Sunday, July 13, 2014

Day 53--Back Across the Irish Sea

After my luxurious night in my oh-so-expensive hotel room, I presented myself for my complimentary breakfast. It was a full-on Irish breakfast with eggs, rashers, potatoes, Irish sausage, white pudding, black pudding, mushrooms, and various pastries and fruit. Of course, I was offered tea or coffee, but was given hot chocolate when I asked for it. I tried it all. The white and black pudding was not a "pudding" as I know it, but a sort of sausage patty type thing. It was okay, however, I didn't have seconds of either the white or the black.

The staff were very nice, and three separate people asked me if everything was okay and could they get me coffee or tea. Even Stephan came to see how I was doing. In the end, I found out that the hostel would have been (for 2 nights) around 150€, so, although I only had one night! I probably broke even. Since that's the case, I've been able to get a few souvenirs.

I left the hotel at 9:45, and rode to the Dublin Ferry Port. I was early, but I like to get things sorted when it comes to other modes of transportation. By the time I got my passage booked (55€ including Betsy), there was not much sense in riding back into town. I sat down to read and pass the time.

Since bikes and motorcycles always load first, I was outside by 1:30. Two other motorcycles and I loaded shortly before 2:00 (2:30 sailing). I think, since this is the "fast" ferry, the crossing is about 2 hours. I should arrive in Holyhead with plenty of time to find a campsite.
Betsy in her parking spot.
Goodbye Ireland!

Now I think I will go see if I can exchange my Northern Ireland pounds for Bank of England pounds. Yep, no problem. 

Welcome to Wales!

And glorious sunshine!
Preparing to disembark.

I had originally planned to stay near Holyhead at one of the campsites, but in my absolute delight at getting to once again ride in sunshine, I headed straight for Cycle Route 5!
I'll be following these little signs all the way to Oxford.

It was only after about 8 miles that I finally decided I should get some idea of a camping place. I asked Garmin. There was one in the direction I was headed about 13 miles away. Perfect! It was about 5:30, and, depending on what strange and hilly route the Garmin would take, I should arrive around 7:00. 

It was so wonderful to be riding in the sun! The scenery was pretty awesome too!

Nice quiet road.
Wales countryside, and the Irish Sea.

I saw the usual sheep and cows. I had to take this one of the sheep because, well...there was blue sky!
Thanks for holding the pose!

I saw some cute Welsh Ponies.

And I piqued the curiosity of a couple of horses when I stopped to take the sleeves off my jacket (yes, that's right! I took the sleeves OFF my jacket, because it was warm and SUNNY).

After the Garmin took me up an impossibly steep hill, I stopped to see how much further to the Farm Caravan Park. Turns out it was just a short distance more.

When I got to the park, the reception was closed (it was, as I predicted, almost 7:00), but the Warden was just next door. I went to ask her if I could check in. She said it would be £24, and asked me if that was okay. Uh...seems a little steep, but what do I know? It's my first night in Wales (and back to pounds). I said I would get my money. She came out and met me at Betsy and said she would just charge me £10 because I would be there for such a short time. She said not to tell anyone else. No problem--secret is safe with me! Also, the showers are included--Yay!

So, I'm crossing my fingers for a spell of good weather. I sure would like some more of this sun!

BTW, while waiting for the ferry, I added up the miles so far. I've come 2,683 miles, with an average (including the days off) of 52.6 miles per day. That is the highest average mileage I've ever had on a tour. Whew!

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