Ireland - Entering The Emerald Isle
It was our intention to leave by no later than 9 am – guess what – we were late! More difficult goodbyes. In a way you don’t really know what to say...yes you will miss your parents ...but you also want to go...but you don’t...but...I know that I found it harder than I’d thought to say goodbye and there were more tears but this was it we were finally starting our long-planned trip. The trip through to Wales, Fishguard, was hard work. The bikes were heavy but the wind was atrocious! The cross winds were some of the strongest we’d experienced, the force of which physically pushed both of us into the other lane on the motorway (no-one was in it luckily!)
We arrived at Fishguard in plenty of time and with a “carry on lads ” (!) from the stern looking man at the ferry terminal box, we rode onto the ferry. Bearing in mind that just prior to the “carry on LADS” comment, this very serious young man had just asked us both our Nationality. Lisa being the closest to the booth replied “British. We're off to Ireland for the start of a big tour”. Lisa’s not got the gruffest or deepest of voices so, we concluded, that the ferry guy had figured she was one-half of the famous gay, eunuch over-landing motorcycle team. This thought kept us amused for quite a while. Personally, I think it still has some mileage.
Now we’re normally not too bad with seasickness but this was a force 6 and we both began to feel a bit peculiar so we went outside and promptly fell asleep on the helipad! Rosslare appeared in the gloom – it was raining! Simon immediately fell in love with Ireland -after riding for 15 minutes, Simon’s voice came through on the Autocom, “bloody hell, I never realized Ireland was this posh”, “what do mean” I asked? Simon was tickled silly that down both sides of the majority of roads was a perfectly groomed metre wide piece of lawn, which ran the length of the road. Well – it is known as the Emerald Isle after all! Now, this isn’t your normal dodgy looking brown weed, but emerald green, weedless, golf course 18th hole grass. The fact that you’re made to feel like visiting dignitaries as people moved into the side of the road in order to let us pass was a topic of conversation later on over dinner.
We headed up to Dublin and ended up for our first night at a campsite outside a small village called Red Cross. The tent went up fairly fast but we were disorganized – we’re hoping that it will not take too long to ‘get into the swing’ of things! After asking for the directions to the nearest pub we were directed to ‘Johns place’, we were told that it wasn’t so much a pub as john’s hobby. “Just down on the right-hand side next to the half-demolished building is where you’ll find it, mind there’s no sign”, we were politely informed in a rounded Irish accent. “Mind it’s a bit rough and you do well not to upset john as he’s a temper on him”. From then on it was decided to go and try it out based on sheer curiosity alone, how could we not! John was in good form and we enjoyed a couple of beers. The pub was just two rooms- bare plaster on the walls with not a picture in sight. The floor was plain concrete with a cast iron wood-burning stove thrown in for good measure. If you wanted the loo it was outside but you had to get past the 5 growling yard dogs first. Fun Eh! All joking apart we thought it was great; you couldn’t get a more truly authentic, less commercial Irish pub. We made our way back to the tent and slept well.