The desire to go home, that is, a desire to be whole, to know where you are, to be the point of intersection of all the lines drawn through all the stars, to be the constellation-maker and the center of the world, that center called love. To awaken from sleep, to rest from awakening, to tame the animal, to let the soul go wild, to shelter in darkness and blaze with light, to cease to speak and be perfectly understood.

Rebecca Solnit

The Belgian Bloke ...

I often travel alone ... I’m lucky, the man who found me in Istanbul accepts that a New Zealander living in Turkey might be a bit of a wanderer.

But sometimes he travels with me however I can’t always blog all about that while on the road.  It’s the kind of information burglars might rather enjoy.  There’s the whole google face recognition thing these days and so, when I travel with my Belgian, he’s often not mentioned and it’s sad because I do enjoy traveling with him.

This trip to Ireland was special in so many ways.  He had decided he wouldn’t be driving.  Instead, he had hired an Irish rental car and it was all about me getting back behind the wheel after 7 years as a passenger. 

It has to be said, I loved driving back in New Zealand.  Loved it with a passion!  Friends visiting New Zealand can attest to that, although I would rather they didn’t critique my style here.  Yes, that means you Diede, and perhaps Mary Lou too.

Anyway ... I was a little bit nervous about it all.  7 years is a long time. 

The rental car bloke in Ireland said, ‘so you’re okay with a 2011 Peugeot 308?’  I think I gave him a wee bit of a fright.  I didn’t hug him but I might have said, ‘I’ve only just arrived in Ireland and here I am, having a really excellent time!!!’  He almost smiled, which we felt was an event, as Gert and I weren’t sure he smiled a lot normally.  It was possibly the equivalent of a hearty laugh from a more easily amused bloke.

We trotted out and loaded up the car.  Gert had maps.  He’s great with maps.  I’m not.  I never know where I am in the world.  I accept that.

We did all kinds of M Roads on our journey from Dublin Airport across to Galway, over there on the other side of Ireland.  It was grand.  I had imagined I would sit around 90kms p/h in the slow lane in those places where the speed limit was 120kms but do you know, it all came back to me.  120kms was okay.  Gert liked my driving.  He’s a Flemish bloke.  He’s fairly blunt when it comes to truth-telling.

And we timed it nicely.  His directions were excellent.  I didn’t drive him crazy, not once.  A miracle.

Anyway, we arrived in one piece at the home of the lovely Rob and Angie and just kind of stepped into this magical time of wandering and boating and fishing and stuff, in Ireland.

I took this photograph of Gert fishing ... but that’s a whole other story, involving trees and fish and things.