Yup – that tyre’s flat


Were the Raisinets yummy?

Time to get back to it…AGMA’s back from Ireland!

And I don’t know how to thank everybody enough for sending those good thoughts our way!

M did not trip once nor did she fall ill for days with some strange virus.  And she was slurping water like a camel to stay plenty hydrated so no fainting.

But AGMA did not dare celebrate until we stepped foot in the good ole’ USA.  One can never be too careful…

We both caught colds but that seemed pretty minor compared to the litany of evils that could have beset us. 

The big excitement of the trip came on Day #1.

After landing in Dublin, we picked up our chariot for the next 8 days – a 2017 Ford Focus with the steering wheel on the wrong side.

Five years ago, AGMA also drove around Ireland with another friend.  The first few days were on good roads (decode: wide enough for two cars to fit comfortably), so I got the “driving on the left” thing down pretty well before we got to more “cosy” roads (decode: 1 1/2 cars wide and curvy, with rock walls on both sides of the road and a speed limit of 80km)

This trip was a bit different.  

Our destination for our first night was the lovely town of Kilkenny.  And as many travelers to Ireland do, we went via the beautiful Wicklow Mountains for a side trip to visit the ancient monastic settlement of Glendalough.


Founded by St. Kevin in the 6th century, Glendalough is incredibly beautiful – especially in the sunshine!


The Wicklow Mountains are gorgeous!

If you’ve never driven on the left before, there is a natural tendency for us “right side of the roaders” to drive a bit too far to the left.  Some, more than a bit too far to the left.  Until the driver gets a sense of where the middle of the road is and how the car should be centered, they are doomed to hang left for a spell.

On wider roads, this is not a big problem. 

On cosy roads, this can result in, among other things, tree branches slapping the passengers windshield causing the passenger to lean to the right in a vain attempt to magically move the car over.  Seriously.  I’ve been in that passenger seat before and done the leaning.  

It doesn’t work.

One of the other things that can happen is that the driver, in an attempt not to graze an oncoming car, moves over to the left too far and goes off the road.  

Sometimes they get lucky.  Sometimes there isn’t a rock wall.  Or trees.  Or thick hedgerow.  Or sharp, pointy rocks to the immediate left.

AGMA was not lucky that day in the Wicklow Mountains.  

Coming down from Wicklow Pass on the way to Kilkenny, I moved over too far to the left to avoid hitting an oncoming car (that in reality was about 2 football fields away…)   


I looked at M.  She looked at me and said, “That was jarring.” 

“We need to stop when we can pull over and see if the tire’s okay.” I replied.

Round ‘bout that time, some light came on my dash warning me about something gone amiss with a “tyre”.  And then the low tire (tyre) pressure light came on.

Uh oh…

We made it a few kilometers to Hollywood.  Hollywood, Ireland that is.  And pulled into a Emo Service Station.  

The left front tyre (tire) was indeed well on its way to lifeless flatness.

But a YUGE shout out of thanks to the people of Hollywood who were incredibly friendly and helpful to AGMA and M!

To make a long story short, we got the spare put on, and got a new tyre (tire) the next morning in Kilkenny.

As AGMA advised in my post of March 16…ALWAYS GET THE CDW CAR INSURANCE IN IRELAND!!  A-L-W-A-Y-S!!

Did I say that too loud?

The first few days were full of cosy roads, made even more cosy by having to drive directly into the afternoon sun.  Normally, NOBODY complains about sunshine in Ireland…

…other than a nervous American driver on cosy roads.

Happily there were no more incidents.  Other than backing into a low stone wall which did no damage to the Focus or the wall.  The wall has probably been there for 300 years so no surprise it was okay.

We survived.  The good people of Ireland survived.


Other than the tyre that sacrificed itself for a greater purpose.

AGMA promises I will finish the final AGMA’s “Easy peasy, stress free travel planning” next week.  Until then, enjoy some weird, lovely pictures from my trip.



On the Dingle Peninsula.  It was lambing seasons so there were little lambs everywhere!


On a cosy two way road on a tour bus on the Dingle Peninsula.  Yikes!


At the Cliffs of Moher.  We saw a few potential Darwin Awards winners.


I beg your pardon…


New friends on the Connemara Peninsula.  They don’t get flat tires!


The awesome city of Cork!


I like Kinsale’s style!


23 thoughts on “Yup – that tyre’s flat

    • Com’on Andrew… You’re way smarter than I am… I figure if I can successfully drive on the left, ANYBODY (including you!) can do it! Look at it as an adventure… Just don’t attempt to drive in London or Manchester. Now THAT would be crazy!

      However…the train isn’t a bad idea. They have a phenomenal train system there. I’m sure you can do day trips to where ever you want to go from your home base.

      Can I go with you? I want to go to Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey!) and Cornwall (where Poldark was filmed.). Can you tell I’m a PBS nerd?

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You are far, FAR braver than I. My fear is by the time I got used to driving on the left, it would be time to go home. I’d be causing major accidents in NJ, going the wrong way on a traffic circle.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trust me – you wouldn’t! Your brain is so used to driving on the right, you will get in your car in NJ and not even think about staying on the right. However – it took me a full 2 1/2 days of repeating my mantra of “keep left, keep left” before I felt like I got the left side driving down. And I honestly would just chant that to myself! Plus the car rental place gave me a bracelet that said “Keep left” and there was a sign on the inside of the windshield that said “Keep left”. Like I told Andrew, if I can drive on the left and not have an accident, ANYBODY can!


  2. Oh AGMA you do make me smile!
    My Chicagoan cousin can’t get his head round driving on the “correct” side of the road when he visits the UK either….let alone that I can drive onto a ferry 25 miles from home and the drive off it in France, then drive on the opposite side of the road with no problem, even though the steering wheel is then in completely the wrong place!!!! I haven’t even suggested to him to try doing it on a motorbike!
    Stay safe on those good ole USA roads!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Indeed you did say to get the CDW coverage; I’m a witness! Well, there are others, but I choose to think I especially noticed it. Smart move on your part, AGMA, and definitely something you were grateful for when all was said and done. I was lucky to drive thought the English moors during lambing season once, so I can appreciate how cool it must have been for you in Ireland too. Quite a contrast to be offended by the products on the store shelves, eh???! 🙂 – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never rented a car in Europe and hope I never have to! Especially in some crazy place that makes you drive on the wrong side of the road AND on the wrong side of the car (it’s like a practical joke that went wrong, very very wrong).

    I have been on that road on the Dingle Peninsula, though, which means I’m in quadruple awe that you managed it. (The first triple bits of awe are that there was no mayhem with M).

    Liked by 1 person

    • No mayhem to speak of… Lots of little things, but I can take the little things! And I didn’t drive Dingle (I like that onomatopoeia!) thank God!! That was the one day that we took a day tour. And driving in Europe isn’t bad as long as you don’t go into YUGE cities. It’s nice to be able to stop when you want and take side roads.


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