Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Monday, July 31, 2023

Fun getting caught up with everyone

Ruth's mom and dad came to Canada from England in 1957, but Ruth and her siblings were born in Canada. So all of their aunts and uncles and cousins were across the pond in England, and they only saw them once every five years or so while growing up. Ruth and her cousin Helen were about the same age, so they formed a bond over the years.

When Ruth and I first met in March of 1983, she already had a trip planned to visit England on her own in September of that year.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Interesting day trip to Shaftesbury

We got into the car with Helen and Tony and headed west for a day trip to Salisbury. Ruth and I had been there before, but it was many years ago. Salisbury has a really nice cathedral. Anyhow, while we were driving along, I looked up the cathedral and saw that it is now a £9 ($15.25 CAD, $11.50 USD) fee per adult to enter the cathedral. 

Between that and the heavy traffic, we decided on a change of plans and instead made our way to the closer town of Shaftesbury.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Max is still for sale

We've had a couple of expressions of interest, but nobody who wants to make a commitment. I haven't really made an effort to advertise him much other than writing the motorhome for sale blog post and copying it to a couple of facebook groups.

We would have preferred to sell him to a foreign buyer who would continue to use him the way we have. Such an easy way for someone from Canada or U.S. or Australia, (or wherever!) to get into a European motorhome and be able to turn the key and head off right away. So I'm kind of surprised someone hasn't jumped at the idea.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Quick visit to the capital city of Cardiff, Wales

We stopped in the town of Cross Hands for some groceries, then headed southeast towards the city of Cardiff. The two lane highway turned into a four lane highway, then into the M4 motorway where traffic was fairly heavy going into the city of Cardiff (pop 400,000).

Not easy to find decent free parking around Cardiff, but we ended up parking at the big IKEA store and doing the half hour walk into the central area.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

What a difference a day makes!

Unfortunately, the beautiful weather from the day before didn't carry over into a second day.

With heavy rain forecast to begin around 11:00am, we got up at 6:30am and drove right away to another trailhead parking spot a little further on to access a different section of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Trail. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Easier than we expected to get decent free overnight spots in the middle of summer holidays.

With an absolutely gorgeous day ahead of us, we got on the road early and drove to what turned out to be one of the best overnight spots ever, with a beautiful view of Dinas Head and the village of Dinas Cross.

We arrived up there and were surprised to find we had the place to ourselves. It's actually been easier than we expected to get decent free overnight spots in the middle of summer holidays.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Taking advantage of the blue sky and sunshine!

We said goodbye to Ruth, Chris, and Tigs the dog just before 10:00am, and hit the road heading northwest towards the coast. The skies were supposed to clear up by lunchtime, so we wanted to get some hiking in.

First stop was near a National Trust property called Llanerchaeron. It's actually closed Mondays and Tuesdays, but you can still walk the many trails around the property.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Heading to Pembrokeshire to do some hiking

We managed to get out with Tigs for a few walks yesterday before his mom and dad came home late in the afternoon. Poor old guy is definitely showing his age though. After we're done walking him, you almost feel like you need to go for another walk to get some exercise yourself. But, he's been no trouble at all to look after. 

The weather was better than forecast though... we were actually out in t-shirts in the afternoon.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Busy few weeks ahead of us!

It was a heavy rain day, especially in the morning. But, we got a bunch of computer stuff done, including filling out all the forms for our Turkmenistan trip in October. Had to answer all the questions on the letter of invitation, send copies of both our passports, and send a digital passport style photo of each of us in order to get the visa.

They want to know about your education, how many children you have, their dates of birth and more. 

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Meeting up with Tigs the dog

We headed down through the beautiful Wye River Valley here in Wales. Yesterday was the start of school vacation here in Wales, and we saw a noticeable increase in traffic on the roads. Lots of cars pulling travel trailers as well.

There was supposed to be the occasional bit of blue sky, but we never saw the sun all day. Still, we're finding the temperature of about 18C (66F) to be quite pleasant, especially when going for a hike.

Friday, July 21, 2023

Beautiful view over the Clywedog Reservoir

We woke up hoping to see more fighter jets buzzing overhead, and a single propeller trainer went by early on to give us some optimism. However the clouds and rain moved in shortly afterwards, and we had read that the jets don't fly this route unless conditions are good.

So we ended up moving on without seeing any more.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Max's first booboo

We finally had a beautiful day, so we took advantage of it with two different short hikes.

First was a walk up to the castle and the area surrounding the village of Harlech. We didn't go in the castle. We had just spent a bunch of time in a castle a couple of days earlier and reviews said that while Harlech Castle is impressively set up on a hill, the views are the attraction, and the actual interior isn't worth the £8.50 ($14.50 CAD, $11 USD) entry fee despite the fact that we would have saved 50% with our English Heritage card.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

If you snooze, you lose...

Yesterday was a rain day. Probably the wettest day we've had for a long time. But, we still managed to get out... with our raincoats and umbrellas! It's only water.

We drove to the town of Porthmadog and found a big Lidl where we wasted some time doing some grocery shopping. Next door there was a camping store where we had a look around as well.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Fun afternoon at Caernarfon Castle

We said goodbye to Helen and Tony just after 9:30am. They were headed back home to Somerset, England. We'll actually be stopping in there to say hi to them again in a couple of weeks time.

We headed about a half an hour south, across the bridge over the Menai Strait and past the town of Caernarfon to a waterfront spot overlooking the strait. As we passed the town of Caernarfon, we saw a huge castle!

Monday, July 17, 2023

Exploring the island of Anglesey

The area where we're staying is called Anglesey Island. And yes, it is actually an island even though it's not separated from the main part of Wales by very much. 

With a mixed bag of weather in the forecast, we set off exploring the island in Helen and Tony's car. 

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Sometimes going into a church is like going into a museum!

With a morning weather forecast that didn't include rain, we set off to do some exploring. First stop was the pretty tourist town of Beaumaris, and Beaumaris Castle. From there, it was on to the impressive Menai Suspension Bridge.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Thinking about a new camera

Our Nikon P900 is about five years old now, and it's been through a lot. It's actually starting to physically fall apart. Nothing that stops me from using it, but it's getting close to time to start thinking about a replacement.

We're visiting with Ruth's cousin Helen and her husband Tony right now. Tony just bought a new camera, and so I was checking it out. It's a Sony RX10 which is quite a bit more money than our current camera.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Are we in the UK illegally?

We ended up having a busy day. First, we went and explored the town of Holyhead. For such a small place, it has a big, busy port.

Oh, I forgot to tell you about our passports. Immigration between these countries is very odd.

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Welcome to Wales!

Wales is not a new country for us. Back in 2012 we did a three week house sit near Hereford, England and we did several day trips into Wales. But this time, we'll get to spend a little more time exploring!

So, yesterday we took the Stena Line ferry "Adventurer" from Dublin to Holyhead, Wales.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Last day in Ireland

What a great trip this has been. We've been in Ireland since May 8, so just over two months. 

We've pretty much circled the entire island, been to an Irish wedding, climbed Ireland's highest mountain, and learned a lot about the history of culture and conflict here. And I enjoyed a few pints of Guinness!

We don't quite feel like we're ready to leave though.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Are you Kevin and Ruth?

Rainy day yesterday, but we made our way a few miles further back towards the Republic of Ireland border. We ended up parked in the fishing town of Kilkeel.

We feel bad that we haven't been able to properly explore Northern Ireland. I mean, it's really not that big of an area, but we ran out of time!

Monday, July 10, 2023

We don't think we've ever seen something quite like that.

Our time in Ireland is almost up! What a great two months it's been. When the weather is good, Ireland is a motorhoming and hiking paradise. I guess that's why we've enjoyed it so much.

But, we've simply run out of time! We didn't see nearly as much of the northern part as we wanted to. And, the weather has changed dramatically compared to the fantastic six weeks we had from the time we arrived. 

Sunday, July 9, 2023

Nice walk around the lake, and getting caught up with our friend Cathy

Once again, we were up early and we drove right away to make it through the big city of Belfast before traffic picked up. We parked up at the town of Royal Hillsborough at Hillsborough Lake parking. 

Good thing we got there early because it didn't take long for the early morning dog walkers and joggers to arrive. 

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Good news, and bad news

First order of business was to get my eye fixed! I had an appointment for 9:20am in central Belfast. We had parked in an industrial area near the docks. Not very scenic, that's for sure, but it was free, and only a 3 km (1.8 mile) walk into the center of the city.

Arrived a few minutes early, and they took me right on time.

Friday, July 7, 2023

Gorgeous coastal hike at Giant's Causeway

You may have missed yesterday's post because we were late posting it. You can read it here...

And why were we late posting it? Because we wanted to get out to do a long hike and the weather in the morning looked much better than the weather in the afternoon!

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Welcome to Northern Ireland, country number 60 for us!

First thing, let's clarify the country count. Yes, we do count Northern Ireland as a separate country even though it is part of the UK. Some people do, some people don't. For our purposes, if we are going to count England, Scotland, and Wales as individual countries, then we have to count Northern Ireland as well.

Besides which, Northern Ireland has its own currency. Yes, it's the pound sterling, but it is different banknotes compared to the English pound. And it's issued by Ulster Bank in Northern Ireland. It is also not legal tender in the rest of UK... however it is legal currency and easily exchanged at any English bank! 

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

There's always the possibility he doesn't sell

Tuesday was a bit of a washout... literally!

We woke up to pouring rain, and it stayed that way all morning. While we were waiting it out, we had a thought that maybe we could get some laundry done. So I found a laundromat that was walking distance from where we were parked, and the first time the rain let up a little bit, we walked over there.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

For Sale - 2021 Adria Matrix Axess 520ST Motorhome


2021 Adria Matrix Axess 520ST
 ($86,000 CAD, $65,500 USD, £51,400)

Things are coming together

We've had a lot of logistical planning and things on the go lately. But it's all starting to come together. 

Yesterday, I confirmed my appointment for the laser repair to my eye at a clinic in Belfast. And, they can do it this coming Friday!

Monday, July 3, 2023

Cameron's flights are booked!

The morning was drizzly and windy. Not very nice at all, but with a strong, fast cell signal we just stayed put and got caught up on some internet stuff. Besides, with a view of the hills out our window, the itch to climb one of them was strong, and we were hoping it would clear up after lunch.

I've been checking daily to see if prices have changed for the flights that we want for our grandson Cameron to come and visit us next month.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Ireland's Hidden Waterfall

Just west of the town of Killybegs is Ireland's Secret Waterfall... or sometimes called Ireland's Hidden Waterfall. I just happened to notice it while I was searching Google Maps for things to do in the area.

Pretty easy to see why it has the name that it does. First, there's limited parking in the area. There's a roadside viewpoint that many cars stop at, but most people don't know to go for a short walk. There are no signs advertising this natural attraction. And, most importantly, it can only be accessed right at low tide.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Rainy day at Donegal Castle

We've been lucky with the weather so far this Ireland trip, but after yesterday we're guessing things are back to normal for the rest of the trip. That's okay... we have raincoats and umbrellas!

Oh, yesterday evening I posted our June expenses... you can read them here if you missed the post... https://www.travelwithkevinandruth.com/2023/06/june-expenses-higher-than-budget.html