3/24/09 Dublin

Dublin Travel Blog

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Dublin Campground



Successful day today!  We’d had such a great day before with the schools and the pub in Dublin that the kids had a tough time waking up. But we did get to see Iarlaith and Siobhra before school.  Kieran helped us with a few more RV gifts (movies, games, etc) before also going to teach.  We collected all our laundry and borrowed a few more things, like an extra dishtowel and paper, from Orla- our being comfortable asking for extras is testament to how genuinely gracious as they are.


Orla just got notice today that she was accepted to a 10-day Boston College program in May!  Upon her return from there, she’ll have just 3 weeks to prepare for their U.

Dublin Campground
S. motorhoming adventure.  I’m really excited for her and encouraged her to get packing now!


We then gave hugs goodbye, took a deep breath, and headed down the left side of the highway, about 30 miles north to the Camac Valley Campground.  We felt victorious when we pulled into the reception parking spot! 


As long as I remember to keep to the curb (in a left-hand steering wheeled vehicle, like our German-born motorhome, Sugar), all is well.  Sugar rides really smoothly and the manual shifting is coming back to me.


Trevor, at the campground, was very helpful and we have water, electric, and grey water dump at the campsite.  We couldn’t figure out how to get the grey water (from shower and sink) into the sewer drain, which looks just like our U.S. 3” sewer hookups.  But we use a slinky hose in the U.S. and here you’re just supposed to get the pipe exiting the rig really close to the hole, then twist the valve to open, splashing the water directly into the hole.  Lining this up is not easy.


I asked about this to the woman who pulled her rig into the spot a few down from us and she said to just try to position the rig over it.  But that put us slightly on the grass on this nice paved site.  And to get the water to dump directly into the hole required precision backing accuracy. 


Well, we managed to get aligned and later confirmed the process with Trevor.  Some folks use a hose (which is what I’d wanted to run buy), but  to just back up and dump it before you leave.  It is very unusual, he said, to have grey-water at each individual site.  We’re not complaining, it was just a different technique and we’re happy to have the convenience of on-site dumping since we’re here at least two nights.


Since everyone is so tired and the weather is very cold and blustery today, we decided to go tomorrow into Dublin via bus.  Today we went to the small village of Culdaron (get correct name)- it was busy at lunchtime and we couldn’t identify any parking, so we just explored and let the GPS get us back to the campground.  It was good driving practice for us and we did surprisingly well.


The roads can be a bit complicated because of the many signs (in Irish and English) and road markings.  For instance, there are yellow hash marks painted on the road whenever there is a driveway or road entrance near my lane, so that I will not stop there and block the intersection should traffic halt.  There are many speed bumps for pedestrian crossings or beside schools to slow traffic.  The tiny cars around here can buzz right over them, but I’m much slower in Sugar.


Jazy noticed the funniest driving thing at a four-way intersection today:  she counted 42 traffic lights there!  Forty-two!  At just ONE intersection!  There were separate, 3-light units for every lane (my lane had one and the one beside me, turning right, had their own).  Each of the four-ways had a full-size street light on its own pole for pedestrians going both directions across each road.  There were no big cantilevered overhead poles or multi-lane overhead wires holding lights, so every light had its own 6-foot high pole.  We’re not sure why there were so many - we hadn’t time to count them when our light changed.  I must say that individual lights make the driving very clear – I just watch my light for an arrow when it’s time to turn. 


The lanes here ARE really skinny, you guys were right!  Fortunately Sugar is the perfect width at 7’, so no troubles.  The drivers are very sprightly, zipping by in their lane, sometimes in mine, completely unfazed by the closeness.  It is hard not to get intimidated by the long car lines following me as I drive slowly, but I try to considerately pass.  There’s not much else I can do and still be safe until I get the hang of it all.  I did run at 90 kph on the 100 kph highway, so I simply stay in the Left lane (which is the slow lane).  Also, all exits and entrances to the interstate are from the left lane.  Interesting driving and not as hard as I’d feared.  It’s all part of the adventure!


We notice that walking down the sidewalk, people approaching will walk on the left side, just as they drive.


So we are relaxing, playing with the GPS, reading travel books, having an early dinner of pasta and salad.  Kieran and Orla were so kind and stocked many food items for us:  cashews, crackers, sugar, salt, peanuts, tomato sauce, pasta, tuna, pepper, soups, orange juice, granola bars, etc.  How thoughtful is that!?  I think they should write the “hospitality advice” column for the Motorhome exchange site.


Did I mention that their kind families brought by books for each of us to borrow?  Bikes were secured from them too- wow!  They let me borrow about 30 travel books for all the countries in which we’ll be traveling.  You don’t get that when you rent an RV. 


And the supplies that we have to make everything comfy and homey are really appreciated.  I have to say that so far, I’m a huge fan of RV exchanging!  We’re very lucky we hooked up with such a wonderful family and that we really like each other.  I think compatibility is a real blessing. 


This morning Orla gave me a little gift bag with three wonderful items:  a humorous book about Ireland, a lovely Kildare book that I’ll cherish as I remember our time with them, and a box of local chocolates (we passed the factory yesterday).  Not just any chocolates- these are Lily O’Brien’s Chocolates, the best chocolates we have EVER had.  Thankfully, there are four of each kind in the large box.  They are so rich we eat just one per sitting.  The most wonderful, addictive chocolates- melt in your mouth- delights you could ever imagine.  Ahhh, my mouth is watering…


Oh, another thing:  this morning I talked more with Orla about her dryer, which impressed upon me the differences in where we live.  She had a dryer that was never used and finally moved it out of the house to her back storage- they have a line under the storage roof and love the freshness from hanging clothes outside.  A “drying room” in the house uses the heat from the water heater system (geo-thermal) to keep linens and items fresh and protected from moisture.  I was jealous of their clean air- sadly items hung outside in Houston come in stinky rather than fresh.  I also don’t think that I can open my house windows often because the pollution outside smells.  That is a sad statement for our Texas environment.


Did you know that when Ireland instituted a 15 cent fee on each plastic bag at stores, usage dropped by 40%!  People bring their own bags to the store and a real effort is made to reduce use of plastic bags- people are encouraged to cut back.  What a great idea! 


We practiced leveling the rig today- it took fast footwork to keep from rolling back down the chock while I was on the clutch.  But we did it- another first.  Every first is like an adventure- an “in the moment” experience that makes us more aware of life.  I think that is what I love most about travel- being “in the moment”, even if the firsts can add tweaks of stress.  But that is how we stretch and grow too.  As we said in Central America, that which doesn’t destroy us, makes us stronger – and hopefully develops our sense of humor too!


There’s wi-fi at the campground in the office so I may run up there to upload this and chat with Ned.  I’ve yet to get a phone card and reports of cell phone domination and difficulty in finding public phones means that internet chats are most convenient.  But we’ll eventually figure it out.  Every country is different and that’s part of the cultural learning.


The kids are having a jolly good time with the delightful Irish slang and accents – Jazy enjoyed discussing the lads with her new school chums yesterday.  Charles loves getting into the “ga’rage”, the large storage area in Sugar that we would call a garage. Lia is working on her accent and is quite cheeky with it.  It’s a wonderful, fun time.


The wind is really blowing outside!  We’re snug in Sugar though, a strong and beautiful rig.  We enjoy comparing the things we like in Sugar and Ciao.  Each has her strengths and we appreciate them both.




azsalsa says:
So much good advice in your blog. I could sit here all day just reading about your experiences. Happy traveling!
Posted on: Apr 23, 2009
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Dublin Campground
Dublin Campground
Dublin Campground
Dublin Campground
photo by: fransglobal