We arrived at St Malo an hour late but made good time up to Cherbourg to catch the ferry to Portsmouth on Brittany Ferries. The ferry rocked and rolled all the way. We got to the campsite in Bath after 8pm and stayed the night before driving on to Bath were we had the van booked in for it’s MOT.
We got a good view of Stonehenge on the way. I didn’t realise that it was visible from the highway.

We caught up with Sarah a lovely French/Congolese girl in Bristol who we had met in Udayagiri last year and as we
We had been to Bath a couple of years ago so we wandered the streets, bought a new phone for me and some goat’s cheese for Maurice.
The weather was changeable with alternating heavy rain, cloudy periods and a bit of sunshine. Unfortunately since leaving France for Jersey we were back into Autumnal clothing of several layers, scarves and rain jackets.

We left Bath for Clearwell to visit another friend for a couple of days and drove through Wales and over the Severn bridge and into Gloustershire. Karen is a raw food chef so treated us to some of her recipes which were all delicious. She took us to visit ‘Puzzlewood’ in the Forest of Dean which was a magical woodland with features known as Scowles, natural cave systems since eroded and exposed at their surface. The veins of iron ore were mined by iron age setlers through to Roman times. 3000 Roman coins in 3 earthenware jars were discovered during the 1800’s. The whole woodland is covered with thick moss which gives it it’s magical appearance.
Films such as ‘Merlin’ and ‘Arthur’ and episodes of ‘Dr Who’ were filmed in the wood.

The brown ‘Soay sheep’ there looked more like goats and don’t need shearing. Their wool drops off and can be collected.

We visited ‘Briavel’ (pronounced Brevel) castle which since 1947 has been a youth hostel. They had an open weekend so we could look around the hostel and I could try my hand at Archery which had always interested me.

On the 11th of September we left Clearwell for Pembroke and the ferry to Rosslare in Ireland. We spent a night at Duncannon on the coast so that we could go and see the oldest working lighthouse ‘Hook lighthouse’ the next day.
We then spent three days in Wexford visiting friends before setting off for Paul McCarthy, Maurice’s cousin in Clonmel a beautiful part of County Tipperary. Maurice and I took part (we walked, not ran) in the ‘Park Run’ which is a 5km course around the racecourse. These runs are held all over the world, cost nothing and promote exercise on a Saturday morning. In Perth they are held at 8am but we were told if they were at that time in Ireland no-one would turn up so in Ireland they start at 9.30am.

We were lucky with the weather for the first couple of weeks in Ireland with a portion of most days having some sun but it was getting colder. A fun week in Dalkey to celebrate Maurice’s birthday and get together with many cousins was most enjoyable before heading for another cousin Brigid in Avoca in the beautiful county of Wicklow. We decided to take the longer route there over the Wicklow mountains where the pink heather was blooming. Another relaxing few days playing scrabble and catching up with computer work before heading back to Dublin for Maurice to revisit the dentist for ‘crown’ work and then back to the south for another few days.

In Wexford we met up with many of our friend Fritz’s relatives at his memorial mass and lunch before returning to Avoca for a last stay with Brigid before leaving from Dublin to Holyhead on the 3rd of October. We will miss Ireland, friends and cousins but not the weather which had turned cold!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.