So it came around to that time again, the 'big' holiday! We headed off on Monday 18th July to Mannix Point campsite, which is on the Ring of Kerry, in the Republic of Ireland. The reason I chose here is because of some fantastic reviews I found online, which convinced me that there was something special about this area that was worth exploring.
There was quite a bit of preparation for this trip, the work seemed to take most of a week before hand what with cleaning up the house, washing all the bedlinen so that it would be fairly fresh to come home to, laundry and ironing and packing clothes. Then there was the actual packing of the boot, I'd decided to take the big canvas frame tent, Stan (the man) Evans as the space would be useful when going away for longer. The grocery prices in the south of Ireland are expensive and so I was taking all my barbecue fuel, groceries and some cooked meals for the first few days. The problem with all of this of course is getting it into a hatchback, and I have to say this caused quite a bit of head scratching. I know that I'm supposed to leave a space in the car so I can use the rear view mirror, but there was no way I was able to do that in the end. I just had to hope I didn't get pulled over.
I had worked out that the journey would take six and a half hours. In reality it was more like eight and a half hours and I have to say the journey was a hard one, slightly stressful as there are two toll roads and one e-toll road where you have to call in to a garage to pay retrospectively. I was incredibly tired as I had got zero sleep the night before, due to being all excited about going on my holidays!
And then on top of all that when we arrived it was to stormy conditions, and the metal poles of the tent were damaged as we attempted to put up the large tent. We abandoned the efforts to pitch it and just rolled it up roughly to bung it back in the car. I then pitched the smaller pop up tent which is in theory a four man, so at least we were able to get to sleep that night. We had no dinner as we'd arrived quite late, and then any food we had was packed under everything else in the car. We just did without and concentrated on getting some rest as it was so late.
The next morning Mortimer, who owns the campsite, took me, poles and all up to a local garage. The mechanics had a vice and so they quickly unbent the damaged poles and we finally got to start our holiday properly.