Trip to Ireland for a wedding

About 3000km, three named storms, a large diversion, a wedding, and a lot of fun. A lot of driving.

Oisin was due to marry Romy, in Kerry, and we were invited. Given I wanted to collect the kayaks from Ireland, and we had a few items to collect from Limerick that the moving company couldn’t carry, I decided that we would take the Swiss car over for the trip.

The outbound journey was originally Zuerich to Avallon on the Tuesday evening, then head for the Cherbourg ferry (via Le Mans to avoid the Paris metropolitan area) on the Wednesday, getting off the ferry on Thursday and staying in Liemrick Thursday night. Then the plan was to do some things around Limerick on the Friday, heading to Kerry Friday night to have all of the Saturday free for the wedding ceremony and celebration, overnighting again in the hotel, making our way to Limerick for Sunday night, collecting the kayaks late Monday night and heading for a return ferry to France Tuesday evening, making our way back home eventually on the Thursday evening.

However, Dudley did have something to say about that plan.. Waking up in the hotel in Avallon, my phone had a text from the ferry company saying that the ferry was due to leave an hour ahead of schedule to beat the incoming bad weather. We continued the drive onwards towards Cherbourg, and when I pulled in just past Tours for a fill of 98-octane, the phone dinged again with another text from the ferry company saying that the ferry was cancelled and the next sailing would arrive in Rosslare Saturday evening, meaning we would miss the wedding. Not really an option. I double-checked the validity of the Landbridge option, and seeing that there were Eurotunnel availabilities that night I transferred the ferry booking from the Cherbourg-Rosslare route to the Fishguard-Rosslare route, and then I continued on the most epic day of driving I’ve yet done.. Tours to Calais, another fill of 98, a Buffalo-Grill dinner, a Eurotunnel trip to Folkestone, a quick drive across England and Wales (amusing to overtake a Welsh police van without being stopped), another fill of 98 in Carmarthen, and a parking by the beach in Fishguard at ~3.10am to get a few hours of kip in the seat. 1400km driven in 16 hours..

The ferry crossing of the Irish sea was nap time for me, and the drive to Mullinahone to pick up the Booster to hand onwards to Oisin was not easy. Plus, as we left Mullinahone to head for Limerick via the parents and aunt, the migraine kicked in. Never was I as glad to have the body hit the bed as I was when falling over after taking the appropriate medication upon arrival in Castletroy. I slept the sleep of the dead till ~09.30 the next day, still with aftershadows.

The wedding was fantastic, esoteric, off-beat, unusual, eclectic, and exactly suiting the parties involved. The celebration that evening was similar, and thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The rest of the trip was mostly uneventful really. Slip-sliding during overtaking a car between Abbeyfeale and Newcastlewest, due to the freshly fallen band of hail that wasn’t present where I started that overtake manuever. Thankful for good real winter tyres. A good night’s sleep in the old house in Limerick. Uneventful drive to Mullinahone. Flying the drone on Tuesday in the wind had the drone unable to keep station due to the winds at height, which was a first for me. The overnight ferry Rosslare-Cherbourg went ahead at the scheduled time, making a gap between two storms. The car was on the outside deck on the ferry and was covered in salt, most of which later washed off with rain, thankfully. Crossing France with two boats on the roof was quiet and non-exciting. Getting home was a relief.

Things of note or of interest. The Irish that saw the car had heads on swivels – especially the locals in d’Island in Limerick City when we were going through, after meeting Oisin at home. That was a new experience as the car simply blends in at home. There are definitely The unavailability of 98-octane in Ireland was a bit of a pain, but worked around with booster additive and appropriate dilutions. Once the car had kayaks on the roof, it suddenly became very anonymous.. The roofracks were great – quiet and non-moving at all. Very glad to have had them.

Will we do it again? Probably not. With ~€1000 in fuel for the round trip (though there’s ~€200 extra fuel and €224 Eurotunnel costs extra because of having to travel via the Landbridge) it’s a hard one to justify that drive. It’s more carbon- and cash-efficient to fly/rent than drive all of the way, plus less worry about having to get the right fuel or having a jealous citizen damage the car when parked. A different car wouldn’t have been *that* much cheaper on fuel but it is something to consider.

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