October 12:

I packed up and said good-bye at the Lissadell, my unexpected base for the past two days. Did a little banking in town and then walked out to the Ford dealership. (I knew I’d be in the car the rest of the day and figured some exercise beforehand would do me good.) I never thought I’d be writing about the Neolithic period from the waiting room of a service bay, but that’s where I was, so that’s what I did!

They had me on the road by 1:00 (which is good because the whole place closes down for an hour over lunch) so that’s when I began my trek to Slane. I'm sure by now you’re sick of hearing about the roads, but they are mind-boggling. When you travel on the "R" or regional roads, you pass big trucks all the time, but they really don’t fit in their lane. They tend to drive sort of toward the middle and then just squish over as much as possible when they see oncoming traffic. That leaves the oncoming traffic with the choice between staying near the white line and praying there’s enough room for mirrors, etc. to pass, or heading to the shoulder, which is often majorly pot-holed or just loose gravel, or in some cases non-existent. Many of these roads seem to be set down in the land somewhat with banks of earth rising from the edge of the pavement. I’ll be sticking to the N or national roads as much as possible!

I was planning to stop at Loughcrew on my way, but arriving in that area, I got a little disoriented and could seem to find nowhere to stop the car while I sorted things out. It was past 4:00 and I decided the smart thing to do was get to my destination and re-look over the maps, planning a trip for another day. Of course, after I’d made that decision, I saw the road I needed, but ah well. At least I’ll be better able to find it when I go back. I’d really rather not go back but Loughcrew is one place I do need to see. I’ll wait a few days and get my courage up!

Slane is not a very big town. There is one main road with bars and small stores, then streets radiating out with houses. I have rented a cottage on the grounds of the Slane Farm Hostel, just west of town. The rooms are converted from old farm buildings. It’s actually quite lovely, and the farm is still a working farm. The smell of cows fills the air (outside!) and this morning (but only after about 8:15) the sounds of farm work and machinery filtered into my room.

I picked up a few groceries on my way back from supper, so I’ll be mostly eating in my cottage over the next ten days. I got myself a loaf of the yummy brown soda bread. Mmmm!

Thursday will be my first view of Newgrange and, while I wanted it to come after seeing Loughcrew, I don’t want risk wasting any more time. I’m sure I'll have some photos of it for you soon!

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