The village of Ducaj near Boge, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Tirana Airport, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Porto, Portugal on June 25th!

Saturday, June 17, 2023

I figured I had better go get this looked at

Long time readers will remember when we had our eye surgery in Turkiye. Time flies, because believe it or not that was two and a half years ago!

And for that period, we have been totally happy with our eyes. Well, until a few weeks ago I noticed that one eye was a bit funny. 

It was my left eye, the one that had been optimized for distance. Hard to describe, but it was like it couldn't focus exactly. And it's now got to the point where my right eye (the one optimized for up close) is actually better at distance than my left eye.

So I figured I had better go get this looked at. I had a good idea what it was though... we had been warned when we had this done that 25% of people will end up with a temporary condition called Posterior Capsular Opacification which is easily fixed with a five minute laser procedure. But I still needed to find out for sure that it wasn't something more serious.

I contacted a couple of ophthalmologists, but it seems that in Ireland they have the same problem as Canada... waiting lists a mile long. I couldn't find anybody to take me right away, and even if they could take me, the cost I was quoted was between €160 and €200 just to have a look to diagnose what might be wrong.

So yesterday, we drove into the small city of Tralee (pop 24,000). We were wandering around when I saw an optician and I wondered if it was possible for them to diagnose the problem. 

I spoke to the optometrist and explained the situation. She said that yes, it would cost €60 to do the test, and another €60 if she decides she needs to do a "scan" to confirm there are no other problems. And, I could have it done pretty much right away!

So I did have to pay the full €120 ($175 CAD, $132 USD). And yes, that one eye has the beginnings of Posterior Capsular Opacification.

Now the problem is getting it fixed. I contacted our ophthalmologist in Antalya, Turkiye and explained the situation. He said that it is better to get it fixed sooner than later for a couple of reasons, the most important being that I should enjoy my vision as soon as possible.

Ireland has a public/private health care system. The public part of it would be cheaper, but there might be a six month wait and we were told that the doctors aren't keen on helping someone who isn't their patient. So that leaves the private system. It will probably cost around €500 to get it done, and I have sent out some emails to places along our route to find out exact cost and timeline.

The other alternative is to get our doctor in Turkiye to do it, which would happen immediately, and at a cost of €185. But of course we would need to fly there and pay for accommodation which would kind of defeat the cheaper cost of the procedure!

It's highly likely that we will be in Istanbul in mid October for a few days, but I don't want to wait that long. 

So, we had been having a really cheap month so far, but it may not end up that way!

(By the way, none of this is bad enough to affect my driving ability. Yet. It will only continue to deteriorate, although once fixed it is apparently fixed for good in 95% of cases.)

We ended up in the small town of Ardfert just north of Tralee where there is a cathedral ruins and a monastery ruins. The monastery is free to all, but the cathedral costs €5. Fortunately, we were once again able to use our English Heritage cards for free entry. Good thing, because this was one of those sites where the €5 is a little overpriced.

The main part of the cathedral dates to the 1300's, although there was a previous church wall that is dated to the 11th century. They think there was another church before that dating to the 6th century, but of course buildings that old were made of wood and nothing survived.

Ruth, beside one of the arches.

The graveyard is one of the oldest in Ireland.

When they were doing excavations, they came across approximately 1,300 skeletons. It turns out that this was one of the largest medieval graveyards in existence. You can read more here...

12th century Romanesque doorway.

Interesting enough story, but you really only spend about twenty minutes in the museum area, and another ten minutes wandering outside. There are so many of these types of sights in Ireland. This one is just average.

Then we walked over to the friary. We both actually thought the friary is better, despite it being free.

Looking back at the cathedral.

And arriving at the friary.

Built around 1258, with the residential tower added in the 1500's.

Then we went back into the village itself and used the very quiet public parking behind the more modern 1850's church. Joined by one other motorhome overnight.

Today... headed further north along the Wild Atlantic Way!


And in Canada...


  1. What a cool place! I'm glad you had your eye checked.

    1. We are too, at least it confirms what Kevin though it was and nothing more serious, now we just need to find a place where he can get the problem corrected.


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