An 8 day road trip with a friend
02.04.2009 - 09.04.2009
Top of the morning to ya,
Me and my good friend Bob (or Rob as everyone but me calls him) have been practicing our Irish accents for a pleasurable eight days while driving the crap out of Ireland but now alas it's over so here's a little about our trip.
We started off packing the boot with provisions mostly involving a canned substance be it edible or alcoholic. Mr Bob wasn't so hot on the idea of cold beans but soon turned during our tour he he he.
An early morning drive took us to our first ferry ride and our first sight of hills in a while provoking giddy childish sounds as we live in the flat, flat lands of East Anglia. The ride was over nice and vomit-less and it was time to enjoy the never moving and confusing traffic of Dublin.
2 years later and after a quick fight with our dominatrix sounding Sat-Nav (who we grew love love in a weird kinky sort of way) we arrived at our first stop.
We spent 2 days in Dublin aided by an interesting and helpful Couch-Surfing host Rory. Couch Surfing is basically a website organization that allows you to find and contact someone from anywhere on this planet so that you can arrange to stay with them at their place for free. The thing behind the thing is that it's a very social and interesting experience with the added bonus of being free. So that's what we did with Rory a native Irish man.
While our host snored the morning away we set off for our second port of call Galway. There's not much to say about Glaway or the ride up their to be honest just that it's on the west coast and is quite quaint. However the west coast is where all the road trip magic happens as it's wonderfully scenic and could occupy me and my trusty new camera (Nikon D40) for many months.
But before I could continue my consistent picture taking we needed to find a place to camp so we followed the coast to a quiet beach/camp ground and made home. Luckily for me this also turned out to be a photo taking haven. We loved making the silhouette photos by the way.
mmm... morning. Time to wake up and ignore the fact it was freezing and that I barely slept and make myself some muesli while Bob contemplates why he didn't bring any sugar for his wheatabix.
Never mind eh, a few minutes later we were back on the road and what a road it was. Just fan-fucking-tastic views all round reminding us of Scotland and Wales. We were on our way to the Cliffs of Moher pronounced 'Cliffs of Moer' in a musical Irish brogue. The cliffs were ace and were the first real walk of the trip as they stretched out quite far and led to a little castle. My good friend is not mad about heights so he had to put on a macho brave face and get on with it pausing only to change his pants : )
We then headed off and then came back to get my shoes (whoops left them outside the car). Actually they were Robs shoes I left behind as my shoes were bust drying in the boot after I nearly got sucked into a bog the day before. Rob did a great job putting up with my photo taking, bog jumping, cold soup, singing and cold tent so hats off to the man, cheers Rob.
Our second camp spot was in Kilarney on the Ring of Kerry and only took us a few hours and to the edge of our patience to find. It was a long process of asking someone, going there, finding it's no good, asking again, going there and so on...
Anywho the place we did find was nice enough with a typical cheery camp owner.
The Ring of Kerry is what it was all about for me. Just a ring of road around a peninsular on the lower west coast on a map but when your seeing it for yourself it's wonderful. I got to see every breathtaking view as they appeared round each and every corner while Rob dodged cars and tried to sneak glances of the most recent view I was wetting myself about. It was lovely.
Another night in the same spot and some more cold beans later and we were ready for Cork and a night with our second Couch surfer. First it rains, then we enjoy the oddity of Blarney Castle and kissing the Blarney Stone. But then it all goes a bit pear shaped. We call the couch surfing guy but there's no answer, then we get a text... he's not back till morning the next day... balls! So what to do now? Another night in the tent, in the pissing rain? NO!! We ring up our Couch Surfing host in Wexford on the lower East coast and ask if we can come round earlier and stay an extra night. Despite the short notice and a little trouble with her husband we end up staying with her good friend for the next two nights.
The drive there was awful as it was an Arch worthy downpour, again hats of to Bob for his driving, and we were a bit disappointed about the other host and of course tired. Never mind though, as soon as we met our host and her friend we cheered right up.
We met in a great little pub that we watched some live music in later that evening. Our host Eli was really nice and her friends Julia and Lawrence were great too. The last day was sunny and quite enjoyable but really for me the time with Eli and Julia made for a great end to our trip and the rest was just history.
The drive home was REAL long and including the Ferry, which was a bit rough due to gale winds we were on the go for 12 straight hours only pausing for some Fish & Chips in Wales.
Well there you go, that's the most I've written for a long while so I hope it was worth it and you read it this far. It was a great trip and I'm happy to finally tick Ireland off my map.