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Published: July 26th 2016
The day of our flight to Ireland has dawned OK and with new replacement passport in hand things should continue to go smoothly. Needless to say I am now under strict watch and questioning as to where my passport is at all times.
We weren’t in a hurry to leave our apartment as it was just a two hour drive to CDG airport, Paris and even allowing for some slower city/suburban traffic we still didn’t need to leave too early.
We had had a pleasant stay here in Connelles even if we didn’t get much time to see the area. We have however ticked Monet’s Garden off the bucket list which was a good achievement.
We had had to pay for internet here at €5.95 per 24 hours and the quality of connectivity and speed were poor which is almost as frustrating as having no internet at all. Everything we do outside of the actual travelling seems to revolve around having an internet connection.
The rate we got from the website that we booked the room through was very cheap so paying for the internet wasn’t such an issue except it being unreliable and slow.
mentioned the quality of the internet connection at checkout time and the receptionist discounted it by 50% which we thought was a fair bargain.
We had rid ourselves of all the bits of paper, maps and food items we no longer needed as well as donating the toaster, sheets(we had bought for Norway) and pillows to a person in the resort who runs a raffle every so often to raise monies for charities.
We were now down to 2 suitcases and 2 backpacks just as we were when we left New Zealand.
We took the same D20 out of the valley and this time took advantage of a stop at the top of the hill overlooking the River Seine. It was a beautiful, peaceful scene and we have resolved that next time we are back in France we will come back to this area for a longer stay.
Following on we took the same D6014 as we did yesterday towards Paris but this time over ruling the GPS which still had us going off the highway in 2 places only to go back on again because we had the shortest route ticked.
One thing different
with today’s destination over yesterdays, which was in the city, was that CDG airport is to the north east of Paris and we wouldn’t be going anywhere near the A d T.
Instead the route the GPS took us straight across the outer northern suburbs of the city on the N104.
It was a slow trip although the traffic volumes were light. Having the shortest route picked meant that we ended up in some streets that weren’t the main ones through the suburbs we passed through. However we were making progress in the right direction and we had plenty of time up our sleeves.
The Peugeot people had programmed in our return details but this had got lost in the myriad of places we had programmed and have been over the last 4 ½ months so we had to enter the return address again.
We found it or should we say the GPS found it without any problems and we were quickly and efficiently attended to by a nice young man who told us he just started this summer job for himself while the University he was studying at was closed for the summer.
completed we said a sad farewell to Peggy who never missed a beat and had proved absolutely reliable in the 4 ½ months she had been our transport for over 21,000kms! We did say goodbye to Gina too although we couldn’t say her reliability had been as great as Peggy had been.
The young man dropped us at Terminal 1 at CDG airport and it became clear immediately that security was tighter than when we had arrived back in March. The road we would have taken to be outside the terminal doors had been closed off by soldiers carrying automatic weapons and the young man apologised that we would have to walk a few more metres to get inside the terminal. He raced off and got us a trolley as he probably thought we wouldn’t be able to wheel our suitcases that far.
I had my backpack on my back while Gretchen had hers on the trolley. It appeared that because mine was on my back that it needed to be inspected by the security man on the front door who was looking a bit harassed having to make up his mind who he checked or not. He
had a quick poke around without me having to take anything out and he waved us on. What that was supposed to achieve we are not sure. Perhaps it was to deter any would be terrorist from entering with a back pack on their back in the chance they might get caught.
The check in went smoothly and both our suitcases were under 20kgs although Gretchen’s had put on a little weight although she cannot understand why.
With plenty of time to spare we had some lunch and then headed up to the departure lounge with another check before we got to the security check to take us into the departure lounge.
Our timing for this departure to Cork was excellent in that it appeared to be a very quiet time for departures as there weren’t a lot of people around and we were through to the departure lounge very quickly.
The flight to Ireland was uneventful although it was a pity there was nothing to see out of the window as soon after we took off from Paris we entered thick cloud and it stayed that way until we landed in Cork. In fact we
felt well and truly we were in the hands of the Gods as very low cloud and drizzle made it impossible to see where we were landing until we felt the aeroplane wheels hit the tarmac.
Welcome to Ireland!
Getting through immigration by ensuring you are in the fastest queue is always a bit of a gamble. Here of course they have a separate line for EU citizens and one for ‘all others’. It was the ‘all others’ we were in and a couple of places ahead of us were the middle eastern man and his harem of 4 wives and 3 children. What we thought was slack was only he had to front the immigration officer with all the passports which were stamped, while the wives and kids all stood back and they never presented their passports or themselves to the immigration officer. We couldn’t do that as a couple and had to present ourselves separately.
We did have a bit of a wait for the luggage to come out which was a bit of a surprise because Cork is a small airport and we were the only aeroplane at the terminal building.
The rental car company was in the terminal and the car, a Seat Ibiza, was in the car park just outside of the terminal building. So much easier than having to get loaded into a van and driven off site to start your journey.
It was about 110km to drive to Castle Island where we have rented a stone farm cottage just outside of the small town with a population of 2500.
The drizzle turned to light steady rain as we cleared Cork city passing through the towns of Macroom and then onto Killarney.
We had left Paris with temperatures in the mid 20’s and it was about 15C now that we were in Ireland.
The countryside we passed through was as we remembered it from previous visits, a rolling green landscape with hedge rows and cows and sheep grazing.
By the time we reached Castle Island the rain had stopped, in fact the roads were dry indicating that the rain hadn’t been around here for a while.
The arrangement was to meet the owner of the cottage, Kathleen, in the Lidl supermarket car park and she would show us the way.
We didn’t find the supermarket on our first drive along the wide main street of the town and had to ask a local where it was and once we had the directions we found it easily.
A phone call to Kathleen to say we were here and 10 minutes later she arrived and guided us to the cottage which is very spacious with 3 bedrooms including one in the loft and all the comforts of home.
Kathleen gave us a couple of ideas for dinner and we drove a short distance out to a pub/restaurant on the road to Tralee but found that they stopped serving food at 8pm and it was now nearly 8.30pm.In Europe we were only thinking about going out for dinner at 8.30pm!
So it was back to Den Joes, a sort of Irish country town MacDonald’s, her other recommendation in the town and a feed of burgers and fries which filled the gap just nicely. We had called in Lidl for breakfast supplies before getting to Den Joes so we were all set for the morning.
Travelling by aeroplane takes it out of you and we were both ready for bed soon after coming back from Den Joes.
Tomorrow we start the ancestry search for Maria Dillon, my great, great grandmother who I have not been able to trace using all of the online resources I have come across. It would be nice to find more about her birthplace and perhaps where she lived before she immigrated to New Zealand and married Daniel Mahoney in Timaru in 1881 and about whom I have quite a lot of information.
PS;enjoy the Irish Party song as a welcome to Ireland .Get out there and kick your heels up and party as if you have a new passport!!!!!!(I have)On Youtube as usual
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