Travelling back to the UK from Knock (West of Ireland) airport on the super early Ryanair flight, I needed to refuel my hire car before bringing it back to the Herz rental station. The customer service assistant at Herz Car Rental had previously told me that the nearest petrol station was about 10 kilometres way from the airport in Castletown, and it would be open (guaranteed) at 6:30 am. I must admit I was a bit dubious about that as it did appear slightly unusual for that time of the morning.
When I arrived in Castletown just after 6 am that morning, to a completely quiet and deserted town, as you would expect from a rural Irish town at such an unfriendly time. I noticed, driving through town, there was not just one petrol station but three very close together. Two of them displayed opening times that were not even close to what I needed. The third one helpfully had no opening times posted, but it looked fairly deserted and a potential 6:30 am opening seemed less than likely.
I waited there a little, despite knowing deep inside, that I would not get any petrol in Castletown before my 7 am deadline. After about 5 minutes or so, I spotted a van arriving at the station. My wait paid off. A man climbed out and walked to the back of the van. He emerged a little later with a stack of newspapers that he placed outside the petrol station shop’s entrance.
Happy to see a fellow human, I called out a “good morning” to him and asked him about opening times. That elicited a rather surprised laugh. The man told me that none of the stations in town would open that early. He shook his head as he wondered what I was doing here anyway, given Kilkelly was open 24/7 and I could get a good cup of tea there, too. Full marks for this perceptive gentleman noticing that a) I am not a morning person and that b) every normal human being wants to be accompanied by a steaming cup of Barry’s Tea they have be out and about at what was now 6:15 am.
Never having been to Kilkelly before – although, of course, I knew the song by the same title – I asked for directions. Turns out it was only 6 km past the airport! My saviours exact words were:
“It is 6 kilometres past the airport on the main road, you cant miss it. It’s just past Kilkelly”
I did not ask for further directions. From previous experience, Irish directions can be fairly big picture, i.e. they allow for flexibility and different route preferences. Instead of trying to extract further information, it is best to go with the flow. That will get you were you need to go. And, if you end up elsewhere, to be sure, then that was meant to happen.
I thanked my unexpected saviour and took myself in direction of Knock airport again. Past the airport, I followed the small hedge lined country roads. I passed a few houses, lush green fields and crossed a number of intersections until I entered Kilkelly Town. It was decision time – where to go from here. One road seemed to lead down a little hill, another to the left. I decided to follow the flow as I had done up to now. After a few intersections, and turns I reached the main road. Left or right? Right felt right, so and so it was. A few short yards down the road, there on the left was Kilkelly Petrol Station: open and ready for business.
Not a problem to find – even without a SATNAV or map. Signposts were pretty much a luxury item, especially on the way back – no signage for Knock airport whatsoever. Interesting – but it turned out, not essential. The beautiful Irish landscape with its own, gentle way of directing more than made up for absence of signposts.
I got my petrol, a nice, steaming cup of tea, and was back at Knock airport in time for a proper cooked Irish breakfast.
[box color=”green” align=”left”]
To me, the road to Kilkelly serves as a reminder to
- trust the process
- let my intuition and connection to the energy around me take charge
- be open to new opportunities coming my way (even at 6 am in the morning)
- appreciate the support of a local guide who knows the terrain
Related Links & Credits
Song about Kilkelly – Kilkelly Ireland – Going Home
Image used – from Google Maps