Sunday, 17 June 2012

Driving with Esmeralda..

As I'm learning to drive, I like to make notes of the routes I've done, so here's my first spin with Esmeralda - it's from Thursday (14th), after we collected Esmeralda from Glencormack Inn parking lot (I already blogged about it, a few entries ago). As I mentioned, D drove us to the hut at Calary, and I started from there;

Part 1 of my route, on

(As handy as that site is, I'm very annoyed with their max. 500 waypoints.. I do understand why there's a limit, but they should definitely make it clearer when you've gone past the limit! The waypoint counter does change to red, but if you're not aware of the limit, you don't know to look for it.. I did my whole route, coming to about 650 waypoints, and got an error after trying to get a link for the route. It was only when I checked the FAQ, that I found out about the max. 500 waypoints. So, I hit Undo until I was back within the allowed amount of waypoints, which brought me to the Kilmacanogue entry slip to N11 (northbound), on my way back from Laragh..) Below, the rest of the route from that point;

Part 2 of my route, on

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Now, today I drove from Bray to about half way up Rocky Valley Drive (avoiding the N11..), actually doing my worst driving ever, mainly because the packed Seafront really intimidated me.. As the rest of Rocky Valley Drive is really dodgy (especially if you happen to meet another car), D drove that bit, and all the way to Djouce, where I snapped a few pictures. (We saw the rescue helicopter - it must have been during their first rescue attempts..)

Then, I drove from Djouce to Sally Gap and Blessington lakes, but I didn't quite feel ready for town traffic in Blessington, so D drove us there (as I was mega thirsty and needed to find a shop). Esmeralda got a full car wash, too! (Although, I've parked her under the tree again, so she'll probably be all dirty by tomorrow.. Bird poop, and whatever those tree droppings are..) This was my first time driving the mountain roads, and I have to say that I loved it! =D It probably helps that I know those roads so well, after being a passenger so many times.. The mountain rescue team vehicles were blocking the road a little bit, around Lough Tay - they were there in such numbers, that we thought it was for practice, but it turned out to be a real emergency call out. (They have some photos on Facebook..)

D also drove us out of Blessington, and up to that little church and the bridge in Kilbride / Threecastles (see my last route map for the starting point). I took a few pictures, and then drove back to Bray. Not actually quite as nervous about N11, today! And even town traffic went better, on the way back.. I'm going to need much more practice on that.

I was meant to have a driving lesson tomorrow morning, but I cancelled it as I can now practice with my own car. I'll take more lessons again when I'm more confident with town traffic, so I'll get more out of them. Anyway, I think I've only four mandatory lessons left, and I won't be allowed to take the driving test until late October (with the six month period for the lessons..), so there's no rush with them now.

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