Blogging at 21:00 on Tuesday 22nd August from intended overnighting spot N 53.29420°, W 04.63273° / http://maps.google.com/maps?q=loc:53.29420%2C-04.63273
Last night's camp proved as boring as we'd hoped and today's basically been about an equally boring motorway slog in order to get to Dublin and the ferry back to mainland UK.
In an effort to avoid tolls in and around Dublin we drove straight through the city centre following the river Liffey to the port (pic). I'd done this very thing before by push bike and was pretty confident it would work out. It did, but it's fair to say it was a stupid idea. The traffic was very heavy and driving a truck through busy city centres is just not fun. At least we saw something of the city, though. It's all looking very cosmopolitan these days and possibly even slightly less offensive than most. The ostentatious-preening-self-absorbed-prat-per-100 metres score was pretty low.
The ferry crossing was incredibly smooth and, though the boat was very full, we managed to find a really secluded spot out on deck and essentially had it to ourselves for the entire trip. We spent a long time sea watching and saw a couple of dolphins and plenty of Manx shearwaters. Probably the most thought-provoking sight, though, was of three butterflies merrily flying over the Irish sea. I'm pretty sure all three were small tortoiseshells. They were completely independent of the ferry and seemingly quite happily making their way between the landmasses of mainland UK and Ireland. I know butterflies can and do migrate huge distances but it's totally humbling to see what seem like such fragile creatures performing feats that leave our own species looking a bit vulnerable and clumsy.
It's been a good trip and has slightly helped to get over the ruination of our Svalbard plans. Only the disappointment of having our Fastnet Rock excursion cancelled, plus the sacrifice of the truck's sacrificial bush-basher slightly tainted things.
Speaking of, once again the truck just did everything asked of it without any issues or grumbles. This is the twelfth consecutive year it's been used for travel now and it continues to be a good reliable workhorse; allowing us to do the things we like to do in the places we like to do them. Chapeau to the waggon.
Sent from my mobile device