Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Friday, June 2, 2023

Exciting news!

Regular readers will remember this past January when we headed to the rarely visited country of Mauritania and rode the iron ore train through the Sahara Desert.

Well back in March, we signed up for another crazy trip to another rarely visited country. Received word this morning that it's definitely a go, and provided we're approved for the visa and permits (which looks likely) then we are off to Turkmenistan in October!

"Turkmenistan?" you say.

"Where the heck is that?!"


Turkmenistan is one of those countries that doesn't care about tourism, so they make it difficult to visit. Even with the proper visas, we're only allowed a five day stay. It seems you can extend your visa by another five days once you arrive. I'll do more research once we have received approval.

Once the scheduled trip is over, we are going to try to travel to some of the other "stan" countries that are in the area... Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and maybe Kazakhstan. We need to make sure we get approved for the Turkmenistan visa before we can do any further planning.

What's the highlight in Turkmenistan?

The Gates of Hell.

A natural gas crater that has been burning since 1971.

By Tormod Sandtorv - Flickr: Darvasa gas crater panorama, CC BY-SA 2.0,

We would be camping for one night beside the crater.

Our plan is to sell Max (more about that later this month), then head back to Canada at the end of August, then back to Paris October 15th, then connecting in Istanbul to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on October 18th. Then a few weeks into the other "stan" countries before making our way to SE Asia (Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia) for the winter for six months or so.

But in the meantime, we've still got a lot of Ireland to see!

Yesterday we made our way over to Ardgillan Castle. The castle itself is undergoing some major repairs, but the grounds were supposed to be worthwhile... and they were!

It's free to visit the castle grounds at Ardgillan.

Nice greenhouse.

Lots of pretty flowers.

The castle is undergoing renovations.

The rose garden.

The vegetable gardens.

Lots of different types of lettuce.

Lettuce and onions.

Ruth in the Ardgillan Gardens.

We did a walk that brought us down to the shore.


After that, we made our way to the Man O' War pub. 

The Man O' War Pub.

Serving food and drink since 1595.


Dinner! Fish and chips for me.

Irish stew for Ruth.

Not cheap, but then we didn't expect it to be. I had two beers, and Ruth had a cider and a glass of wine. Including tip, the total came to €62 ($89 CAD, $67 USD).

The food was really good, and there was lots of it. Still, it wasn't really the Irish Pub experience we were looking for. We'll have to try again in a smaller town somewhere along the way.

Today, we are headed just up the road, a twenty minute drive to where we will be house and dog sitting for the next four or five days. Looking forward to meeting Juno the dog!

Record low deal on this Cordless Rechargeable Air Compressor.

And in Canada...


  1. OMG! OMG! What a surprise in your post this morning! Your plans for next winter come as a total surprise for me ! And worst of all : sell Max ! Already ??? I wish I were 10 years younger and that my situation would be totally different (I wouldn't own a home in Florida!) and I would be SO tempted to jump into that adventure : second-hand owner of Max and touring Europe like you've been doing this year! Should I add that the 'an' countries and Asia has no appeal to me. But you'll enjoy those new adventures, for sure ! Meanwhile, Ireland looks like a paradise !

    1. Lol, we are always full of surprises and we are definitely looking forward to our plans for this up coming fall and winter. Lots of new places for us to explore.

      We aren't finished with Europe yet, there is still a whole lot more that we want to see. We are thinking that the next vehicle might be a 4 wheel drive one so that we can even get more off the beaten path.

  2. Selling Max? Say it ain't so! Actually, I completely understand, but it will be sad. Sounds like some exciting adventures ahead.

    1. It isn't written in stone yet but yes, we are pretty sure that we will sell Max by the end of the summer. The market is good right now and we will probably be able to sell him for what we paid for him and it wouldn't be good to have him sitting unused for that long, at least in our mind it wouldn't be. We love Max and he has been a perfect fix for us but we are trying to look at what may lie ahead, and thinking about getting a 4 wheel drive vehicle.

  3. Selling Max is a big surprise but the hint of a 4 wheel drive vehicle spells some pretty exotic adventures in the future. Can;t wait to see them. Kevin looks very relaxed and in his element holding that beer. Travel on .

    1. I don't know that it will lead to exotic travel but it would get us further off the beaten path and into some beautiful areas that we wouldn't be able to get to in Max. For now though we are looking forward to traveling to Asia and especially Southeast Asia which has been on our must see list for quite some time. It is always nice to change things up a bit. Having said all that we are definitely not through with Europe yet, there is still a lot more of this continent that we want to explore. :-)


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