Irish Road Trip (The Prologue)

I’m starting this post with no idea about the title so I’m hoping I’ll get some inspiration by the time I finish it. If there is no title (or a boring one) as you read this, then I guess I never got inspired !

(If there IS a title, then in true Mission Impossible style, that first paragraph will self destruct in 5,4,3,2,1…….did it go ?  Did it ?)

Yes I’m back. Back on the blogging merry-go-round and back from 3 weeks in Ireland.

This time I don’t have to go into a whole socio-political-religious palaver about whether I visited N. Ireland or S.Ireland when I say Ireland……because I toured both.  Hurrah.  This is a sort of prologue post and the real day by day posts will follow once I’ve got my photos and video clips sorted out.  Basically I’m setting up what’s to come  – in tv series parlance, this is s01e00 or in Star Wars parlance, this is episodes 4,5 and 6 !!

The good news is I had a great trip and thank you for asking.  The weather was brilliant, the scenery was sensational, the people (even my relatives) were fabulous and the petrol was under £1 a litre.  Despite the fiddley diddely music blasting out from most bars, signs for leprechauns being more prevalent than signs for public toilets, not kissing the Blarney Stone  and eating out costing as much as eating out in London, I had a marvelous time.

On Monday April 11th I drove up to the Scottish port of Cairnryan  and took the European Causeway ferry across to Larne in N. Ireland. A short drive later and I arrived at my cousin’s house in Magherafelt where I stayed until Friday 15th, touring around the Antrim coast until setting off on the road trip proper by driving down the east side of Ireland, along the bottom and up the west side before returning to Magherafelt on Monday 25th where I stayed till the return ferry on Sun 1st May.

I always took the coast roads that took me closest to the Irish Sea or Atlantic Ocean even if this meant getting to a dead end and having to go back several miles the way I’d come.

So I saw lots of lighthouses !

In total my dependable little Renault Clio clocked up 2,722 miles and used 57.2 gallons and took me on every surface from multi lane motorways to one track farm lanes with even a couple of beach drives thrown in for good measure.

I experienced forests and waterfalls, mountains and valleys, loughs and rivers, small seaside towns and (relatively) large cities, cathedrals, monuments and graves and even a few filming locations for Game of Thrones. I stayed in 10 different bed & breakfasts, none of them pre booked and struck lucky 10 times.

On the down side I somehow ended up on the M50 toll road around Dublin and had to pay the €3.10 over a free non password protected wifi  connection in a Burger King in Wexford as the b&b passworded wifi wasn’t deemed fast enough for a financial transaction.  Thank you Barclays.

So far my account hasn’t been cleaned out by some hacker enjoying a double cheeseburger a few tables away from me in the Burger King but I’m still checking it daily.

As you might imagine and despite only taking my phone with me, I took zillions of photos and hours of video (I did have my GoPro set up as a dash cam and used it as a video diary as I toured around but my comments were too personal and probably too offensive at times to be included in upcoming posts !) so I’ve a lot of work still to do to pick the better images and footage.  I know from experience that I’ll probably start documenting the trip in daily posts but then get disillusioned with it all and give up long before the end but I hope not.

It can be very time consuming as I edit the photos and go over what I type (yes I know….hard to believe) making numerous updates so I guess the idea should be to just let it go as I’m not writing a Booker Prize novel after all and so what if the photos are a little bit “off”.  They’re just snaps…memory joggers…and not meant to be used as posters for the Irish Tourist Board.

Then again, if anyone from that organisation wants to buy one or two, I’m open to offers ! 

So there it is……if you want to read about my 3 week road trip around the coast of Ireland and see some images of the stunning scenery I came across, feel free to check back from time to time as the posts will be going up…..just not on a daily basis.



Till then….here is a photo from Killarney National Forest which was typical of the scenery I experienced on the road trip.


Not bad, eh ?




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