View from the top of Old Man of Coniston hike in Lake District National Park, England.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Preston, Lancashire, England.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Wyke, West Yorkshire, England on May 29th!

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

May Expense report... just under budget. Sort of.

We had a budget of $2,650 CAD for the month of May, and we spent $2,455 CAD ($1,808 USD, €1,700). 

Pretty happy with that, considering we started the month in Spain, we brought Max on a 28 hour boat ride, we toured the entire south coast of Ireland, then drove all the way across the country and spent a couple of days touring Dublin. I'd say we did really well!

Have a look at our plan for June...

Wow, today is the last day of May. We arrived in Ireland May 8th, so we've already been here for three weeks. 

Our original thinking was that two months in Ireland would be enough, but now we're not so sure!

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

It sounds kind of morbid, but we wanted to see the bog mummies.

Yet another nice day here in Ireland. A little cooler, but still with mostly sunny skies. High of 17C (63F).

First off, we had to do a little grocery shopping. We walked about 1 km over to a Tesco grocery store, and picked up what we needed. As we left the store, Ruth reminded me to check the receipt to make sure everything was the way it should be.

It was not.

Monday, May 29, 2023

A busy day exploring Dublin, Ireland!

We like to walk cities because you see so much more. And walk we did! From where Max is parked to Dublin Castle in the central area is almost 4 kms, then another 3 kms past that is the old Kilmainham Gaol (Jail) Museum. Plus all of the wandering around. Then 7 kms back to Max. So we did at least 16 kms (10 miles) in total.

So many tourists and immigrants in the central area though. It kind of reminded me of Prague, where it's rare to meet an actual Czech person!

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Into the big city of Dublin

We had another delicious breakfast in the hotel, then packed our things in Max and said our goodbyes to the rest of the wedding party and guests. 

Then we did the short drive over to historic Castletown House. Again, we made use of our English Heritage Pass to take advantage of the guided tour of the house itself.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

We've been so lucky here in Ireland!

One of the benefits of staying in this fancy hotel is that we get a full breakfast included. And I mean full... it's done buffet style, but there is a large selection of items. We had stayed up fairly late the night before, so we slept in a bit and went for breakfast about 9:30am.

And we ate so much for breakfast that we didn't need any lunch!

Friday, May 26, 2023

A wedding story...

We got up and drove again Thursday morning... about two hours on the motorway to the outskirts of Dublin to a town called Leixlip.

We're staying at the Leixlip Manor Hotel. A fancy place! Not the type of accommodation we would normally stay at, but we're here for a wedding. Let me tell you the story of how this came to be...

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Cahir Castle and the Swiss Cottage

We got into Cahir early, well before any of the shops were open, and we found a perfect parking spot right in town beside the river. 

We're finding that because most motorhomes end up on the coast, there are very few inland. Actually, it makes us want to rethink some of our routing because although the coast is beautiful, there is a lot to see inland as well. 

Italy by Train: Tips for an Unforgettable Trip!

Italy is a country rich in history, art, gastronomy, and breathtaking landscapes. One of the best ways to explore all that Italy has to offer is by traveling by train. With an extensive railway network, the country provides a convenient and captivating experience for travelers. Italy is located in southern Europe, with a peninsula extending into the Mediterranean Sea. It boasts an impressive diversity of landscapes, from the Alps mountains to the beautiful beaches of the Amalfi Coast. Italian art is also world-famous, with artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Botticelli leaving a lasting legacy. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Heading towards Dublin

It's pretty slow going on the backroads of Ireland. But once you get on the motorway, you can cover ground quickly, and you soon realize that Ireland is actually a pretty small country.

So, we had to make our way to the motorway, and that meant going to the city of either Cork or Limerick. For no particular reason, we decided on Cork.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Our wedding wardrobes are coming together

Up and on the road at 6:30am again to beat the traffic. Not a long drive, just about 40 minutes from our peaceful overnight spot at the cemetery to the Westlodge Hotel Motorhome Park.

Campgrounds in Ireland are pricey enough... usually ranging anywhere from €20 to €40 a night. We would rarely have the need or desire to stay in a place like that. But there is the occasional dedicated motorhome parking area that is €10 ($15 CAD, $11 USD) a night and has a service area to empty your holding tanks and fill your fresh water tank. If we can't find a free place to do those chores, then this is the next best thing.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Fantastic hike out to Dunlough Castle, and two good deeds for the day...

We had been in the very touristy visitors center at Mizen Head on Friday and decided that we didn't want to spend the €7.50 each for the tourist experience out across the bridge. We knew there had to be a nice coastal walk in the area that didn't cost, and yet was a similar experience. And we were right!

Just as we were leaving the parking lot, we met a guy riding a bicycle and asked if we was from the area. Sure enough, he lived just 20 kms or so away. We told him what we were looking for, and he was quick to come up with "Oh, you have to go out to Dunlough Castle!"

Exploring British Columbia's Hidden Gems: A Traveler's Guide

British Columbia, Canada, is a land of breathtaking natural beauty, boasting an array of magnificent landscapes, from rugged coastlines to towering mountains. Nestled in the westernmost part of the country, this province offers a myriad of unforgettable experiences for travelers. Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or a culture seeker, British Columbia has something for everyone. In this article, we'll unveil some of the best places to visit in BC, allowing you to embark on an adventure like no other.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Mizen Head, the most southwestern point in Ireland

We were up and on the road early Saturday morning. Sunrise is now just after 5:30am, so we can easily start driving when we get up at 6:30am. The narrow Irish roads are much more enjoyable at that hour when there's not much traffic on them!

We were headed for Mizen Head, the most southwestern point in Ireland. 

Saturday, May 20, 2023

We needed some wedding clothes!

It's just about time for us to head up towards Dublin. We are going to a wedding on May 25th in a town called Leixlip that is located just 20 kms or so west of the center of Dublin. We're going to stay in the nice hotel where the wedding is taking place for two nights, so it'll be like a little mini vacation for us!

Before we left Kilbrittain, we went for a nice trail walk through the woods into the village.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Another beautiful coastal hike

We sat by the sea and had our hot drinks and breakfast, then headed off on a hike to the Old Head of Kinsale lighthouse. 

Once again, a beautiful morning, but we could see some clouds rolling in and they were calling for the wind to pick up.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Parked for free by the sea

We haven't been driving very far each day, but sometimes it's nice to take a break and not drive at all. So we decided to stay put in the parking lot near Kinsale. Not the most scenic overnight spot, but it was quiet at night and there was still a walk we wanted to do on the other side of Kinsale.

We wandered around a bit before lunch, then went back to Max for lunch, then the longer walk after lunch.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Our route map so far

We've been in Ireland for about 8 days and we're only 219 kms (136 miles) from where we started. But we've driven 330 kms (205 miles) since we arrived. There's so much to see, and we haven't been taking a very direct route.

Yesterday, we headed up to the busy town of Midleton, then decided to skip the city of Cork. Friends had been there recently, and said that while it's pleasant enough, we like the smaller towns better. We'll be getting enough city when we visit Dublin later this month.

5 Things To Do On Mauritian Waters

Mauritius, which is a subtropical island off the coast of East Africa, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Not only does it have a beautiful natural environment, as well as a multi-ethnic and culturally diverse population, but it is also home to some of the best water sport activities in the world.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Driving a motorhome in Ireland is not for the faint of heart

Our free Sunday parking in Youghal was over by 9:00am Monday morning, so that's when we left. But boy, was it ever busy getting through town at that hour... due to the school kids being dropped off by the excessive number of buses and cars. I guess nobody walks to school anymore.

We were headed to the coastal village of Ballycotton where I had read that there is a coastal cliff walk. The only problem was getting there unscathed!

Monday, May 15, 2023

It all comes out in the wash, as they say.

They were calling for an overcast day with rain, so we figured it was a good time to find a laundromat. Here in Ireland they have over 500 locations with a Revolution Laundry. They are located at some fuel stations, and in the parking lot of some grocery stores. 

They're convenient... but very expensive. The only problem is that there aren't many other options.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

A beautiful day in Dungarvan, Ireland

We hit the road early again and arrived at our destination at the seaside town of Dungarvan before 8:30am. 

There is a popular paid motorhome parking area here that has dump and fill facilities and a nice view facing the water. We wanted to arrive early to try and secure a spot. We were almost too early!

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Who doesn't love Ireland?

We went for a wander around the village of Inistioge, and ended up getting sidetracked onto a beautiful four km walk that led up to a castle ruins with a view of the village.

And, we're really lucking out with the Irish weather. We had set our expectations low, as we always try to do, so when it turns out better than expected, we're very happy! 

Friday, May 12, 2023

Shaking hands with President Kennedy

There's a big Tesco superstore on the outskirts of the town of New Ross, and we needed to pick up some groceries. So we headed there first thing.

This gave us our first real look at grocery prices in Ireland. It's far cheaper here than Canada, in fact we think that groceries here might be cheaper than in Spain! If you're a drinker though, you'll make up for it in alcohol prices, which are similar to Canada. Maybe even a little higher.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

At this rate, two months in Ireland won't be enough!

This is our third day in Ireland, and we're exactly 50 kms (30 miles) from where we arrived at Rosslare Harbour. There's so much to see, packed into a fairly small country. Ireland is about the same size as the state of Indiana. Or from a Canadian perspective, the province of Ontario is 15 times larger than Ireland!

The population of the entire island is just over 7 million, with 2 million in the north, and 5 million in the south. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

We think we're going to like Ireland!

If the first day is any indication, we think we're going to like Ireland! 

We did get a few drops of rain at various times throughout the day, but not enough to stop us from getting out to do things. More sunshine than we expected, and the temperature was a pleasant 17C (63F).

And wait till you see our overnight spot! Now, this was what we had visions of!

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Welcome to Ireland, country number 59 for us!

It's hard to believe we've never been to Ireland. I was traveling with our son once, back in 2003 where we had a flight stopover in Dublin, but we never left the plane so of course it doesn't count. It's always been on our list though, and exploring it by motorhome seems to be the best way to do it!

When we left you in yesterday's post, it was morning on the ferry and we were about to sit down to breakfast...

Monday, May 8, 2023

Reporting to you direct from the ferry!

So, here we are out in the middle of the sea and able to communicate with you all. Amazing! And even more amazing is that we get an hour and a half of satellite internet included in our fare. The internet access is per device so each phone/laptop/tablet gets it's own hour and a half. Plus, it resets at midnight, so you get another hour and a half the next day... per device. And, we figured out that if we only connect with one laptop, you can hotspot off that laptop to the other one, essentially doubling your hour and a half!

The burning question on everyone's mind must be... did we have problems exiting Spain and the Schengen zone?

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Next stop, Ireland!

We board the ferry in three hours for a scheduled 28 hour trip from Spain to Ireland. I think this will be the longest that I've ever been on a boat. The last longest time was when we took Sherman from La Paz to Mazatlan in Mexico. That ferry ride was 17 hours. 

Ruth has been on a cruise ship before, when she did a party cruise with her work from Tampa Bay to Cozumel back in the 1990's. But I've never been on a cruise.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

It turns out we can fly direct from Paris to Ottawa!

Kind of a quiet day yesterday. We drove about 15 kms (8 miles) to the town of Mimetiz and parked in the dedicated motorhome area. Walked in to pick up some groceries. Had a nap. Played some cards and backgammon. Did a 5 km (3 mile) power walk after dinner.

And, checked out some onward travel.

Friday, May 5, 2023

Two sleeps to go!

The last month has gone by quickly for us! Although we've been enjoying Spain, we've been looking forward to Ireland. 

It's going to be kind of odd.. we haven't been in an English speaking country since we left England at the beginning of October. Seven months of having to check Google Translate if you want to ask a question! Not so much here in Spain because we can get by with the language, but you get my point.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

We always seem to get sidetracked!

I don't think we told you that we've signed up for another house sit through Trusted Housesitters. This time, we'll be just north of Dublin on a 300 acre farm for five days looking after Juno the dog from June 2nd to the 7th.

We will be at a wedding west of Dublin near the end of May, so we'll be in the area anyhow. Looking forward to getting our doggie fix, and of course lots of walks in what looks to be a beautiful area.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

The pretty little town of Lierganes

We got up at 7:00am and drove right away to try and avoid any traffic issues around Santander. And we were pretty successful, although it was still busy enough.

We weren't going far... only to the town of Lierganes about 35 kms (22 miles) away.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Beautiful spot, but not so great when the wind picks up!

Monday was a beautiful blue sky day, but the wind picked up as the day went on.

We went for a hike late morning heading west along the coast. Quite a few other people out enjoying the day as Monday was also a public holiday here.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Beautiful overnight spot with a view of the sea

It started out overcast, and we even felt a few drops of rain when we were out on our hike, but by afternoon it had turned into a beautiful day.

We're parked up on top of a cliff with a beautiful view of the sea, and are able to watch the ships coming in and out of Santander harbor. It's actually amazing that this quiet spot exists so close to the city.