So, yeah, I was the one who got lost, and I’m still embarrassed about it to this day. You can believe my crew never let me live it down either. When we got up that second day in Shannon, Ireland, I felt like death warmed over, but I took a long shower and pretended I was in the rain forest. You know, because the water pressure was horrible and was more like a mist than anything else. I couldn’t help still feeling dirty even after a long shower, but it was better than nothing, I guess.
The bus took us through Limerick where we stopped to stretch, and on to Killarney, which was a magical place. We started our tour at Ross Castle where our tour guide told us so many historical stories of the 15th century castle. I also went by myself down the street to an ATM to get out some Euros for the tip for a guide I hadn’t known we’d have. It’s also when I started worrying that we hadn’t placed enough in our account to deal with the cadre of guides we would use along the way, but I put it out of my head for the moment. When I headed back to the castle the group was ready to move on.
Being such a large group, though, several of the leaders wanted to go to the national park while others wanted to visit St. Mary’s Cathedral. I led the smaller group to see St. Mary’s, and that was what eventually led to me getting lost. See, they were doing some roadwork and the bus was going to meet the first group at the park in two hours’ time, then come back to get us at St. Mary’s. On our way to St. Mary’s several of my group members said they were hungry and wanted to go to Subway to get some food (yes, there is a Subway in Killarney). I wasn’t hungry so I said I would just meet them at St. Mary’s and use a few minutes of my alone time to do a little sightseeing in Killarney.
Well, I lost track of the time, and I lost track of where I was, even though I had a map of the town in my pocket. Of course I was also the only one who had the international cell phone and I had failed to give the number to our bus driver for reasons that later seemed entirely irrelevant. When I realized I had gotten lost I sat down on a park bench and tried to call one of my chaperones who was with the group at Subway, but her phone didn’t work in Ireland I found out later. Then I took out my map, thinking I would just meet them at St. Mary’s. After I found it on the map I headed in that direction, arriving at the old church that looked like it was being renovated. It also looked empty of tourists, so I was at a loss. I sat down on another bus stop bench and waited.
An hour later no one was there, my phone hadn’t rung, and it was starting to get dark. I decided to try and walk back to our hotel, which was just outside of Killarney. I found out after the fact that it was really about 20 miles outside of the town and there was no way I would have made it there in the direction I was heading. However, on my way down the road I heard a loud HONK and turned to see who made it. It was my crew in the huge bus heading into downtown Killarney even though the roads were small. They hadn’t ditched me after all.
When I got on the bus, they were all laughing, and I couldn’t believe that of all the people who could have gotten lost, it was me, the group leader. At the hotel they had held dinner for us and everyone kept joking that they were starving because they had to drive around to find me. When dinner came out they told me I wouldn’t be able to have any since they had waited because of me. They were joking, of course, but I was mortified. I vowed never to get lost again during the journey. Yeah, that lasted for a grand total of three days.
Oh, and there were more parent issues, but I’ll talk about all of those next time.