The incredible Irish adventure(rs)

Well, holy guacamole, it appears we might actually have stuck to The Plan! We drove to the ferry port, we got on the ferry, we travelled around Ireland (come here, it’s lovely) and then we rented a beach house on the north coast so that we can work through the winter and replenish travel funds. I’m currently writing this from my new king-size bed in my new lovely home looking out at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It’s actually more of a beach mansion than a beach house (and at a snip of our old London rent), but I guess everything feels like a mansion after a. renting in London and b. living in a f*cking van.

As for the f*cking van, well, in a bizarre turn of events Rodney has just crashed the van into our new house. Yeah. He moved our old home into the new one, quite f*cking literally. Perhaps he subconsciously thought the beach mansion was a mistake and that we should just live in the van all winter. Perhaps he thought the golden beauty needed shelter from the sea air. Perhaps it wasn’t his fault at all and Goldie was so enraged at being rejected for a second winter in a row that she sought revenge. Who knows! I balled my eyes out. I think you might have to live in a van to understand why it’s so painful. The strange thing is, I’ve been expecting it. For two years I’ve been consciously wondering when it might happen, what with Rodney being the clumsiest eejit in the world and all that. But in all honesty, nothing could have prepared me for the gut-wrenching horror of seeing my vintage wagon split in two. Rodney was flapping around like a headless chicken not really knowing what to do. He’s been in that state ever since though I’ve calmed down a wee bit, it’s only a f*cking van after all, hey?! 😳 Small mercies, the house is unscathed.

So our to-do list now consists of:

  1. Get work
  2. Save for next adventure
  3. Fix Goldie

Easily the dullest to-do list I’ve had all year. But it turns out the beach mansion is “parked” on one of the best surf beaches on the North coast, so don’t pity me too much. We have ample space for fellow van lovers so if you’re ever in the area, by all means come find us. You can warm your toes by the fire and make our eyes misty with talk of adventure and wilderness and the open road. Ahh I miss it already. Onwards and upwards as they say.

Keep reading for the lowdown on our drunken tour of the South…

 

There were two main reasons that we decided to tour Ireland, the first is that we found a stash of Euros in our safe from last year. We bought them when the going was good and the plan was to live in Europe for a couple of years, then Rodney got a job dicking around on Star Wars and the rest is history. We’d completely forgotten about them, which is incredibly unlike us, so when Rodney found them one day, hiding under our insurance documents, we immediately put together a plan to spend them before they could burn a hole in our pockets. The second reason is that despite our Irish connections, neither of us has really spent that much time in the Republic. I’d never strayed further than Dublin on family visits and Rodney once went to Killarney on a family hoo-haa. Given that we’re applying for Irish passports, it seemed appropriate to right this wrong. Call it a research trip. A very drunken research trip.

So that’s me chilling on our very early ferry to Rosslare. I think I got the shade wrong, I was going for emerald but it’s maybe a bit more… baby shite…

Mixing his stout. Controversial…

A few drinks later I fell out with Rodney because he wouldn’t help me escort (steal) my new friend back to the van. Eventually he managed to convince me that there simply wasn’t room for him, and that we’d be arrested. Farewell Jeeves, maybe next time…

Rodney at Blarney Castle, looking like a keen-bean tourist…

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Rodney kissing the Blarney stone that I was too short/ scaredy-cat to reach. Although, from what I hear tis a rather filthy deed so I should perhaps be grateful that I couldn’t reach it…

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Ahh what’s the craic? D’yer loike me wee castle there? (Can’t remember the name of this one but it was the day after we got drunk with some wealthy American Trump-loving golfers and Rodney spent the night trying to alter their political stance. So somewhere near Killarney)…

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That tall Rodney fella climbing my wee nameless castle…

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Boats!…

Nearly got a really amazing shot of Bambi. I think Thumper must have hollered…

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Hi Goldie, remember when you weren’t being driven into a wall? Ahh them were the days!…

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The weather was not a highlight of the trip. “F*ck it, let’s go to the pub”…

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The signs were a highlight. Ireland’s signposting is superior to any other country on the planet. (A dream for crap navigators like me)…

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We still used Google Maps on occasion, it’s worth it just to know the name of the road you’re on. Here we are cruising down ‘The Ha-Ha’…

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The Cliffs of Moher were a blustery affair. Quite cool though…

Another wild (but blissfully flat) camp spot. We tend to gravitate to the water when looking for a place to sleep, and fortunately Ireland has lots of it…

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And when the sun shines it’s glorious!…



Rodney’s one and only shower, dirty wee brute…

We made it up to Galway for the Oyster Festival. It was a hoot…

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Camping at Galway Docks in close proximity to the pubs. If you want a city break in Ireland go to Galway. This is my one nugget of advice for all man-kind. You don’t have to rough it at the docks like us of course, but just go to Galway…


We made a brief stop at Ballyshannon so that Rodney could stand next to this statue of his friend’s guitar hero and so that I could take a picture of him doing so (this one’s for you Neill McIlfatrick)…

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After said picture was taken, this happened! We were the sole witnesses of the 2016 Ballyshannon Tractor Run. Tractors for miles, parading the empty streets. What a treat!…

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Quick vodka before the pub. Running low on Euros at this point, but not on enthusiasm. Excuse the state of the place (all Rodney’s mess)…

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Looks a bit dicey…

(sorry)

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Single track lanes, hell on earth for the nervous navigator…

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We took the Pilgrim’s walk up to Slieve League. (As an aside, Rodney’s commitment to tea-making could be the main reason our relationship has survived the old house / new house collision)…

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You might have noticed we’re mostly wearing the same clothes every day. This is because we hate doing laundry and we don’t have anywhere in the van to store a large bag of dirty laundry. We’ve slowly learned that it’s best to keep wearing something until it becomes unsociable to do so. (Don’t tell Rodney his jumper’s on back-to-front)…

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When we arrived at Slieve League it was so foggy and blustery we couldn’t see where we were going, and it was a bit eerie so we turned around to walk back down to the van. If Rodney hadn’t made us stop for that cuppa we never would have returned to see the lovely view (and how close we were to dropping off the edge)…

Before…

After…

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What is this life if full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows…

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There’s that sheep I/ William was talking about…

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Starey bastards…

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Trying to decide whether we can make it to the top of Errigal Mountain before dark (we couldn’t)…

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No cars beyond this point! Just in case you were considering it. ❤️ Ireland

 

Eating rocky road because I really like it, and not because it’s like totally symbolic of our lives…

We parked in a lovely dark layby for the night and were rudely awoken a couple of hours later by some angry locals who didn’t want us on their patch (there are w*nkers in all corners of the Earth unfortunately, though this was our only run-in of the trip). We drove to the next town and hid behind a boat for the night to avoid drawing further attention to ourselves. Slept like a baby!…

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Our timing is always impeccable. We realised we had a flat tyre whilst in the queue for the ferry (from Donegal to Northern Ireland). Rodney handled it like a pro. I took pictures and got in his way. Two years… two ferry-related flat tyres. Not bad considering the tyres were over a decade old! (We just bought her four new shoes. Lucky girl!)…


Back in his home land. King o’ the North!!

 

Old house 😭😭😭😭😭

New house…



(Not my dog 👆)

 
And Rodney has already finished his Christmas shopping…

 

And it’s all delightfully warm and festive. 

But one month in and we’ve already got itchy feet. (Relaxed but itchy feet).

And we can’t wait for the next adventure…


 

Get well soon Goldie! 🚍👍

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