I am in two minds about motorways.

On the plus side, they tend to be the fastest way to drive from A to B.  You're also unlikely to get stuck behind a tractor towing a fucking slurry tank at twenty miles per hour for ten miles.

On the other hand they are really boring.

The main problem is having to sit for hours in exactly the same position, with minimal movement of the arms, legs or neck so I get really stiff and sore.  Naturally in this godforsaken country they threw up motorways all over the kip during the boom years but they never though to put in any service areas.  If you leave Dublin on the motorway and realise you are bursting for a piss, you're fucked.

In the Good Old Days, a trip west was an adventure.  It meant you could mark the journey off in stages as you passed through the various bottlenecks such as Naas, Portlaoise, Cashel and Fermoy. Each town was a mini-adventure and nicely acted as a little milepost on the journey.  Now I haven't a fucking clue where I am on the journey unless I spot a familiar name on a motorway exit.

There is a strong temptation to tip my cap to times past and take the old road, but of course it has been ripped to shreds by the motorway.  I would just spend my time nipping on and off the motorway trying to find the old route.

When I was a kid, we often headed off south west and in those days it was a day's journey.  As the Old Man got older, it became a two day journey and we used to stop off in Caher or somewhere for a break.  That was all part of the holiday and in one of those stopovers I had my first experience of caves and caving in Mitchelstown.  Happy days.  Now the trip can be done in four excruciatingly boring hours.

I suppose the most important element of the journey though is to get there,  So I'll probably take the motorway route and get bored and stiff as a result.

But at least there won't be any tractors towing fucking slurry tanks at twenty miles per hour and holding me up for ten miles.

I hope.

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Ambivolence — 11 Comments

  1. What have you got against slurry tanks? All that political bullshit has to be collected and spread.Sure,it's not a nice job but somebody has to do it,otherwise how will all the bullshit be spread?

    • I have detached myself from all that shit.  It is therefore all the more important to avoid the stuff when it is being flung around the place

  2. heading off in a week for several 8 hour driving stints…so quit yer bitchin'…actually i don't mean that, hope your trip is grand quick and over with without stiffness

    • I don't envy you those long stints.  I like driving but there are limits [time, not speed].  I'll miss you upon my return.  Have a good time!

  3. A few years back, quite a few years back before we were married the good lady and I drove from Lancashire north of the sands to the Devon coast near Abbotsbury for a weeks R&R and then drove all the way back again avoiding the motorways all the goddam way. No sat nav ranting at us, just a map a list of the road numbers we need to look out for and a list of 'towns as markers'. Best pair of long road journey's I have ever done in a tiny little Polo too boot!

    • If you tried driving from my gaff down to the village you'd get lost if you were relying on signposts.  The few that do exist usually point in the wrong direction.  It's brilliant for confusing the tourists though.  To drive across country here you really need to have a rolling map plastered on a little screen in front of your eyes all the time.  Hang on…  I think I may have just invented something?

  4. I think there are alternative routes to motorways, entailing strategic stops at cafes and gas stations. But there are also alternative methods of transport. Gay Byrne of Late Late show fame became a motor bike freak in his seventies. Dervla Murphy the travel writer never owned a car and tripped around Ireland hiking lifts. Then there's the bicycle. Look at the opening sentences to today's Irish Times story about biking in the County Wicklow:-


    A record 3,000 cyclists braved the gruelling Wicklow 200 and Wicklow Challenge cycling events – mainly in the rain in the Garden County today.

    Starting the Shoreline Leisure Centre in Greystones the first riders left at 6am in a downpour on the gruelling endurance tests – a 200 km climb high into the Wicklow mountains and over to west Wicklow, and a shorter 100 kilometre route which also climbed into the hills but dropped the west Wicklow leg."  That's a way for some fellers to Go without using motorways GD.


    • Hah!  I missed that.  Thank God.  It was mainly up the other end of the county so they were well out of my way.  I never quite understood the logic of half killing yourself just to end up where you started….

      • When we go on a long or short trip our ultimate destination is back from where we started. The intermediate stops are what makes the trip interesting. Wishing yourself and herself many interesting intermediate stops and a safe return to a home still standing and not squatted in by unwelcome entomological, rodent or humanoid life.

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