So finally time to leave the nest. After saying a few goodbyes to close family and friends I jumped on the double decker bus to Leeds at 3pm. This part of the journey was not too bad as there were not many stops and it pretty much blasted me to Leeds.
After an hours wait in Leeds me and fellow passengers got on our Eurolines coach at 6.15pm. This was a beautiful new coach with AC, comfy seats and plenty of leg room. This was where I met the lady who was going to be my travelling companion for much of the journey to Dublin, Dot. Dot is a 75yr old lady who does this journey regularly to see family that she has in England. She is from England herself but has lived in Ireland for the last 40yrs. A gruff plain speaking lady with a wicked sense of humour she soon had many of her fellow passengers with her tales of pretty extensive travel around a lot of the world and her family. I had helped her on the coach with her bags and a friendship had been struck.
Now although this was a very comfortable coach its was what I call a bum burner, traveling to Bradford, Manchester, Manchester airport, Blackpool and Bangor to name but a few before finally pulling up at Holyhead for the ferry at 1am. Although I can always manage a nap on the coach I have never felt refreshed from long journeys, and with only one pitstop at services on the way Holyhead ferry terminal was a much welcome site. Customs was a pain which had us waiting for over half an hour on the coach for no apparent reason before we boarded another coach and got on the ferry for about 2am.
I must admit the ferry was pretty nice with plenty of comfortable seating, bars, cafe’s, play areas for the kids and even a pictures but at that time of night it looked more like a disastor relief boat then a cruise boat. People were sleeping every where. Sofas, chairs, under the stairs, on the floor by the side of doors, on each others laps and even on the floor between tables.
I took the time to walk around the boat several times myself and some of these people were well organised. I saw sleeping bags, pillows, blankets and even a few in ones’s pyjamas. I eventually chose a spot near Dot who was curled up with her body on the seating round the wall and her feet on a chair so I could keep an eye on this amazing well travelled lady and promptly fell asleep myself. I was woken up by Dot as we approached Dublin. She had bought me coffee while I had been fast asleep guarding her.
It was time to get on board the coach again and head to Dublin bus station. We arrived about 6.40am, total travelling time 15 hours 40 minutes. I helped Dot get her luggage and sat with her in the bus station waiting for her bus. We said our goodbyes with a promise that if ever I happened to be in Limerick I would pop for a coffee.
I could not get my head down in my hostel till check in at 3pm, but that’s another story.