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October 28 - Belfast to Killarney

We hustled around and got our breakfast and got on the road back to the Dublin airport to exchange an IBM rented car for a Mark and Connie rented car. We had to stop for fuel and at a mall for a currency exchange before we got to the airport. (the currency in Northern Ireland is Pounds Sterling, the currency in Ireland is the Euro.)

Once we had our own car, we headed to Kilkenny Castle, then to Waterford Crystal.
Killkenny Castle from the green

The portrait room

School boys on the green at Killkenny. There were school children all around town. Elementary school was just letting out when we were leaving town, and the kiddies had on their Halloween costumes.

The leaves are changing in Killkenny, just like home.

After Killkenny Castle we drove to Waterford, to tour Waterford Crystal. From the parking lot, we see this big billboard with Hillary Clinton.

At first it seemed this was bashing Hillary, but at closer examination, it's simply saying they cover all of the angles, but the interesting thing is that this is the topic they've chosen to attract attention and make a statement about what they are covering. See my comments page about politics.
Forming the glass at Waterford Crystal (photo by Connie Boyd)
Cutting the glass, er crystal at Waterford (photo Connie Boyd)

About 8PM, on the way from Waterford to Killarney we had an issue with the GPS and I reached over to help Connie straighten it out. At just that moment we went by a place in the street where the curb jutted out into the street and I hit the curb and blew out the left front tire. Fortunately, there was no one behind me and there was a place immediately across the street where I could pull off. (a place to pull off the street and park is very, very unusual - this was very, very fortunate). It was also right under a street light, and I was able to put on the spare tire with no trouble. I did have a flashlight with me, but I didn't need it.

We were shortly on our way, and we were able to limp the last 30 or so miles to our hotel. The road was very windy and it was very dark, so traffic backed up behind me several times, because people couldn't easily pass. Just as we rolled into Killarney, there was a McDonalds. We had been so busy all day, we hadn't had anything to eat since breakfast except an apple. So we were glad to find a McDonalds. They aren't rare, but they are nowhere as common as in the US. We pulled into McD's about 8:30 and the place was jammed with people. What a gold mine they have. The Irish seemingly love McD's. I can't remember when a Big Mac and Coke tasted so good!
Here's the route we drove on Friday. Long trip. A little too long.

When we arrived at the hotel, I called Hertz to see what I needed to do about the tire. The gentleman explained that I just needed to go to any Gary's Tyre Center (at least that's what I heard), and have the tire replaced at my expense. I had declined the optional wheel and tire insurance - brilliant! I confirmed, "I take it to a Gary's Tyre Center?" (it's spelled tyre in Ireland). He said, "No, any gare-uzh er tyre center." Oh! What we call a garage, they say with a long a and a very blurred ending.

I saw on Google maps several garages and tyre centers, so I figured we might at least get the tire changed in the morning, and I was hoping that that the wheel wasn't damaged. When I changed it, I hadn't bothered to pay attention if it was a steel wheel or alloy wheel or if it was damaged or not. So I went to bed hoping and praying I wasn't going to have to buy a new alloy wheel too.

Now the issue was that we had already reserved and paid for an all day bus tour around the Ring of Kerry that started at 10AM. And the local Killarney Tyre Center didn't open until 9AM. So we figured that we weren't going to make the bus tour. The front desk at the hotel said we could do it, and the Tyre Center guy said bring it right over. They took us right in, and they had the tire changed in 10 minutes. The guy said, if this is for Hertz, you don't have to put a Continental tire back on the car. You can put on a less expensive one. We do this all the time for Hertz. So, we had the tire replaced in 10 minutes and it only cost 98 Euros. The wheel was fine, and we were back at the hotel by 9:45 in time to be picked up at 10AM. And all of the people involved were the nicest ever. Amazing!

October 28 - Friday

October 29 - Saturday

October 30 - Sunday

October 31 - Monday


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