Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Stag - Part II

Much like the paintballing we were escorted to a cabin and given the rules and regulations of participating. However, our instructor had the harshest Dublin accent and we couldn't hear half the words coming out of his mouth except that he finished his sentances with "alright lads".

So we climbed into our overalls and donned gloves and helmet and made our way to the track. We were assigned a number so they could monitor us and we took off on a practice lap. The cars were more powerful than most others and could make it up to 40mph or so. After taking a hit to the face and pelted in the back I was looking forward to something that couldn't hit back. That said, it would be great to combine paintball and karting. If someone hits your visor, you'd probably spin out or crash. Awesome.

I got quite into it but my problem was coming in too fast into the corner and I nearly spun out. I would have to improve when it came down to the wire. We lined up on the starting grid as the instructor lined up by the line. Visors were flipped down and the flag was dropped - off we went. The first corner was tight and whoever was high up on the grid were the first around the corner. There was no such thing as a bad start as all the karts accelerated at the same speed. I managed three corners before spinning out. Damn it.

As anyone who spun out had to wait until the track cleared before the instructor or another karting personnel member pulled you back into the race, you ended up in last place. There was no reverse pedal on the kart so you just had to sit and watch as your position slipped down the rankings.

As the rounds progressed I was more comfortable and in control and realised the best thing to do was take my foot off the accelerator coming into the corner and then push it down hard half way around the corner keeping up the momentum without hitting the brake. However, as others soon found this out too and the bar was raised, it became like pirates - the only way to move up the ranks was dead mans boots [crashing].

The final race was supposedly 15 laps although I never noticed the time fly and I managed to move up from 7th place to 4th which I was pretty chuffed about including overtaking Keith and someone else on the corner after the crashed out and I did a nifty bit of steering. However, the rankings were based on all rounds so I ended up in 6th place. Still, it was great fun.

After ordering taxis and waiting extra long because of a march in Dublin city centre we made our way to Jurys Custom Inn and attempted to check in. I nearly had a heart attack when I was told that the rooms were not paid for. I stated that they were and produced documentation to confirm and breathed a sigh of relief when it was accepted. I had images running through my head of being lynched by the guys.

I was up on the 4th floor with a view over other apartments - nothing to shout home about at all. Nevertheless the hotel was very classy and more than I had expected from a 3 star so I would certainly recommend it to anyone. It was around 5pm and the distillery tour wasn't until 7pm so we had time to chill out and grab a drink or two at the hotel bar.

Once again our taxi was late and by the time we arrived at the Jamison distillery we had missed the introductory film although our guide told us it was fee-diddly-dee twaddle so we didn't lose out on anything. As we were the last tour group and eager to hit the bar we told him he could feel free to condense the tour so we got all the funny stuff without the dry facts and figures. He told us how the whiskey was made through the processes of harvesting through to triple distillation and shipping and before we knew it we were seated at our table with a glass of whiskey. Beuno.

We ordered more drinks and our 5 course meal was under way. As far as I can remember I had a goats cheese tartlet, stuffed chicken breast, chocolate strawberry pudding and an Irish coffee. In the middle of this a band took to the stage and played some Irish music with crowd participation. They had a hilarious guitar player who kept cracking jokes and cutting in over the top of the front man with inappropriate cracks about his wife and family. As much as some of us may have wanted to stay we needed to find our way to the final part of our organised stag night.

Tune in tomorrow for more. See you then.


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