Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday 9/18 - Bushmill to Drogheda

When we walked over for breakfast, we saw a gorgeous full rainbow behind the B&B.

After breakfast we packed up and Left Valley View B&B rather reluctantly, we really enjoyed our two nights here. Valerie was so wonderfully, helpful, and friendly.

Shadow wagged her tail goodbye but would much rather have jumped in the car with us. She loves to play but unfortunately no one plays with her or has time to.

She keeps bringing her stick over to the guests with the anticipation of someone playing with her. We felt sorry for her but they do run a B&B so I guess it isn't easy.

We started working our way towards Drogheda taking the Causeway Coastal Route.

The left front tire blew out in Ballycastle and it was beyond repair. No one had that tire in town and we had to drive back to Ballymoney. We asked for directions to a tire store and found it without any problems.

It was the nicest place with super efficient mechanics that were very helpful and friendly. They changed our new tire and checked the other three in the shortest possible time. The manager came out and offered us coffee while we waited, which we politely declined.

One of them helped me pick out the best route back to BallyCastle.
Pretty soon we were back to Ballycastle and making our way down the beautiful coastal route.

Every turn revealed something new and wonderful.

We stopped briefly at the Walled Gardens, I was intrigued by it because it reminded me of The Secret Garden, a children's book I still love and enjoy reading.

We proceeded down the coast to Belfast, with more beautiful scenery and another rainbow.

The roads got pretty confusing shortly after Belfast, apparently M1 south becomes A1 in Northern Ireland, and the only M1 goes west. As has been the norm we took the wrong road and got off at the nearest exit after we realized it.

We stopped at a gas station/grocery store and a wonderful lady (we think she was an angel) told us that we should just follow and she would lead us to the freeway going to Drogheda. She took us through many narrow and winding streets and we kept talking about how much out of the way she must be going for us.

When she stopped and gave us the final directions, we thanked her profusely she said she visits her children in North Dakota and Alberta and knows how it feels. She said many people in the US and Canada have helped her and wanted to return some of the favor. What a wonderful stroke of luck.

We noticed that A1 south changed back to M1 south after we entered the Republic.

We managed the rest of the way to The Orley House easily enough. A smiling, seemingly sweet and innocent older Lady came to the door as soon as we pulled up. She introduced herself as Mary and asked if we had any problem finding the place.

We were all ready to love the place spend the two nights without having to move our luggage around.

About half an hour later, Mary came back with the next day's vouchers in hand and said we only had reservations for one night, Trish brought out her paperwork that verified we had it for two nights and also the SMS from Brenda two days back assuring us that our reservation was in order.

She went back and came back with a different story. We called CIE and they were not much help. There was nothing to so but have to move again for our last time.

This is definitely a first and hopefully an isolated and last time. We have never had a B&B not honor a reservation in all our travels to Ireland this time and previously.

Went to dinner at the Black Bull and the server tried to help us get another B&B in town but they were booked. They were extremely helpful and nice and the food was very good as well.

Came back and re packed. We never did see Brenda, whose name is on the B&B booklet as the proprietress. The whole thing is quite suspicious, we felt that they got a better offer from the golf tournament happening in town and bumped us. Oh well!!!!!!


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