Goodbye Ireland and hello Wales
Today sees us saying goodbye to Ireland and to house-sitting
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We are up early to get a ride with our House-sitting hosts from our ‘home’ in Ballycastle to Ballina.
We then had to catch ‘Buseireann’ into Dublin.
I’d decided that ‘just in case’ the bus ran late, we wouldn’t book the afternoon ferry, or accommodation, so it was pretty hairy when the bus did indeed run late.
We noticed the driver of our need to catch the ferry, so he helped us to get off the bus with priority.
But then we had to wait as our luggage was on the bottom, and loaded high above with bags from other passengers.
Then, we quickly grabbed a taxi to the wharf.
I raced in only to discover the ferry had closed for departure.
But the staff were great.
They sold us a ticket and helped us check our bags in.
We then raced up the escalator, seeing our bags below.
Being virtually the last on the ferry, we gave a bit of a cheer to ourselves when we finally made it.
It had been such a stressful anticipation.
Once on the ferry, to my despair, we found the wi-fi wasn’t working. So I was unable to confirm any accommodation – that had been the plan.
So we seated ourselves inside, and actually met a lovely single Mum and her children, and had a great time chatting about travelling.
Our arrival in Wales came around quite speedily. Our ferry was the fast ferry known as the Swift, and the ticket cost for the 2 of us was seventy Euros. It would have been cheaper on line.
The foot passengers need to wait for the cars to have departed, and then we all headed down to catch a bus to the terminal.
Once in the terminal we were about to retrieve our luggage and had planned to walk to a Guest House.
However, there sat our bags, and my brand new luggage was broken. It appeared the ferry staff had dropped the bag and smashed the wheel casing. It was impossible to drag. I was pretty upset, and the staff advised me to sport and claim the damage.
So we dragged our bags to the office to do just that.
The staff were really nice, and I am now awaiting compensation from Irish Ferries – I will keep you posted on how that goes, and update this blog accordingly, but for now I have photographed, and reported this.
We then caught a taxi to the Hotel I had received an approval for – well so I thought. But when we arrived at our accommodation they REFUSED to honour the price they emailed me, and tried to up it by $70. Making a guest house price of $170 – so we had to say ‘no’.
So we tried 7 more places (all full) – and finally found a budget Welsh pub.
The South Stack was basic and quiet, but really it is just a room to sleep in.
The staff and food made up for it. So friendly, and a really reasonably priced fabulous meal.
Downstairs we sat for hours using the wi-fi. Explorason was great! He spent an amazing couple of hours really blessing this lovely boy as we shared dinner. His mother was special needs, and the Grandma was here. The boy had never used a computer, let alone Minecraft or used an iPad. He spent the whole time showing him how to work the games. Taking his photo to incorporate his face into animated games. The boy didn’t want to leave. I’m so proud of Explorason as he really made this boy feel special. And for giving up his iPad for 2 hours to give another boy some joy. And the nicest thing he said at the end? ” I’m glad I have a Mum like you.”
**Update on the bag damage – Irish Ferries kindly allowed us the claim for the broken luggage. Very impressed with how professional they were. Thanks Irish Ferries ! **