The Narrow Roads of Wales

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(Leaving Dublin Port)

We’re supposed to be in Scotland at the moment. We drove to Dublin last Tuesday week, intending to get the 2am ferry to Holyhead. I was going to sleep in the van at the ferry car park while Denis did some work. He’d wake me to get on the ferry and when we got off we’d drive to a campsite we had booked near the town of Kendal. The sailing in the middle of the night seemed like a good idea… but now we’ll never know.

Here’s the story… so we arrived at the ferry terminal in Dublin Port and there was a long line of cars and trucks waiting for the ferry before ours. We joined the queue but then as we got closer we wondered if maybe there was room for us on this ferry. If there was, then we would arrive in Holyhead before midnight and we’d both have a full night’s sleep. The guy in the office checked and yes they did indeed have room (this ferry was full when we had initially booked). So we marvelled at our good luck and settled down somewhere quiet to enjoy the journey.

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(Saw this sailboat looking really eerie in the Irish Sea)

We were an hour into the sailing when I realised we had nowhere to stay when we docked…. Because of our good luck we were now going to be in Wales on May 31st but our booking was for June 1st (and three hours from the port). We have never camped in Wales or England and didn’t know the system. It turns out to be different from France or Spain or Portugal but not in a bad way. Anyway, we still had a guidebook we’d used in Portugal to find free camping spots and they had a section for Wales.

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(A hen… )

Just before midnight we headed off the ferry in the dark with surrounded by trucks. Soon we had left the motorway and were making our way via small roads on a thirty minute journey to our free spot for the night. The route was reminiscent of the early days in Portugal. Sometimes the road was only wide enough for the camper and I wasn’t sure what we would do if there was anything – even a bicycle – coming the other way. (Well I mean I wasn’t sure what Denis would do as I’d definitely be screaming something helpful like, get out-of-the-way!) Luckily there was nothing coming on the very narrow stretches and very little in general. They must go to bed early in Wales. Eventually the sat. nav. said, “You have reached your destination” and we drove into a car park with six other campers parked. It was pitch dark and silent so we tried to keep the noise down and went straight to bed.

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(Pretty flowers… )

Something woke me at 4am. The police? The land owner? I opened the blind as quietly as I could and looked out the window… it was kinda shocking: Sunshine, sand dunes, blue sea and birds tweeting. Just in case I was dreaming I took a picture and went back to sleep. We have had sunshine constantly since that morning, so we’ve been pottering around the shire of Cumbria, more about that next time.

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(That’s the view (out the back window of the camper, between the bikes) of the sea… at 4am)

As I write the rain pitter-patters on the awning but I’m not bothered because this trip seems to be filled with pixie dust and moonbeams! Mairead.

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