Isle of Man

Yesterday I went on a ferry to the Isle of Man.  This is an island between England and Ireland.  It has a red flag with three legs on it.

First we went to a big red waterwheel.  It was called Lady Isabella. It was huge and I got wet when we were climbing to the top.

Then we went to a Victorian house.  There was an activity trail and I got a ladybird backpack with a skipping rope, a magnifying glass and a kaleidoscope in it.  We had to go around the garden and find different animal pictures. There were also real sheep that were brown and had lots of horns (Devil Sheep! – Ed.).

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Today I went to a beach and Peel Castle.  On the way we had an ice cream and a magician served it.  He did two magic tricks. He made a pen lid appear in his ear, and a rubber band pass through another rubber band!  Peel Castle was very old.

Then we went to the Sound where we saw the Calf of Man (a little island) and we saw seals in the water!

Then we went to Castletown and saw Castle Rushen. The castle had lots of fake people set up from the past.  In the Medieval room there were lots of tapestrys on the wall and we saw people eating a peacock.   They used their fingers and stale bread for plates.

Tomorrow we go back to England.

 

Ballygally

Yesterday the car was broken (a mere flesh wound, Ed.), so we had to take it to a Landrover Spares place.  After it was fixed we went to the DARK HEDGES. (scary voice).

The trees were all shaped differently and were funny.  The sign said it was the 5th best, beautiful tree tunnel in the world. They were beech trees and are about 200 years old.

After this we went to the Giant’s Causeway.  The stones had 5 or 6 edges and are made of basalt, which is heavier than a cube of chalk.  We walked to the causeway and could climb on the stones.  It was fun.

We had a pirate lunch at The Smugglers Inn. I had sausages, beans and mash, and it was called the ScoobyDoo.

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Then we went to Ballygally and stayed at our friend Rob’s house.  His house was amazing. It had a stream running through it, a trampoline, 3 different swings and a mud kitchen.  My favourite was the bucket swing, and I liked the mud kitchen.

 

To County Donegal

Hello.

Yesterday I went to Kylemore Abbey. It was all very beautiful.  It was an old girls boarding school run by nuns.  The school has closed but the nuns are still there.  There was lots of old stuff, like priests robes.

There was a big walled garden with lots of flowers and vegetables.  The flowers were arranged in shapes. There was even a snorty pig.  We also saw a bird smashing a snail shell to eat the snail!

Then we walked up another cliff, called Slieve League.  It was a big hill and we had to walk all the way up.  But I got a hot dog at the top.  Mummy and Daddy shared a lobster roll.

Then we went to a campsite with the biggest sand dune!

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Aran Adventure

A few days ago, Mummy and Daddy took us on an adventure to the Aran Islands.  They are off the coast of Ireland.  We took a fast boat to get there.

When we got there, we went on a horse and carriage.  The horse’s name was Robin. Vivi and I got to drive her. It was fun.  On the drive we saw lots of donkeys, and some seals, though they were far away.

We went to a fort called Dun Aonghasa.  It was 3000 years old.  It had big stone walls at the top of a cliff.  It was scary because it was the cliff was very high (87m) and at the bottom was the Atlantic Ocean.  Daddy saw a huge sunfish.  People use to live there.

Then we went back to the town for an ice cream.  The beach had lots of crabs and shrimps and little flatfish.

On the boat back to Ireland, we saw some dolphins.

It was the eighth best day ever.

Build Update from Galway

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So… due to circumstances out of our control (i.e. Phil had a rather bad reaction to some jabs that we need for Africa) we ran out of time to complete the landrover build before heading to Ireland. We have only got one of the steel bumpers mounted, the winch is bolted but not wired in, the replacement sunroof visors aren’t fitted, the “light cannon” spotlights are languishing in the garage, and the water tank and filter set isn’t fitted either. Still lots to do once we get back from this trip!

However, the Taniwha is running pretty well, with just the expected moans, groans and niggles that settling into a new chassis and bushes entail (a bit of tightening up to do I think, plus one wheel hub needs replacement).

We have been spending a lot of time talking over packing strategy and modifications we need to make to the way we are doing things (nothing worse than a handful of felt tip pens shooting forwards off the day fridge and ending up under the pedals…)

Speaking of the day fridge, we have had a disappointing experience with our “old” Ironman 30l fridge.  A few days befiore heading off on this trip, it started madly freezing everything while insiting the temp was 11+ degrees…  clearly the thermostat has failed. It’s under warranty still, so we will get it fixed, but will not trust it for Africa.  We have sourced a replacement (36l SnoMaster) which is South African, and is the same brand as the big fella in the boot.  The Ironman will be sent home in disgrace in Margaret’s car.  We are also rather disappointed with the PVC “truck awning” cover for our rooftent – the seams in the corners are splitting, they are only single stitched.  Lazy design. Easy to reinforce – we will sort it before Scandinavia – but it’s highly irritating –  products designed for offroad should be better thought out.  Time for a shitty email to customer service methinks.  (Nakatanenga, Germany, if anyone is curious).

We have been really lucky with the weather so far – a few spots of rain today, but the sun is back out again.  Off on a daytip to the Aran Islands tomorrow…