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07:05.

We woke up at 6am this morning to the sound of rain tapping on the window here in Tramore, County Waterford. Sadly, our last day in Ireland looks like it’s going to be a wet one which is a bit of a bugger as Dawn’s driving us back to Dublin today as we’re catching the 14:50 Stena ferry back to Holyhead and home. Hopefully, our crossing won’t be suffering the sort of seas we saw here yesterday!

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Despite the vagaries of the weather we’ve had a wonderful time here in Ireland. It’s been fantastic to catch up with old friends and make some new ones, but the focus of today will be travel. Let’s see how it goes…

08:05

We’ve packed and are getting ready to leave. To be honest, we’d much rather stay! The Airbnb we’re in is a lovely self-contained flat that would make an ideal base for a few days exploring the Copper Coast and the old railway that’s been converted to a greenway. if only we had more time and the weather was better…

09:00.

We’re on the road again! The ferry doesn’t sail until 14:50 but we’re giving ourselves plenty of time to get to Dublin because of the conditions – although the mucky weather isn’t exactly conducive to sight-seeing as visibility’s reduced to a few hundred metres!

10:21.

We’ve stopped for coffee and cake in Carlow which us an odd little place. It has a castle, well, the remains of one. Apparently, most of it was ‘accidentally’ blown up in 1814 when it was being converted into a lunatic asylum. No, really!

Considering the fact it’s Friday, Carlow is remarkably quiet. You have to wonder why many of the shops have bothered to open as the streets are deserted. The one place we found that had some life was a stylish cafe and bar called Brooks, where we’ve called in for coffee and cake.

Their home-made scones are certainly substantial…

We’ve arrived in Carlow at the right time as the weather’s broken and the rain’s stopped, although a blanket of low cloud sits over the town, blocking out most light, leaving the day feeling like a damp dusk in December.

11:12.

Having fuelled up ourselves we’ve done the same for the car. I’m beginning to warm to Carlow. Once you see past the number of empty shops it’s actually a friendly little place with a variety of cafe’s, bars and restaurants. Shame we couldn’t have stayed and explored…

13:30.

After an easy drive into Dublin and an amble around the city on the North Circular Rd we’re now waiting in line at Dublin docks, ready to board our ferry.

The weather’s remaining mixed with threatening skies but for the moment it’s dry and warm. This is Dawn’s chance to relax for a bit after driving 1180 miles since we left home last Wednesday. This is how the Dublin skies looked as we eased out of the port and headed out into the Irish sea.

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18:06.

After a crossing that was nowhere near as rough as we feared we’re about to dock at Holyhead.

20:41.

After getting off the ferry we zipped through Holyhead and the bad weather to enjoy a vintage run along the North Wales cost on the A55. The sun shone, the traffic was light and all was well with the world until we crossed the border into England when we caught up with the rain! Right now we’re navigating the M6 motorway before joining the M62 to head back to Yorkshire. For a Friday, the traffic’s remarkably light, which means we *should* get home by 21:40…