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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Plans afoot...

Earlier this year the subject of a road trip came up when talking about Gareth's TransAm and it just became recurrent in our conversations. Originally he suggested driving the car from Harrogate in Yorkshire to Dubai. The idea took hold of me in earnest only to be thwarted by dangerous conditions in Syria, roadblocks in Iraq and point blank border closures with Saudi Arabia (bar the fact that I absolutely would not be allowed in with Gareth as we are not blood related or married). Still, something  about being on the road stayed with me, we could do it in Europe perhaps - I have a wedding at the end of July - where better to start than an Irish wedding? I love exploring and really enjoy seeing places I love through someone else's eyes; their reactions, their surprise and wonder, their smiles at something that may have become commonplace for me. It makes it all new, like looking through a child's eyes.

Slowly we started planning our summer trip - I'm not even sure when the details began to fall into place - perhaps late May or early June. Now, it's almost upon us and I absolutely can't wait. I have maps printed, road directions, bookings etc. I think it's a good thing I'm a planner - Gareth would probably disagree. He likes to throw things into the mix - like last night he mentioned that he wanted to get a tattoo whilst in Cork. I'm not even sure where you would get a tattoo in Midleton, Cork but sure, I'll do my best to make it happen.

So a road-trip it is, I start with a few days in Dublin but once I pick Gareth up on Friday morning we're headed for Cork - First stop  - My cousin Aeda's wedding - a wild weekend (no doubt) where Gareth gets plunged into the centre of my mother's family and fed to the wolves. I'm sure it won't be that bad - but I love rising him about it. From there we travel to Kerry - Dingle and Tralee, to visit my old haunts and friends. We leave Kerry for Ennis on August 1st. Galway next (during race week) and then onto my favorite place in the world - Achill Island, after Achill there's a possible detour to Donegal and onto Dublin to finish up the Irish part of the tour. Roadtrip UK starts on August 8th - landing in Manchester.

I leave Tuesday night  - Exit my Sheik Zayed Road abode around 10.30pm and board the Etihad bus from Chelsea Tower  bound for Abu Dhabi Airport. I can't even explain the relief of leaving the dustbowl at this time of year. Car Thermostat's recorded 61Celsius yesterday  - I didn't even think that possible. I'm currently trying to be grateful for the heat and humidity - knowing that we are thrusting ourselves into the unpredictability of Northwest European weather for the next month - and wondering whether to pack my ski-jacket!

So for the next few days I'll continue to plan, fret and prep for the trip to come....hopefully I'll have interesting stories from the road as we go.....

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