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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Monday, August 27 2001

The final three days abroad

In light of David Caldwell's postcards for Saturday and Sunday, when I didn't write my own, I'm compiling a paragraph or two of each day at the end oKissing Blarney Stonef our vacation tour of Ireland/the UK.

Friday turned into a minor disaster as our car died about 20 miles north of Cork. Earlier we visited Blarney Castle at Cork and sent Friday morning's postcard and photo after getting a relatively early start from Killarney. But the Pugeot 206 that the National/Alamo Carhire agency rented to us died in a town only about 80 miles from Killarney and a little later the RAC ("auto club") mechanic who came under our rental insurance surmised it to be a burned valve, a job that would take more time than we had. We spent the rest of the day trying to get the RAC insurance which we paid an extra £18 per day for to make good on its promise that any contingency in the Republic of Ireland was covered. It isn't. They refused to provide a replacement car until we get back to the UK on Sunday afternoon, and we were stuck in the little town of Michelstown, Ireland. Not a bad little town, but not Dublin, which was our day's destination. Tomorrow, Lord Willing, a bus will get us there at our own expense and then we'll have to get around by taxi until our departure on a Sunday morning ferry.

Saturday. I'm writing this in the Stena Ferry lounge while killing an hour waiting for our ferry. We had to take a c. 210 km busride on Saturday from Mitchelstown to Dublin, then get the local commute line, DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) about 30 miles south of the city to Greystones, the site of our B&B for the night. The end of U2's world tour was at a castle 90 minutes' drive north of Dublin, and because of it and the high season every accommodatiDublin by nighton in our price range in Dublin was booked solid (we knew that and booked our room in Killarney before the car breakdown). By the time we got back to Dublin for sightseeing it was evening, and we used most of our time in communications activities...me sending you David's Saturday and Sunday reports, and Mike trying to get the auto club's assurance that there will be a substitute car for us when we get to the other side of this ferry ride, in North Wales. The negotiating here is atrocious, with a dozen phone calls and waiting for calls back (on public phones) needed to get any assurance of anything. But at least the car that broke down has apparently been delivered to the ferry here for boarding (by someone else) when we board. Dublin was wonderful despite the shortness of our visit. The Internet connections were the best yet, and least expensive, and the people helped Mike tremendously with his phone calls. And we had dinner, late, in Bewley's, the city's most famous coffee shop (really the Penn Traffic of coffee shops worldwide). (Had to get some local reference into this post!) The weather has turned from drizzle to perfect, so that's a great blessing. Hope to write again tonight before Monday's departure for California.

Sunday. Not only the weather but our fortunes improved today as we were met on the Wales side at the ferry terminal by a representative of the car rental company to give us possession of a substitute car for use the rest of our journey. That brought us to Oxford Sunday night, where I'm writing this at an Internet cafe. We'll get up early Monday morning and if schedules holdOxford morning we'll be on the way back by 11:15 a.m. London time. Mike and I are both thankful for the turn of events for the better. Losing, for the most part, the Dublin part of our vacation, nevertheless we've had an unforgettable two weeks. Lord willing, I'll be back to work on Tuesday and, if not too jet lagged on Monday night, will send Tuesday's entry before that. Meanwhile...how was your summer vacation?

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Things I wish I'd known before going out into the real world

When you make a mistake, make amends immediately. It's easier to eat crow while it's still warm.

Sent by Mike Harrison

Light on our way

I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun, not just because I see it, but because by it I can see everything else.

—C. S. Lewis

Sent by Carole Levinson Stuart

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