Sendero Group Travel Blog

Follow Sendero travelers on their adventures using accessible GPS.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


Wednesday, Cork to Kirkcaldy

We managed to make the transition from the killarney` Guest House in Cork to the Corkaigh Airport without losing any people or bags. Check in was a breeze as was security. The fun came when we lined up to board the Air Erin flight to Edinburgh.

All of a sudden the gate agents were asking who was blind, how many of us were totally blind, visually impaired and fully sighted. Jason said that the other low-cost airline, Ryan Air, expressly has a limit of two disabled people per flight. Air Erin said they didn’t have such a limit. I guess they need the business.

However, they decided that their policy manual did not allow two blind people to sit together. I tried to convince them that the blind people would lead the way out of the airplane if the cabin was smoky but they didn’t buy this argument.

So, they delayed the departure as they reassigned us seats. Many of us were inclined to make a stink but we also wanted to get to Edinburgh. It wasn’t as though we would be flying this airline regularly.

Paul and Cathy Shelton, both blind, did some quick thinking. Cathy gave her cane to Theresa, who is sightede, in order that Cathy could sit with her husband. This gives me some satisfaction that Air Erin didn’t have the last word on this absurd policy.

After landing in Edinburgh, we take a train to Kirkcaldy, about a 45 minute trip. We will hook up with the fife Association of the Blind there in the afternoon and check out our new home-base for the next 4 nights.

The logistics of 3 taxis, one airplane and one train with all our luggage was taxing on those who had a lot of luggage and those helping out. There isn’t a lot of time when a train pulls in or drops off for one to grab bags and get situated. This is made even trickier when it is crowded and you have several blind people trailing. Most of Wednesday was spent traveling and when people arrived in Kirkcaldy, they were more than ready for a break and some food.

A couple of us just made the early train in order to meet with the Fife Society for the Blind at their base in Kirkcaldy. It was interesting to learn about their services in the region and especially to get restaurant and entertainment tips from locals.
Having been on transport all day, we set a pedestrian route and walked the 1.2 miles from the hotel to FSB. We negotiated two roundabouts and at least 10 turns out of 14 waypoints. This was through mostly residential areas. We did have a sighted person with us thankfully for the roundabout crossing; however, it was strictly up to the GPS and those operating it to direct us to the address on Wilson Avenue. We were pretty pleased to make it.

Cork airport

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