An American Express office exchanged my travelers check without charging an extra fee, which banks usually do. I cashed in $800 and got back 520 sterling pounds. Took a taxi to Alamo to pick up our rental car. They did not have my reservation, would not accept the discount coupon and they did not have an automatic transmission car so we had to take a manual drive car – ugh! I have not driven a manual drive in years let alone drive on the other side of the road and have to shift with my left hand. Make sure your reservations are confirmed and firm, otherwise you end up with a manual drive.
There’s a good reason to use roundabouts in Ireland because you cannot go around the block and come back to where you were before. At least the roads in England were an immediate improvement over the roads in Ireland but in some places the roundabouts were very complicated. At times there were mini roundabouts within the large roundabout. Talk about confusing!
There were also places to park on the side of the road in England – not so much in Ireland. In Ireland people parked half on the sidewalk and half in the road leaving a one-lane road through the middle of town, where you had to take turns with the oncoming traffic. It is a totally different type of driving in western America where there is lots of room on the side of the road, lanes are larger, and if you miss a turn, you can go around the block to get back to the turn.
While driving towards Manchester on the motorway, our car started talking to us. Every time we came close to a large city, there were electronic devices on the motorway and our car talked to us. We were listening to music from a tape but the device triggered an interruption and would tell us the road conditions such as, “There will be a five minute delay on M4”. Darla found a way to turn it off because after awhile, it become very annoying. We stopped in Oldham, found a car park and ate at a chippy place (as Darla called them). She had beef and kidney pie, marrowfat peas and chips (fries) with vinegar and salt. I had fish and chips; I tasted her pie which was very rich. The peas were different but I liked them. They call them mushy peas. I tried to reach my friend by phone but she wasn’t home.
We drove northward toward Chorley where the LDS Preston Temple is located just off the motorway. We were able to get a room there for 7 pounds each.
Top of Preston LDS Temple
The reason we were able to stay there so cheap is that we attended a temple session, cleaned our own room by putting towels and linens outside the door. There are also microwave ovens and mini kitchens so that a family could stay and fix meals. It was very clean and nice.