Yep, just when you thought it was safe to go back to your inbox…
We are in Ireland – a little village called Redcross, in County Wicklow approaching the last of our three nights here. It won’t surprise you to know that the area is stunningly beautiful (Avoca, the village where Ballykissangel was filmed is just up the road) and that, just for a change, it’s been raining. The village itself is very small, just two pubs, including the one on site and a take away and general stores. It is very quaint, picturesque and very quiet. The site itself is fine – large spacious pitches, an adults only area and the ability to hook up directly to the mains water if you have the necessary kit – which we don’t – not yet anyway.
Anyhow, as usual going back briefly, the journey from Freshwater to the ferry port at Fishguard was fine after probably the smoothest hitch-up we’ve done to date. Patsy’s home for the next few hours would be deep in the bowels of the ferry on the lorry deck right at the front on the up slope. Hopefully her dignity would be preserved amongst all those macho lorries…
The crossing itself was ok, if a little lively in places, the predicted forecast of moderate seas changing to moderate to rough soon after we boarded was of no surprise. Free internet was offered on board, somewhat countered by the extortionate price for coffee. The foray into Tesco’s just outside the port for sarnies and crisps prior to boarding had proved worthwhile.
The crossing took half an hour longer than expected, so it was nearly seven pm by the time we were on the road to Redcross. The journey was uneventful although a little longer than we would have preferred. We also made the mistake of not paying full attention to the directions supplied by the site. Whilst the scenery on the long winding road approaching the village was beautiful in the fading light, seeing Patsy bounce around like Zebedee in the rear view mirrors wasn’t.
Getting her pitched once we arrived was a little problematic. The pin on the jockey wheel broke again as soon as we tried to lower it. Mercifully we were still able to get the van positioned and a further temporary fix would follow. One of the mains circuits had tripped on hook up to the electric supply and the water pump was being bloody awkward too, all made worse by the fact they were by now working in darkness. Eventually, after some gentle coaxing (yeah right!) everything began to behave. Deciding that a cuppa just wouldn’t cut it we headed first to the take away and then, yes, you’ve guessed it, to the pub!
It was pretty quiet in there with just two locals propping up the bar. We had only intended to have a couple but, well, best laid plans and all that. Anyway it turned into a good night. The take away owner, who had been so grateful for our patronage earlier on what was a very quiet night appeared and promptly spent the nights takings. There was a lot of moaning going on about the state of Ireland and it’s dire financial situation, but that didn’t seem to stop the till ringing at regular intervals. Funny that.
We haven’t done an awful lot of sightseeing – you don't have to travel far for scenery as I’ve already said. We’ve had a look around the little towns of Wicklow and Arklow, with a pretty but sometimes hairy drive along the coast in-between the two. Patsy, the dirty cow has had a wash – ok, technically, because of the rain she’s had several but this particular one was with shampoo as well. What we hope is a more permanent fix on the jockey wheel this time has been made. Jessie was topped up with what, for us, was relatively cheap diesel. We have even used the on board shower for the first time – the facilities on site are nothing less than spotless but they do have a little bit of cheek in charging extra to use the showers. Anyway, it worked fine and the hot water tank easily supplies enough hot water for two showers.
Right, an early start tomorrow, as we are heading north to Downpatrick – about 150 or so miles away. Our friend Lawrence is at home visiting family and has very kindly allowed us to pitch on his yard for a week. We have both been to Northern Ireland before, many years ago on a piss-up masquerading loosely as a retail trading seminar but didn’t get to do any proper sightseeing, so have lots lined up.
Ok, time to see if the pub’s open to use their wifi…..