so iv recently returned from doing a six day Paddywagon tour of all of Ireland, well i guess I didn't see ALL of Ireland but we got to the important parts, in the south and north. i really loved it which is why im so keen to share my first travelling experience of my gap year in the UK.
we started in Dublin but getting to Dublin was a whole other issue. you see we had booked to go on the coach from London but we missed it due to numerous unexplainable events that included getting lost on the tube, it then having 'engineering' problems and eventually running around trying to find a taxi that costs us waay to much to get to the coach station just so that a rude man could tell me we were too late and to move along to the back of the que. wonderful, our first trip couldn't have started on a worse note if we tried. we then needed to get to another country by 8am the next morning and I had no idea how we'd get there. at that point I felt like breaking down, sitting on the floor and crying whilst someone else sorted everything else. but this was reality and that wasn't going to happen. hello major learning experience number one. so we did the only thing possible we got ourselves to the closest train station and spoke to a really helpful informations man who basically seemed to feel sorry for two girls with South African accents and probably very pitiful tones and he magically sorted everything out and saved our lives. all we had to do was pay up and not miss any more of our transport. we could get three trains to Hollyhead and the the ferry to Dublin. it was the such a relief to know we had a way of getting there, however it wasn't a comfortable journey. trains give me anxiety at the best of times but this kind of situation was a whole new level of stress. I couldn't sleep because we had to change trains every about two/three hours and then of course there was the worry of being asleep when we needed to get off. so basically the night was spent without sleeping but making our way to Paddys Palace (only a short bus trip from the ferry stop away) our starting point. Once we finally got there I couldn't have been more relived. everything from here on was taken care of and all we had to do was get on the bus and have the best time. which im happy to say is exactly what we did. surrounded by other gaps we got on a bus and started our journey, at that stage we had no idea what a good choice we'd made, our bus was the best without a doubt and our tour guide Shaunie was such a laugh, and impossible not to like (his irish accent make me smile all the time and his pronunciation of three as 'tree' cracked me up every time he said it.) we started in the south going along the coast and stopping in the Dingle peninsula which really was stunning, we carried on to kilarny, cork, galway, derry, limerick, belfast and back to dublin over the next six days. every night we'd stop off at our hostel, get some food and drinks and the evening fun would begin. we were usually close to irish pubs which always provided lots of entertainment, the irish really do come out at night and having 57 other amazing people to go out with really ensures entertainment and such good time. some of the sightseeing major highlights were the basket islands, the sleeping giant, the blarney castle (and kissing the stone of course) the cliffs of mohar, the giants causeway and the black taxi tour of the divisions in Belfast. other than just the sights our tour was made amazing by all the laughs we had on the bus, learning irish slang (good craic ya know?) learning all the words to a famous irish song, molly malone which we then sung every night (making the locals love us) and who could forget the top level of the guinness storhouse that overlooks the whole of dublin. everything about our tour was great.
so when we returned,exhausted and craving proper pillows, we were so happy to have had met such awesome people and have had such a good tour but we were so sad to get off our bus and face reality again - the daily routine that didnt include the kind of excitement we'd experienced over the last week. but all good things must come to an end and luckily we will no doubt meet up with our new found friends again and many more months of adventures lie ahead of us.