The Second Breakdown

We’ve been in Ireland four days.  It’s all going amazing well.  The car’s surviving and we’ve hit some of our bucket list.  We’re feeling cocky.  Lets put it out there we angered the parenting gods again with our taunting of “it’s so lovely here but you definitely need a car”  I know I can’t believe we said it either!  You’d think we’d have learnt from the first disaster


So we broke down.  Not just a little breakdown but a full on smoke bellowing, in the sticks, nothing but trees and cows breakdown.

There was a a sign advising that Knocknacarry was 1 mile away.  In my wisdom I suggested a walk with the kids to kill some time and maybe we’ll have a coffee when we get there then wander back to the car.  By this time the AA man will surely have arrived and all will be fixed and we’ll be on our way.

How wrong I was.  The walk was beautiful and picturesque.  We picked blackberries and ate them straight from the bush, we crossed a river on an old stone bridge and stroked a beautiful horse in a field.  We pretended to be the blue people from Avatar and said the name knocknacarry in their accent.  It was a pretty lovely walk.  What wasn’t lovely was walking for 45 minutes to then discover that the blessed knocknacarry was a cross roads of 10 houses that didn’t even have a shop let alone a cafe.  By this point the kids were tired, I was tired and the AA man still hadn’t arrived.  We walked back to the car to discover that the AA man was at the opposite end of possibly the longest road in Ireland and wouldn’t be with us for ages.  The locals were amazing and stopped regularly to tell us there was a mechanic just down the road and ask us our life story.

Darrell needed a poo.  Dylan’s kindle was nearly out of juice.  Nieve was literally out of juice (total juice junkie this was not a good position to be in)  Things had gotten so desperate I’d taken to playing hide and seek on some posh persons drive way, you know the ones that are so long you can’t see the house and it’s lined with trees.

I had to wee in a bush only to discover that there were loos on a camp site 5 minutes away although that place was like something from the movie wrong turn.  Everywhere looked lived in yet the only movement was washing gently flapping on the line and a three legged cat hobbling about.  My only thought was if I hear a banjo  Darrell won’t be the only one needing a poo.

Finally the AA man arrived.  He advised us he needed to phone Pete.  Who the hell is Pete?  I thought.  He then advised that Pete told him to phone Pat but he didn’t know Pat.

True story.

We got back on the road and arrived at the famous Pat’s garage.  Our day out was officially over but we decided to make the most of it.  Whilst the men were doing man stuff and Nieve was sleeping off her juice come down mum and I took in the sights from where we stood.

The men doing man stuff…….



The Dallywood sign complete with broken L


A beautifully painted mural that caught my attention straight away


and of course the fabulous red bin upon which I sat whilst the men did their talking


We were treated to a ride home with a local “taxi driver” who proceeded to chat to Nieve and simultaneously drive 70 miles an hour down back lanes and hairpin bends.  I felt more sick getting out of the taxi than I did getting off the ferry!

Pat promised to have us back on the road in 24 hours and true to his word a day later he collected my dad and brad to go and get our car.  Brad spent the 30 minute journey pressed up against a pitch fork and praying (he’s an atheist so it must have been bad) that there wouldn’t be an accident as it would be death by pitchfork.

Despite the set backs of the car the day can certainly be put down as an adventure and one I’ll always remember fondly.

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