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Barmouth, Wales to Dublin, Ireland

June 27th, 2000 · No Comments

Day 179

Last night was awful. I didn’t sleep, I couldn’t find my watch and when I got up it was 4:45 a.m! To make matter worse I had an ear ache, it was throbbing. I sure as heck didn’t feel like riding 85 miles today to catch a ferry only to get in to camp at 10 p.m. I signed up for the sag.

The sag wagon was not full which was amazing in itself. Most everyone had found alternative transportation, buses, renting day cars and some even took the train. The train only went 20 miles further before the end of the track, but those taking it figured it was 20 miles they didn’t have to ride. We all do what we think in necessary to survive.

I really wanted to ride this day, Wales had been so great and now I would lose my “rode the whole country” status if I sagged, but I just didn’t feel good. In the sag I slept on and off. We rode “sweep” sag being the last car out, keeping track of the last 10 riders. The shotgun person would write down the rider numbers as we passed. Then we would stop somewhere along the road, waiting for them to pass by, then we would repeat the process, leapfrogging all the way to mid-day checkpoint. Once at mid-day another car replaced us and we were given permission to go directly to “end of day”, which today was “end of country” at the ferry.

We passed a really attractive looking castle on the way, it was located in the village of Llanfaglan, but I can’t remember the name of the castle. Prince Charles was made the Prince of Wales there.

By the time we arrived at the ferry, it was 3 p.m. the next ferry didn’t depart for 3 hours, so we killed time by walking into town for lunch. The town of Hollyhead wasn’t much of a tourist town. If felt like a regular place where people lived and raised the kids. No fancy nonsense, just good, straightforward stores.

We boarded the Stena Ferry for the trip across to Ireland. Once again customs wasn’t present nor interested. They just asked our nationalities and let us through, never asking to see a passport! The Stena Ferry is quite an entertaining experience. It is huge, made to carry hundreds of passengers, cars, trucks and really big trucks. Inside there are several stores to purchase “duty free” goods, in case you haven’t already spent enough money. There is also a McDonald’s restaurant for the wee ones.

The entire lounge area is open with large windows so I just sat, talked and watched the world go by. The trip took less than two hours. It was very pleasant.

Tags: British Isles · Ireland · world travel