Ireland - Friday, March 26, 2010 by: Michael Townsend

When I first rented the car for my tour of Ireland, the Hertz guy asked if I would prefer a larger car with GPS. While GPS sounded like a good idea, the cost of it and the upgrade to an automatic larger car were just too much. So off I went with the faith of the truly ignorant. Bigger car! I was in this one for four minutes and was wishing for a smaller car, perhaps a compact version of the Smart Car.

For the first two days I was terrorised by the roads of Ireland. Expecting a head-on at every turn, finding the right gear of the 5 speed transmission, maneuverings between on coming truck on the right and on coming tree on the left, and my faithful followers, the "Church of the Perpetually Annoyed" ever present in my rear view mirror, hanging on to my every gear change. I started experiencing hysterical blindness which took me off the road each day by 3:00 pm. Get me out of this!


But then something happened. I reverted to another time and place. My first car was a VW with standard transmission. I loved that car and more importantly loved to drive it. And this one was 40 years newer and one more gear. After four days on the road, I was now going into the corners watching the brake lights of the car I was following but I was just using the gear shift never touching the brake. What a blast! I was now able to see the signs on the side of the road, something I had missed those first days. And the faithful had abandoned me.

So, another challenge met and kicked down, having the time of my life blasting along in my little Ford KA 1.8 litre 5 speed, seeing one of the most beautiful little countries using the Euro.

Michael Townsend

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