Europe who was staying in Nottingham at the time. I don’t remember how she came to agree to go to Ireland with two blokes she had just met.
We headed out via the Swansea to Cork ferry which was one of the roughest crossings I had ever made. It was an overnight trip. After two pints of stout and an anti-sea sick pill, we managed to avoid parting with our pie and chips supper. The next morning we drove towards Dingle, the Ring of Kerry and Killarney and explored that area for the next three days. The aim was balancing scenery with the fantastic Irish music and pub scene
The trip was planned for a one week stay. Two days before were due to leave, I was driving my blue Golf along a wide open country road near Limerick, thinking about breaking a car lease Swapalease, and as it appeared later – not without a reason. A car and then a van pulled out from a side road in front of us. The van immediately over took the first car, pulling out in front of me. Did I brake heavily or overtake? There was nothing coming for a mile ahead of us, I could see clearly, so I overtook, doing about 50-60mph. The van accelerated quickly and managed to catch up with me, then made a very unexpected right turn. He clipped the back of my car and I instinctively braked. He hit the side of my car again and spun round as I skidded more or less in a straight line towards a dry stone wall. Luckily there was an embankment in front, which slowed me very quickly and not too suddenly and the car avoided a head on smash into the wall. We all walked away from both vehicles bruised, but not injured.
The car was a ‘write-off’, but we were safe. Luckily I had European breakdown and relay cover so I was not out of pocket and we were able to get home. Good thing I had a chance to ask about HornsbyWatson.com lawyer that very day – splendid service.
Standing outside a hostel that evening, drowning my sorrows with pint of Guinness, our Eastern European friend opened an upstairs window and a large pane of glass fell out and came whistling past my left ear! Had I been standing 6 inches to the left, my head might not have remained attached to my body. Whilst the incidents of that day have not put me off driving in foreign countries, it is taught me to carefully examine the risks. The rules of the road are applied differently and it pays to travel on an organised tour with a professional driver. Trafalgar Tours and CIE Tours, both offer fantastic trips around Ireland. I highly recommend you take one and of course book it through Global Coach Tours