It had to be easy, we had our GPS (fondly named Alison), all we had to do was drive back to Dublin, approximately 3hours 20minutes, and catch the Irish Ferry back to Holihead.
We were sad to pack our bags and say goodbye to Randles Court, we called it our Killarney Palace because of its luxurious elegance. As we passed the village sign of my name sake, and Ross Castle was just a memory in the distance at the end of a tree lined street covered in a blanket of russet, green and yellow leaves, I knew that I would someday return.
We saw the gates first, the Ferry looked a little less grand than Ulysses. I drove up to the gate to ask the man where to buy tickets, he said “you’ll want to be quick, the Ferry leaves in 10 minutes. Just drive around the corner, back where you came in, but go straight instead of turning right, follow it right up and you can’t miss it. Hurry up then, off you go.”
I zoomed back where we came, flew around the roundabout and reached the end, stopped out front, no time for parking. “I’ll leave you in the car mum just in case”.
“Just hurry Kerrie, we don’t want to miss the Ferry,” she instructed motherly fashion.
I raced inside, oh no there’s a line. I looked anxiously around, heart thumping. The man in front seemed to be having a problem. A lady over the counter walks up and speaks to the other assistant. Both pairs of eyes looked at me expectantly. “I’ve got to get on this Ferry,” I shout.
“Oh yes I’ll sort it, come on then, it leaves in 5 minutes.”
I rushed to the counter, and the lady began typing desperately on a computer……how many people, and a car, what’s your name? Laughter…..hahahaha…..are you joking…..we don’t have time.”
“No it’s true….that’s it!”
“Well you don’t sound Irish.”
“It’s my married name.”
“Ok nearly done, they phoned and told me you were on your way. Hurry now, off you go, you better be quick, they’re waiting on you.”
I tore out the door yelling thank you, jumped into the car, sped around the car park and back down the road. I flew around the bend, and can’t remember where I am.
“The gates are closed,” I squealed in panic, as I zoomed along to the end of the Port. A man standing there talking on his phone was suddenly running towards us waving his arms, “You are going the wrong way,” he shouted through my window. “It’s back that way”.
I did a detour and see where I am supposed to be, I hit high speed and gunned it through the gate with a sigh of relief.
“Kerrie, the man in the booth has come out and is shouting, his arms are waving about, “Mum’s tossing in her seat waving.
I looked in my rear view mirror and I don’t think he’s waving goodbye. I reverse the car faster than I’ve ever done before in my life.
“STOP Come back I need your tickets” he’s yelling.
He looked slightly angry, “You were just here! Why did you go around there?”
“I couldn’t find where I had to come back, the gates looked closed, “I said all defensive. He checked our tickets, grinned, chuckled and started the questioning.
I explain this is why we stayed in County Kerry, and no I’m not Irish, and no my husband grew up in Killarney in Australia. He continued laughing.
“Well hurry up then” he says, “The Ferries waiting for you Kerrie Ireland!”
We drove toward the big Irish Ferry….all the ferry hands are standing there, waving, laughing and cheering. ‘It’s about time, welcome aboard The Dublin Swift,” they applauded whilst directing us into her giant womb.
I think they were a bit scared after my driving and not being able to find my way. Mum and I laughed so much it hurt. They looked relieved when we finally parked and turned the ignition off.
Mum flirted with the ferry men, while I locked the car. They were quite amused by it all. I didn’t think things like this happened in real life, only at the movies.
When we did finally sit down, after a few quick sales in the shop, and my stomach still lurched with the waves, we had a bite to eat from the cafe.
“I think this is the fast ferry”, Mum’s observant like that! We are still going over the events of this morning and attracting onlookers with our excessive laughter. The Ferry over was the slow one, more classy like a small cruise ship with a cinema and more lounging bars.
“What are they saying, they’re announcing something.” Mum said.
I stopped to listen. “Oh something about a registration number…. sounds familiar.”
I rummaged through my trusty black Hedgren waterproof travel bag and my hand wasn’t finding the car keys so that I could check our rego number.
We could not contain our laughter another minute. I headed to the reception desk.
“I think I have lost my keys,” I said hoping they don’t know who I am.
“What’s the registration number?” the lady asked sternly.
“I don’t know,” I confess and explain it is a hire car and this is the only reason I don’t know it.
She looks unconvinced but hands them over anyway. The key part is tucked in and I cannot work out how I’m meant to get it out. She sees my confusion and asks am I sure they are mine. I explain my dilemma and she shows me the little silver button on the side.
I slinked back to my seat beside mum and we exploded with laughter, and hoped the men who held the ferry up don’t know that they were ours.
We Also Stayed and Recommend
Pembroke Townhouse Dublin
The Royal Goat Hotel, Beddglert, Gwynedd, North Wales
I acknowledge Kathleen from Kathleen’s Country House. Her friendly advice and assistance when we knocked on her door, even though she was closed for the season was unforgettable.
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