Ireland day 0926. Thursday 11 April 2024- From Wales *

Ireland day 0926. Thursday 11 April 2024- From Wales
Today’s summary The ferry from Fishguard to Rosslare today was cancelled so I had a 4 hour drive right through Wales to catch an alternative sailing from Holyhead to Dublin instead. All fairly straightforward but a bit tiring. Had time for an early lunch at Plas Newydd en route. Val took the train to Bristol to see relatives then flew to Dublin in the evening. I met her from the airport (her flight was half an hour late) after I’d completed my sail across the Irish Sea.
Today’s weather Heavily overcast with occasional fog. Some heavy rain later in the afternoon while at sea. Light southerly wind. Appx 12c
Today’s overview location
(The green mark shows the location of my route)
Close-up location
(The orange line shows where I walked)
(Click button below to download GPX of today’s walk as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
Plas Newydd pre ferry

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

Yesterday I got one of those “we regret to have to advise you that your ferry has been cancelled” text messages that we all dread and which have to potential completely to screw up your travel plans.

Anyway, with a bit of hasty googling and a phone call to Stena (who were very helpful actually) I managed to transfer to a sailing from Holyhead to Dublin instead of the planned Fishguard to Rosslare. So the journey back to Malahide was north on dry land then west across the sea, rather than west across the sea then north on land, as originally planned. In the end, it didn’t make too much difference to the timing but the drive north through Wales on the A487 is much harder than the equivalent drive through Ireland on the M11.

To complicate matters further, Val had decided to visit family in Bristol today, and then to fly back to Dublin later in the evening. So she needed to get a train from Fishguard just before 8am, in order to make sure she was at Temple Meads in time for lunch. This all meant that an early start from our friends’ cottage in Abercastle was called for this morning.

I dropped her off at the station and then knuckled down to tackle the 3½ hour drive through the entire length of Wales up the A487. It isn’t a particularly easy route but it does take in some interesting spots like Machynlleth (centre for alternative technology), Trawsfynydd (nuclear power station) and Caernarfon (castle) which helps the time pass quite quickly.

I made it on to the island of Anglesey by about 11:30, which left me plenty of time to complete the final 40km / 25mi to catch the 1445 ferry. So I turned off the main route and headed over to the National Trust property at Plas Newydd which is our “go to” destination when en route to or from Ireland.

I got an early lunch in the café then had a wander round the beautiful grounds which border the Menai Straits. After my rejuvenating break from the car, I completed the final leg to Holyhead, where the Stena Estrid was docked and waiting for me. So I drove straight onboard and we actually set sail a few minutes early.

I decided I needed a bit of R&R after the stresses and strains of the journey so upgraded to the Stena Plus lounge which I thought, on this occasion as a special treat, felt like money well spent. The crossing went smoothly enough – aided no doubt by the cups of tea and plates of biscuits which come “free” with the Plus option.

Once back on dry land, I headed up the M1 to Malahide and the flat. But no sooner had I arrived than I was back out again, to pick up Val from the airport after her flight from Bristol.   Her travels worked largely successfully, though the flight back was delayed by half an hour.

So in the end, it all worked out well, which is pretty remarkable considering the number of moving parts which all had to align. It’s been a great break, despite the various hassles, in a beautiful part of the world, and it was good to have the opportunity to meet up with friends and to create some new shared memories.

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Plas Newydd house with the Menai Straits and the Britannia bridge beyond On the steps up from the coast to the Italianate garden
Looking to the house from the Italianate garden There is a dolmen (cromlech) in the grounds of Plas Newydd house.  It’s thought to be 4,000 years old, though the Victorians may have tinkered with it
Welsh Rarebit and flapjack at Plas Newydd felt well deserved after the long drive Vivid tulip decorating the pathside
Unusually, I had to park on an upper deck on the boat, facing backwards.   Part of the deck was outside and exposed to the elements.   Fortunately the Trusty Yaris was safely tucked up inside
Interactive map

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )

Total distance: 2689 m
Max elevation: 38 m
Min elevation: 3 m
Total climbing: 94 m
Total descent: -94 m
Total time: 00:41:02
Download file: Pre-ferry-walk-compressed-corrected.gpx

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