In preparation for the Scotland trip we have spent lots of time hitting the travel guides & I (JP) have been contemplating the map hung on the wall. All of the guides, when discussing driving about, talk at length about the fact that many roads are narrow. Very narrow. So narrow, in fact, that many of the “single carriageway” roads have pull-overs in order to allow two cars to pass. If the cars meet where there is no pull-over, there is a protocol as to who gets to back up; things like distance to the nearest one & how many cars are behind you. Not to worry, however.

We’ve been to Ireland.

So we already know that driving on the left is no big deal. [Ahem.] The only problem with actually having the driver’s position on the right is using the stick with the left hand and getting used to pushing the gear into second when downshifting rather than pulling it. Traffic circles are no big deal either. [Oh really?] And we have our mantra to use while driving, provided by the bus driver on the way to the rental car company: “Keep the stripe on the road next to the driver’s window.”

Our second day there we saw a road that headed out to the end of a peninsula. “Hey! Let’s go there.” It was very narrow, winding and had lots of ups and downs. Sharp drop-off on the left. We were impressed. And we needed a drink when we got back to the main road. But that was only the warm up. On the Dingle Peninsula we went across the Connor Pass. We had been warned to go from East to West in order to keep the car on the uphill side. Wise advice. Again, very narrow, VERY sharp drops on the right and it curved up and up. We were actually run into the ditch on our way up. That’s when I understood fully why the hubcaps were tie-wrapped on.

So bring it on Scotland! (We’ll let you know if tempting fate is a bad thing.)

Connor Pass, Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland, April 2003

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