Posted by: mdmusingsie | December 1, 2021

Traveling Covid-Style – A Year+ On

After being cooped up for over a year I was keen to look at someone else’s four walls for a change.  Hospitality finally re-opened in August, the same month I received my vaccines.  It was still a little early in the year for me to travel – I prefer it when the kids have gone back to school.  Plus, with hotels and accommodation just reopening, there was bound to be a rush to book as many people were feeling the same need to get away.  International travel was still somewhat of a risky venture so more and more Irish were doing staycations.

Countless hours were spent searching for a place as everything I was interested in was already booked, even though I was looking at mid-September dates. I finally settled on a cottage in Killala, Co Mayo with a view of an inlet from the sea. 

Killala

A self-catering house appealed more than a hotel as I would have fewer people to interact with and wouldn’t feel cooped up in a hotel room.

For the most part, I stayed put, taking the time to work on writing projects, catch up on some of my personal development courses, and just relax.  I did sign up for a weaving workshop as I’ve always found weaving a fascinating process.  Due to the off-season, it was just me and the instructor.  We worked on table-top hand looms that were just a bit larger than an A4 (legal) size piece of paper.  I learned about warp and weft and we worked not only on different techniques but with different thicknesses of yarn to get different effects.  The end result was a wall hanging. As this was all experimental for me, the colours weren’t exactly what I would have chosen, had I been planning the piece in advance, but I think it turned out quite well for my first attempt.  It was a very enjoyable afternoon.

Dining out, like traveling, was still regulated.  My first restaurant visit in a year was to a pub in Killala. Masks are required to enter as well as proof of vaccinations.  Fortunately, we have an app in Ireland for our certification so we don’t have to worry about losing a small piece of paper.  Servers wore masks the whole time.

I cooked simple fare for the most part, as the cottage had a fully equipped kitchen, so the only other restaurant I visited was on the way home at one of those petrol/food/convenience store service stations.  To eat inside the fast food restaurant also required proof of vaccination. 

While I was in line at the checkout of the convenience store I noticed boxes of Dunkin’ Donuts.  I did a double take as I wasn’t sure if it was a knock-off or whether the company had really come to Ireland, since I hadn’t heard anything on the news.  In the spirit of research, I did purchase a box and when I was home, did a web search.  It turns out it is the same company as in America, but they don’t have any formal shops – they just sell the boxes at certain shops.  If only I could find a company that makes old fashioned (sour cream) donuts (with chocolate frosting) – I do miss those the most. 

The next wave of Covid seemed to be picking up pace, so I decided to get in another break in case there was another lockdown.

This time I chose a hotel, partly because they were having a double loyalty points promotion, and partly because I didn’t want to have to cook.  In November I booked a suite, hoping to have extra room so it didn’t feel so claustrophobic as some hotel rooms can be. It also had a view of the River Shannon, and I love being near water.

Athlone

Although billed as a two room suite, the second “room” was really an entry closet/dressing area and not really functional as a work area. Fortunately, the main room was bigger than a standard room so I didn’t feel quite so hemmed in. Masks and vaccine certificates were still required for dinning.

Sightseeing wasn’t really part of either trip as I have been limiting my contacts. I’m probably more cautious than some people, but I also have underlying health issues that could make a bout of Covid more serious. My main goals were change of scenery, relaxation, and some quality writing time.

As the new variant blossoms like a aggressive weed, further travels are unlikely until Spring.


Responses

  1. It’s nice to hear from you … read of your travels, that is. I’m glad you are doing well.

  2. Always great to read about your adventures and thoughts


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