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Bumper to Bumper

October 18, 2007

corey says…After Connor Pass, the rest of the roads were pretty easy…until just before Blennerville. We stopped at a temporary light where the road was being worked on. Then a short distance beyond that, traffic stopped. I thought it might be another construction stop, but this one seemed to take a while…and there didn’t seem to be any traffic coming from the other direction.

Slideshow from Oct 17-21

Then it came on the radio that a two-car accident closed down all roads through Blennerville for the next hour. Uh-oh. I debated whether I should turn around and go back to Camp and take the road over the mountain to Castlemaine, but opted against it.

It was 5pm and the evening light was at its best, but it didn’t look like I’d be getting any photos. There we sat for about an hour. The radio report declared the road would be “closed until further notice.”

Every once in a while a string of cars would appear going in the other direction. At one point, three trucks appeared and pulled over next to me. The men inside all got out and appeared to be having a conference on the side of the road.

Three men sitting in their cars heading in my direction jumped out of their cars to take part. They were all discussing strategies and talking on their mobile phones. Then our line started to move. The men quickly dispersed and we moved about 50 feet forward. Then a 20 minute wait. Then 150 feet forward. Then a wait.

It wasn’t long before we were on some side road about the width of a semi truck. There was no hope of anyone turning around now. A few cars traveling in the other direction were stranded in a driveway…they had given up trying to maneuver through the unending trail of vehicles.

It was more stop than go for another hour. Then when the sun was completely gone, the traffic seemed to magically clear. I was suddenly traveling some unfamiliar road to what I hoped was Tralee. It took several miles, but I ended up in Tralee and then on the main road again.

I was still two hours from home and the rest of trip was going to be in the dark. Even the major highways are a bit of a challenge at night in Ireland. There are no overhead lights, so you can only see as far as your headlights allow…and unless you’ve got your brights on, you can’t really see very far.

With all this darkness, it’s even more of a challenge when there is oncoming traffic as their headlights tend to be blinding. Fortunately, traffic wasn’t bad and I was home by 9:30.

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