(Written 2nd September 2011)
Some random comments in my notes have been included in brackets (), some is just a record of where we stopped, and some is a bit stream of consciousness.
Sitting on the bus to London in Cork. It is due to depart in 25 mins. The case is in the hold, the sleeping bag is at my feet and the rucksac is under my elbow. The bus is not very full (yet?), so why have the couple with two small children, one of whom is ordering his mother about in a shrill voice, decided to sit in the block of 4 seats across the aisle from me? Never mind; deafness has advantages. I will switch him off later. I will also loosen my boots.
The day so far has been eventful. Everything was sorted and the case, bags and coat were at the door. I had a sandwich for lunch and… found a hard bit in my mouth. A crown had come off. With less than an hour to go there was no prospect of getting it fixed in Ireland, so I will pop in to see my old dentist in Feltham next week.
The taxi arrived exactly on time. Got to Mallow in good time. It’s funny how people talk to you in the bus queue. Anyway, the bus turned up. I thought it was a bit early but it said “Cork” on the front, and the bus driver was happy with my ticket, so I got on. A little while later I was sorry that I did, but I’m not now. I’d got on the “stopping bus” (241?) and I was booked on the express. I still arrived ahead of the express but I was worried for a while. I had a real tour of the back roads north of Cork, taking in Whitechurch and a couple of stops I couldn’t really identify as places, like “The Log Cabin” pub. Still, everything is fine now.
Looks like there are 11 or 12 people on the bus. I recognise the driver from a previous trip.
We’re off! Just ahead of scheduled departure at 16:00.
- Middleton 16:25 +2 passengers
- Youghal 17:05 + new driver
Interesting looking old fashioned town.
Tidal mud flats
Ghosts of rivers
Ruined jetties, tidal inlets
Narrow entrance leading to open seas.
- Dungarvan 17:32 +3 passengers, yotty haven
Angelus on radio at 18:00
- Waterford 18:27 +19 or 20 passengers. Change driver.
(Pub names: The case is altered, The ballot box, The struggling monkey)
Waterford has an interesting quayside if there are good ships or boats in. Today there is one square rigger (jst.org.uk) registered in Southampton.
- Leave Waterford at 18:30.
(write down location “4th row, Right-hand-side, window” to remind myself when I get off the bus)
- New Ross 19:03 +2 passengers
- Wexford 19:37 no change
(“freedom from the occupier”)
- Rosslaire arrive 20:01 +1 passenger, -1 passenger, no net change
Bits of the town look like they are struggling a bit.
I now have a boarding card in the name of “Mr Eurolines”. At least he is an adult male!
- Due to sail @ 20:45
- Moving on board 20:22
(Broken windows plugged with rags and newspapers)
(Saturday 3rd September)
- Pembroke dock 00:55
Non-event. No Customs or passport check.
- In motion 01:16am
- Kilgetty wales +1 passenger
- Carmarthen 02:02 +3 passengers
- M4 02:26
- ? (not Newport) Services 03:10
- Leave 03:30
- Cardiff Gate 03:45 -2 passengers
- Bristol 04:24 -1 passenger
- Leigh Delamere 04:57 – 05:25
- Reading 06:23
- Marble Arch “Arch to Arc” Cycle race
- Victoria 07:25
- 08:00 Bus back to Heathrow (and it’s going on to Penzance!)
- 08:55 555 bus to Dave’s
- Arrived safely in Ashford at 09:30.