UK and Ireland - Trip Synopsis

 

 

Trip Synopsis:-

 

This holiday was always going to be quite different to the USA one. The challenge of being cooped up in a small car for 10 weeks was a big one but we were going to get the opportunity to spend time with our son, his wife and our two grandchildren as they moved to London in January 2017 and we had only seen them on Skype since then. The marvelous things the internet give us.

As with the USA trip, Therese gets all the credit, praise and thanks for the work she put in to organise the hire cars, flights and accommodation. I get the easy job of just having to plan the route, drive the car and program the GPS, which was worse this time than the USA trip. Everything flowed smoothly with good flights on Cathay Pacific and British Airways, car hire through Europcar was great with a replacement car supplied in Ireland no worries.

The only spoilers for the trip were the fact that I was not well for about five weeks leading up to leaving Australia and didn't recover until we had completed the drive around Ireland. That certainly took some of the fun out of it and if you have read the story, you will have noted that the weather wasn't always kind to us but the one consolation was that we weren't riding.

Accommodation arrangements were split between hotels and B&Bs and a list of possible places was identified before we left home. Accommodation was chosen based on a combination of location, price and recommendations, usually taking advantage of included breakfast meaning that we rarely worried about a lunch apart from some fruit or snacks. Each night Therese researched availability and booked just for the next night unless more than one night was planned. That allows us to change the schedule and points of interest as we choose or as circumstances dictate. Saves the hassle of cancellation and has never presented any problems although it means we sometimes miss less expensive deals.

Early nights were a rare occurrence though as the time taken to download and sort photographs for the story, write and publish the story, plot the route into the GPS and book accommodation meant that 11:00pm came around quickly.

This trip was planned well before we went to the USA in 2016. The methodology I used for that that trip built on what I had done for this one however I did not go back and redo this one to the same level of detail. For this trip, I had researched the proposed route and identified as many different attractions and points of interest that I could and compiled a comprehensive list and planned the final route around that list. For the USA trip, as I researched the points of interest, I also reduced the list to those that were the most important. Although we didn't see everything on the list, it was easy to select the best of the best. For this trip, I never refined the initial list of everything so a lot of time was taken up each night refining the list to what we had time to do. That didn't help the late nights but highlighted the 5 Ps rule; Poor Planning Promotes Poor Performance. I know better for next time.

Beautiful scenery, so green in comparison to Australia, that's the benefit of the constant rain we saw. Loved looking at the old buildings and the castles, stone circles, cathedrals and abbeys, marveling at the work that went into them and the frustration seeing the destruction of them for reasons that were little more than pique. One could only wonder at what they would represent if they were still standing. As is always the case with history and progress, you never know what you've got until it's gone.

As usual, we stayed off the major highways as much as possible to see the country in as much of a natural state as possible. Even using some very narrow country lanes when the GPS took it into its head to prove it knew a better route than the one I intended. Still, my reversing skills improved dramatically as it's no use arguing with an oncoming tractor when the growth on the road edges is already touching the sides of the car. Better to back-up to the last wide spot. Traffic was generally good and the locals like to drive at or above the speed limit making it difficult to look around and take photos. If there wasn't a car behind you when you wanted to stop, there was by the time you had stopped. And the round-about's! No fly-over's, even if it requires a round-about every few hundred metres for another intersection. On 120 km/hr roads, we got sick and tired of the GPS warning of another round-about in a half to two miles with a requirement to drop back to around 60 km/hr.

All in all a good trip and holiday with a chance to spend a couple of weeks with the family. Would we do it again? We saw an overview of most of the country but there are some areas that would be worth going back to see in more depth but we'd think a bit more about the timing and try to choose a time likely to be less wet.

 

That's about it. I hope you enjoyed the tale.

 

What's next? - Don't know, we haven't planned that yet but I'm sure if you come back occasionally, you'll see if anything is happening.

 

Statistics:-

 

Item
Ireland
England
Days on the road
15
36
Total distance travelled
2602 klms / 1616 miles
6786 kms / 4216 miles
Average daily distance
103 klms / 108 miles
188 kms / 117 miles
Quantity of fuel used
148 Litres / 33 Imp Gals
485 Litres / 108 Imp Gals
Average fuel consumption

Skoda R (Diesel)

16.94 km/litre / 5.9 litres/100 kms / 47.33 mls/imp gal

Ford Focus (Diesel)

18.07 km/litre / 5.53 litres/100 kms / 50.51 mls/imp gal

Vauxhall Astra (Petrol)

13.99 km/litre / 7.14 litres/100 kms / 39.13 mls/imp gal

 

 

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