Wednesday 13 December 2017

A journey to beautiful Westport turned out to be an odyssey

By Justine O'Mahony

One of the many not very interesting things about me is that I am a bad traveller. I puke on boats, I hyperventilate in airplanes and I moan in cars.

So Why in God's name did I decide to organise a road trip to Westport which would necessitate a 5 and a half hour car journey? I plead temporary insanity.

But that is exactly what I organised for the midterm. A wonderful road trip to Westport with Himself, the kids, friends and the Oul fella, all travelling in convoy across country to the Wesht of Ireland.

In theory it sounded idyllic. A few days in a nice hotel, drinking pints of Guinness, eating fresh seafood, wandering through the picturesque streets of Westport and having the chats.

However I hadn't factored in how many loo breaks we'd have to stop for...or lunch breaks/tea breaks/carsick breaks or that Roscommon is the biggest county in the whole bloody world and takes FOREVER to drive through!

It didn't help that the Oul Fella was chief navigator and despite knowing the road like the back of his hand, sent us 20 miles out of our way! We hadn't gotten as far as Carlow when the Eldest rolled down his window. 'I don't feel well.' Within fifteen minutes the Youngest followed suit and I must confess shortly after I began to turn a bit green around the gills.

We stopped for a cup of tea, hang sandwiches and a dose of travel sickness tablets. Off we went again only to stop half an hour later for a loo break, mea culpa!

Twenty minutes later I was gasping with the thirst. Petrol Station dash. 'What time is dinner booked for?' Himself inquired. I told him 8.30 pm. He looked at his watch-1.45 pm. 'Ah we should make it by then!'

We got there just in time to see night fall on beautiful Westport. There was only one thing for it-the bar for a debrief. After a couple of tinctures to help us recover we asked the barman how far the restaurant was from the hotel. 'Ah only about 200 yards up the road,' he replied.

So off we went, me tottering in six inch heels up a pitch dark bohreen with not a light in sight. Whether it was the tinctures or the dark, I managed to fall off the kerb and twist my ankle and hobbled the rest of the way. The 200 yards turned out to be 2 feckin miles by which time I was fit to be hospitalised.

A lovely lady greeted us. 'Give me a large gin and tonic. I'm after falling coming up,' I told her dramatically.

'Oh God love you,' she said. 'Did you fall coming up The Reek?'

'Is that what the road is called?'

She looked confused. 'No...I'm talking about Croagh Patrick.'

I was tempted to not let the facts get in the way of a good story but there were too many witnesses!

Still, it was a very steep kerb!

Wexford People

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