Saturday, October 13, 2012

Two Flat Tires and a Blessing in Disguise

(aka Another Irish Adventure!)

Today I'll write about the part of our trip that didn't go quite according to plan. We set out for the Ring of Kerry, an off-the-beaten-path road with beautiful scenery, in an Avis rental car. It sounded like a good idea, but we didn't know that the roads in that area are notorious for their potholes.

Near the town of Macroom we hit a jagged pothole and blew out a tire. Luckily for us, the next place to turn off the road was into the parking lot of the Coolavokig Pottery shop. After discovering that our rental car was lacking a spare tire and that our German cell phone was not getting service, we knocked on the door of the shop. Robb and Meredith, the super-hospitable owners, not only helped us call Avis, but invited us to lunch as well.

Avis promised to deliver a new rental car, but it would take two hours to get it to us. To pass the time, Meredith showed us around their garden and her pottery studio. My children, who can sniff out an art adventure like bloodhounds, seized the moment and began making pottery themselves as Meredith patiently showed them what to do.

Meredith in her studio.

At the end of the day, both kids agreed that this had been the best part of the day. A blessing in disguise. We had made new friends, enjoyed local hospitality, and made some art as well. I also became the proud owner of some gorgeous new pottery pieces. If you are ever near Macroom, please visit Meredith and Robb's  shop!

Avis finally delivered the new car, a mini-van, and we continued on the long and winding road, stopping here and there to see more breathtaking scenery . . .

when lo and behold, we hit another pothole and discovered that we had a second flat tire! Neither the luck of the Irish nor Irish eyes were smiling on us. This time, there was a spare tire in the van, but the wrong tools to change the tire!

Second flat tire: waiting for help to arrive.

After flagging down a local man who knew a mechanic, we were able to change the tire and made our way further around the Ring. This time there was no apparent blessing in disguise, except that the kids had a chance to eat their lollipops that I had forbidden them to eat in the car.: )

Our next stop was Staigue Fort, a pre-Christian circular fort, remarkable for the fact that it it built entirely without mortar. The fort was worth seeing, but the way to it required a rather long drive on a one-lane road with traffic going in both directions. After two flat tires, I was a little weary of bad roads and almost had heart failure a couple of times before we got back on the main road.

Well, we survived the Ring of Kerry with no further unpleasantries and made our way up to the cliffs of Moher near Doolin. The Cliffs really do take you take your breath away and no picture could ever do them justice. They are also famous as the Cliffs of Despair in the "Princess Bride" film.

We were also treated to a music festival with local musicians and dancers at a pub. And our kids made friends with a horse named Madam.

Now we are back home drinking coffee from our new pottery and reading Irish fairy tales.

And now I also promise to get back to the relevant topics of this blog . . . !


  1. I love these kinds of stories xo And your cup.... (;

  2. Das Geschirr ist ja toll! schöne Geschichte:)))

  3. Those potholes are a bane! It's a good thing that you were near the pottery shop to call Avis, and that the owners were quite hospitable. Unlucky as the second flat was, at least there was a spare. And again, it was good that you flagged a friendly stranger to help you. Thanks for sharing! :)

    -Rita McCall

    1. Glad you enjoyed this! Thanks for stopping by!