Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ice Road Truckers In Ireland

Day 3- Part 2
That afternoon we continued around the Ring of Kerry, seeing the spectacular Cliffs of Mohr. Basically it was so foggy and windy I took a picture of a picture inside the museum restaurant. Still, leaving the Mrs. shopping (what else) I ventured up and along the narrow path, above the cliffs. Although there had to be near gale force winds, I tried to follow another couple of adventurers, who were about a hundred yards ahead of me, on the path. As you can see on the third picture, there was a plume of water streaming up and over the cliff. Kind of like a firemans hose. Getting wet from the rain was one thing. Getting doused by a blast of seawater was another. I turned back.
From there it was back to Killarney by going up and over the coastal mountains. The rain continued abated very, briefly then resumed. Then as we gained in elevation a dense fog set it in . Not good.
Now let’s cut to the chase here. The roads in Ireland are, by Minnesota frost heaved standards and pothole abundant, very well maintained. They are, however, very very narrow with no shoulders at all. They also seemed characterized by an inordinate amount of curves.














On the point of mountain roads, Mrs. T is not too fond of looking over the edge, thousands of feet down as occasionally happens when were are in the Rocky Mountain West. Panic attacks are a problem. Thus, on this day, I had the window seat and she was working a Sudoko with careful attention.
As I looked out the window, searching thru the fog for a lake far below, I noticed a "safety barrier"consisting of rocks piled about 6 inches high. No shoulder. No real safety barrier, a rain slicked highway in the fog and what seemed to be an excessive speed given the conditions. We were about two feet from the edge. Then it hit me. I’d seen the like of this before. It was watching the so-called "History Channel," whose newest hit, among all its recent non- historical "reality shows" and schlock was "IRT: Deadliest Roads." The Ice Roads Truckers were now driving over the Himalaya Mountains on a road which kills about 400 people per year!. No, I don't have any pictures of my views out the window of the bus. I was too busy praying. And NOT thinking of Lisa who is allegedly the sexiest trucker alive.
Well, perhaps it was the combination of our prayers and our drivers 36 years of driving experience but we obviously made it safely back to our hotel. The Irish adventure would continue.

13 comments:

  1. I had to laugh as I read this, as we were also amazed at how those bus drivers maneuver along these twisty, narrow roads. At one point, our driver was so close to another truck that there was literally maybe an inch or two between their side mirrors. They just smiled to one another and Eammon, our driver said to him, "I'll hold me breath if ye will!"

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  2. I can sympathize with your wife. I'm no fan of heights, especially if you are confined to a small ledge.

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  3. As to driving conditions, YOU DIDN'T EVEN MENTION the biggest terror of all, driving on the "wrong" side of the road!!
    I'm loving your stories and photos - The Dublin airport is as close as I've been to seeing Ireland, hope to make a trip like yours some day. Though given that remarkable fire hose of up-splash (is there such a word?) perhaps I'll choose spring time instead!?

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  4. We must be spoiled on widths of roads. Some of the most treacherous I was on was in the Canary Islands traveling up a volcano and meeting other tour buses descending.Italy had some white knuclers with all the Vespas cutting in and out.

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  5. Kia ora TB,
    Well, this will prepare well for the narrow roads of New Zealand should you ever visit here. Some of those bus drivers and truckies are pretty fearless. Been great catching up on your great trip. Hope you got to sample some of the national drink! Happy Thanksgiving.
    Cheers,
    Robb

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  6. I'm terrified of heights, so I wouldn't want to go on that road! Nice narrative though.

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  7. Scary indeed! I am the kind that wants to see it coming but there is something to be said for Sudoku and not seeing it. I hadn't heard about the mountain roads in the Himalayas. Very scar! As if driving weren't scary enough on a good road.

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  8. Your experience on the road reminded me of a few of our narrow mountain roads in the Smokies -- adequate until you meet another car going in the opposite direction! But I'm glad you made it safely to your destination.

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  9. I love the shot of the twisty road snaking through the trees. I want to go down it.

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  10. So I'm not the only one who thinks the History channel strays too far sometimes? I love your winding road pics, though I was feeling a bit woozy there for a minute or so. That pic of the seawater plume is wonderful. Good thing you kept a safe distance from the edge.

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  11. Great shot of the sea water slurping over the top of that cliff..awesome! I am not a fan of cliffs either..out west I often close my eyes and pray..when I am not driving:)

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  12. I've been on a couple of drop off roads, one in the four corners area of the US west. My husband saw it on a map and figured it would be a good short cut to the next place we were going. No guard rail, no edge, and the whole thing seemed to be made of gravel, going up, up, about a mile, it seemed. No greenery, either, so not quite beautiful like in your pictures.

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  13. We seek out roads such as that. We look for the hidden mountain lakes that are nestled up here in the rocky mountains and sometimes it means on the cliffs of roads such as those. My husband doesn't mind but secretly, it scares the poop out of me. =)

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