Ireland 2019

Lauren and Gareth's Wedding

Owen and Julie in the UK

France 2013.


Photos 1 Photos 2 Photos 3

May 19. Phil kindly took us to the airport and we arrived as is our usual want, much earlier than necessary. The flight was delayed about 20 minutes due to the late arrival of the inbound aircraft, but that's not too bad. It was a good flight and we managed to have a 3 seat row for the 2 of us, so that made it even better. Arrived in Singapore pretty much on the scheduled time and went to the iShop Changi booth to claim 2xS$20 vouchers to spend in any shop except food outlets in the terminal. Changi Airport terminals are huge. We found our way to the Transit Hotel and checked in. Good room. Had a Whopper each from Burger King for dinner. We like to taste the local culinary delights when we travel. Went shopping and spent the S$40 on a dual car USB charger which we could probably get for $8 online, but it is high powered and we have a use for it, so we didn't waste the freebie. Crashed about 10pm.

May 20. Slept well and we were ready to take on the 14 hour flight to London. A light breakfast in the terminal before we went to the gate which is just as well, because this flight was delayed an hour. Again we got 3 seats between us. It would have been a horrible flight if we didn't have the extra seat. Still felt cramped as it was. Arrived in London later than advertised as one would expect. The best part was going through Immigration. We now have Smart Gate access and we went through in a matter of minutes, rather than the 30 to 60 minutes it used to take. From there we picked up our luggage and walked out. Got the express train to Paddington Station and made the 5 minute walk to the hotel. Too easy. The hotel is very good for the money. We managed to get one with 2 double beds so plenty of room to spread out. Dinner tonight at a local Pizza place. Neither of us were hungry, so we shared one.

May 21. Continental breakfast at the hotel with light entertainment by a French girl putting a croissant in the travelator type toaster and having it catch fire. We then walked in to Bayswater to sort out some bank stuff with HSBC and to get a data sim for our MiFi unit. Back to the hotel to download Game of Thrones final episode! Met up with Peter and Margaret for lunch at The Victoria pub. A nice quaint pub. A good catch up. Later in the afternoon we walked along the canal that runs through Paddington and walked to "Little Venice". We wanted to go to Rembrandt's Garden, a small park on the other side of the canal but couldn't get to it due to the area being cordoned off by the police. I asked if was anything serious and was told it was a stabbing, and a serious one at that. Nothing like a little excitement in our lives. Light dinner somewhere nearby tonight before picking up the van tomorrow. I confirmed that it was ready, although they haven't been able to get it washed. They will try to get it done before we pick it up but it's not that important in the grand scheme of things.

May 22. Still getting up early, much to our chagrin. 6am has never really been our thing. We had breakfast at the hotel, packed and walked to Lancaster Gate tube station. It was about 9 when we got on the train, and we were lucky enough to get a spot at the rear of one of the cars where we could get our cases in. By the next stop, it was chockers and we would have had no chance of getting on with the luggage. By the time we changed to the District Line, it was almost deserted. Got to Cranham's about 1030 and everything was ready. The van had not been washed, but looked surprisingly good. The trailer was already hitched up for us so all I had to do was properly strap the scooter down. Accounts and Road Tax paid, we were on the road by 1130 and feeling great. Next stop, Sainsbury's supermarket in Enfield. More goalposts being changed. They now have a 2.1m height barrier on their carpark. Thanks very much Sainsburys, we wont be shopping there anymore. We did park at their service station to stock the van, but they are off our Xmas list. We were finished there by 1230 so started to head towards Holyhead, where we catch the ferry to Dublin on Friday (today is Wednesday). Drove via the M6 until we had had enough and stopped at a campsite which will leave us about 200Km to Holyhead tomorrow. We intend overnighting there to get to the port before 8am.

May 23. Left the campsite and drove to Holyhead. Very uneventful journey and have had a bit of downtime. Walked in to the village, Julie did some washing and otherwise, taking it easy. Tomorrow, Dublin.
Walked in to the local pub for dinner. Not many people around but the food was excellent.

May 24. Up early again! Got to the ferry terminal with plenty of time to spare. There was no immigration check prior to departure so I assumed it was a "soft" border. The ship we were going on was the Stena Superfast X, which we foolishly assumed was a fast ship, but its name was just that, not a descriptive of its performance. It was an excellent crossing, the water was almost calm all the way, so very smooth. After departing the ship, we were randomly stopped and asked our nationality. I said Australian, and we had to pull aside. The lady was very good and simply stamped our passports and we were on our way. The traffic around Dublin was diabolical. Tomtom kept changing routes as we went, allegedly to find a quicker way (there is a Spice Girls concert on tonight at Croke Park). We finally got on the M1 and it was good after that. We had chosen to go to a town called Rush about 30Km north of Dublin. About 2 Km out from the town, we pulled into a parking lot and were looking for a suitable campsite. A lovely local couple, probably around the 80yo mark, stopped to see if we needed any help. I told them where we were from and what we were looking for and they suggested the North Beach Caravan Park, and that we should also go to the Harbour Bar tonight as they have good entertainment. Sadly, Julie hurt her back this morning (I even had to make the porridge for breakfast, it was that bad) so we won't be hitting the pub tonight.
I got the scooter off the trailer, I had already started it on the first night while it was still strapped in, which never ceases to amaze me when it hadn't been used for 10 months and fired on the first go. The battery had been disconnected but not charged at any time. I took it for a ride in to the town to make sure the battery gets more charge. Remounted the scooter because we will head towards Belfast tomorrow. Not sure if we can get into either of the two local sites so we will find out tomorrow what we do.

May 25. We couldn't get in to either park in Belfast, so we booked for the following day for 3 nights. To fill in the time, we decided to check out the Mountains of Mourne. The weather was not good, low overcast sitting well below the hill tops, but that didn't matter. We did the coast drive for half the distance, turning inland at Kilkeel, and driving through the mountains. Very scenic. I had our destination, a farm based caravan park, in the GPS. As is Tomtoms want, it chose as many narrow lanes as it could, just to save a few metres. Had a few interesting moments but nothing drastic. The local farmer who couldn't get past me kindly reversed up far enough for us to pass each other. He was driving a massive tractor. Finally got to the Lakeside View caravan park and set up camp. Nice spot, but the amenities were very average. Some of the worst showers I have come across so it was good we were only staying one night. The Irish people we have met on this trip have been unbelievably helpful and friendly, shame we have so much trouble understanding them. I had better luck with the Highland Scots.

May 26. It was a very windy and wet night last night, much to the chagrin of the tent dwellers, but we were OK. The forecast is for more wind and rain for the next day or so. After some intense study of Google Maps, I planned a way to Belfast that kept us on moderately main roads so it was an easy drive to the campsite, except it was poorly sign posted and not exactly where its address would indicate. Overshot on the first attempt and did an extra 4 or 5Km before I could find a spot to turn around. Found it on the second attempt. It is an automated campsite. When I booked online, they sent instructions including the pin code to enter the site, access the ablutions and even the password for the site WiFi, along with our pitch number. There is no one in attendance which is most unusual. Still, it is perfectly fine. Walked to the local shops for some supplies and found out how and where to get the new "Glider" buses in to the city. Dinner at home again tonight. It is still windy as anything. Tomorrow, we will hit Belfast city and do the Titanic display. All reports say it is something really special.

May 27. Our first day of really doing the tourist bit. We took the "Glider" bus in to the city. These buses are articulated and look more like a tram than a bus. They have their own express lanes so they are quite quick. Today is a Bank (Public) Holiday, so most of the city was closed. However, the Maritime Mile along the river was alive with the Maritime Festival that was only for today. We did the Titanic Experience which is Belfast's biggest tourist attraction by a long way. We got the Seniors discount which is always a bonus. We have to say it was pretty impressive, very well done. It was an interesting insight into life in Belfast at the time the Titanic was built there as well as all about the ship itself. We live in good times now, life then was far from a bed of roses. We feel so privileged to live when we do and where we do. Always good to have a reality check.
After the Titanic, we went to the Game of Thrones travelling exhibition, a 5 minute walk from the Titanic. That was also very well done, especially if, like us, you have watched every episode. Much of GoT was filmed in Ulster so they had the honour of hosting the first display. We enjoyed it. Caught the Glider back to the campsite, well, to within a Km of it anyway, and walked the rest. Today has been cold and intermittently wet but we managed OK. The forecast is for slightly higher temperatures (today was max 13C) so we have our fingers crossed.

May 28. OK, so today may have been a degree warmer, but the windchill factor is significant. At least there was no more than 5% chance of rain, and that turned out fine. We bussed in to Belfast and went to the Tourist Office who were very helpful. Planned our day around it and it worked well. First was about a half hour sorting out paperwork with HSBC bank, then we went to the scene of the worst of "The Troubles" in Belfast. We did the Protestant area, the peace wall and then some of the Catholic area. Still hard to believe we could have these religious wars in the late 20th century. There seems to be a fine line between civilisation and barbarism. Back to the city, took in a 360 degree view from the top of Victoria Square shopping centre and then lunch at the Crown Liquor Saloon, an old Victorian era pub. What a great place too. Julie had a half pint of Guinness and didn't quite finish it. Off to the City Hall, a brilliant old building beautifully maintained. Next, Belfast Cathedral. I let Julie do that on her own while I checked out the Northern Island War Memorial (museum). It was a little scant, but I still learned something new. Back to the camp again both exhausted by the 20,000 steps we each took! Tomorrow, we head north via the coast.

May 29. After breakfast and the clean up, we drove to a carwash we had seen from the bus not far from the campsite. Our van had not been washed for about a year and though it wasn't disgusting, there was quite a lot of moss and other green growth on it. The guys did a great job, especially seeing it was in light rain. We took the A2 along the east coast. We were going to see the castle at Carrikfergus but the carpark was closed while they set up for a carnival, so we kept going. Next stop was a marina village of Glenarm where we had a walk around and lunch. Plenty of parking for vans like ours made it even more pleasant. The Causeway Coastal Drive, which goes from just outside Belfast to Londonderry is very picturesque. It would have been stunning in sunlight, but we didn't see any of that. The weather was grey, drizzle and light rain, and cloud base of about 1000 feet at best. It was still pretty though. Worked our way up to the Rope Bridge, a major tourist attraction on the north coast. We got in for free using our Aussie National Trust membership, so that saved us £18. The bridge itself was much shorter than we expected but it was OK. The coastline around it was interesting and again, would have been stunning in sunlight. We did get lucky with the rain, it held off the whole time we were there and started again as soon as we were leaving. Drove on to Portrush where we were booked in for 3 nights at a caravan park. The place is huge with well over 500 "statics" or transportable homes. About 30 pitches for touring campers like us, and we are the only ones here. They have this crazy rule that no motor cycles are allowed on the site, although we could have taken ours on as long it stayed on the trailer. We have stayed in 200 to 300 campsites in UK and Europe and this is the first to have such an insane rule. I had to get it off the trailer and chain it to a lamp post outside reception. Ludicrous. They also said the town was only a 10 minute walk away and I would like to meet the person who can walk 3Km in 10 minutes. All that aside, we did walk in to the town for dinner at the Harbour Bistro and Bar, a place that has been recommended to us in Belfast. What a great spot. Roaring fire for the woodfired dishes that warmed up the whole place. Best we had felt for a week. Julie had woodfired salmon and I had a half roast duckling. Really good. We took a cab home which was worth every bit of the £6. The rain was still coming down.

May 30. Despite the weather being pretty horrible, we are managing to do well with the short breaks. Today we scootered to The Giants Causeway, about 12Km away. We got a little damp on the ride, but not too badly. Another National Trust site, so we did well again. I have seen many photos of the Giants Causeway, and I was a little surprised that they were much smaller than I expected. That does not mean to say we were disappointed, just that they were different to our expectations. The interesting thing with these rock formations is that they are mainly hexagonal in shape We have seen similar sorts in the Pilbara but they were mostly cubic. Like the rope bridge yesterday, the whole event was probably highlighted by the coastline in general. Quite spectacular. Also like yesterday, the sky is an overcast grey, so any photos will simply not do it justice. Wonderful land/sea scapes though. We got rained on a bit during the visit but nothing too bad. We then went in to Bushmills town to visit Bushmills Distillery, makers of the famous Bushmills Irish Whiskey. We did a tour of the site which finished with a tasting of only one whiskey. Julie opted for the hot toddy, so hers didn't count. I had the 12yo whiskey. Because of the different barrels used in the aging process, I actually prefer the 10yo. Much smoother. I'll stick to that one and the fact that it is quite a bit cheaper doesn't hurt either. Headed back home for lunch and just beat the rain again. More rain in the afternoon and when it broke, we rode in to Portrush to look around the town in the daylight. Very much a Blackpool sort of place, catering for the summer tourist trade. Did a bit of shopping then home for drinks and dinner.

May 31. The weather forecast is not good but there is a 3 hour window between 10am and 1pm. We thought we should use this as an opportunity to see Dunluce Castle, only about 2Km away. As it turned out, the forecast was wrong but we did it anyway. Dunluce castle has an interesting history and is one of the oldest in Ireland. Sadly, as is often the way, it was a point of conflict, and everyone who fought to take the castle, decided it was better to loot and destroy than retain the building. As such, it is a ruin. Even so, it is a magnificent ruin. The setting is amazing. It is situated on a rocky outcrop with a drawbridge (not now, but it was) and would have been as defendable as anything around. Oliver Cromwell and his cronies have a lot to answer for. Stunning setting and one can only imagine just how good this place woud have been in its heyday. Sadly for us, it was raining the whole time. Like the last few days, the lack of good lighting (read: sunlight) made photos look average at best. We did enjoy the visit though. After that, we took our soaked selves back home to dry out.
Later in the day, I rode into Portrush and refueled the scooter and bought Julie another umbrella. Hers had died after only 5 years. Back at the camp, I got permission to walk the scooter back to our campsite to put it up on the trailer. Being Friday afternoon and good weather on the horizon, we are now being inudated with other campers. For the last 2 nights, we have been the only ones, now we have 7 others joined us. The upside is that the fish and chip shop at the campsite is now open, so that was tonights dinner sorted. The sun has finally decided to show itself after being AWOL for the last 3 days. If we hadn't already put the scooter up, we would have raced out and taken some good photos. C'est la vie. Tomorrow, Londonderry.

1 June. First day of summer and we finally get a bit of blue sky and sunlight. Not a lot, but a pleasant change. Drove through to Londonderry, did some shopping and went to the caravan park. It is about 8Km out of town but easily accessible on the scooter. After we set up camp we rode into the city. Londonderry is an ancient walled city. Did the Tower Museum which was very educational and were going to do the local market but being just after 4pm, they were all packing up. Had coffee at a local cafe and walked the Peace Bridge, a footbridge over the Foyle River. Rode home taking only one wrong roundabout exit and we settled in for dinner. Overnight, the weather was terrible, pouring rain and very windy. Thankfully, we are not in a tent!

2 June. The weather was forecast to be OK for most of the day. There was a Marathon being run in Londonderry in the morning so we weren't in a rush to get there. As it was, there were a lot of road closures and gridlock anyway. Having the scooter, we got as close as we could to the town walls and parked, all too easy. Walked around the city walls, which were built around 1600. Watched a few of the runners at the finish line next to the walls. Next was to visit "Free Derry Corner" and "Bogside". These areas are very catholic and pro IRA. It is not hidden either, very much on display for all to see. It was in this general area where Lyra McKee was shot dead about 6 weeks ago, during a riot. Sad to see that there is still a hard core group that refuses to join everyone else in getting along. Photos to come up soon. Back in to the city and we did a look through of the Guild Hall where they had historical displays. The history of Northern Ireland seems very complex and it doesn't surprise us that some people still hold a grudge. Rode back home and after we got there, the heavens opened, so we were again lucky. We hope it will hold up. Tomorrow, off to Donegal and overnighting in Ballyshannon.

3 June. Left Londonderry and headed towards Donegal. The weather was much the same, intermittent showers, sometimes heavy, with brief moments of sunshine. The wind has still not let up. It was a good drive. We would have liked to stop in Donegal for a look around, but parking was its usual problem. Arrived at Ballyshannon around 1230 and had a choice of pitches. If we had come yesterday, we would not have got in. The late musician, Rory Gallagher, was born in Ballyshannon (died in the late 90's) and they have an annual music festival in the town to celebrate him. This weekend was it. There are still many motorhomes and tents set up on the side of the roads here. The locals obviously overlook the normal conventions and let everyone do their own thing. The local pubs have musicians left over from the festival performing tonight. Sadly, they start the concerts at 11pm, a bit late for us. The other interesting side effect is all the old hippies that came out of the woodwork. Funny but a bit sad too. After walking around the town (they say it is the oldest town in Ireland) in the afternoon, we had a break back at camp. Then it was time to hit the pubs, grab a meal, and enjoy the ambience. We soon found out that the pubs don't do meals! We found one in the main part of town (all the muso bars are south of the river) that had a menu outside. We were taken upstairs where it was a Chinese Restaurant, actually separate from the pub. That was OK, we were the only ones dining in. It turned out to be one big social occasion with the Chinese lady running the place. She found out what we do with our travels and said it was her dream. We almost had trouble eating our dinner in between conversation! All good though. She now loves Australians, thinks we are wonderful. Sensational food so it was a good night all round. Walked home again, about 15 minutes. Tomorrow, Galway.

4 June. Woke to a bright sun shining day with no wind to speak of. We thought it was about time for this sort of weather. Sadly it only lasted until 10am. We left Ballyshannon about that time and headed to Galway. It rained almost the whole way, sometimes quite heavily. We had a fair idea where we were going to our selected campsite but not the exact address. As luck would have it, at the end of the road, we turned left instead of right but what's a few more Kms between friends. There were plenty of free spaces and we were able to choose our own pitch. The guy running the place was really nice. Gave us all the information we needed to get in to the city by bus, the times they go, where to get the return bus, best place to catch a cab from the city. Fantastic. Normally get that sort of info is like pulling teeth. We paid for 2 nights and we can stay as long as we want, so an extension is not a problem. It is still raining and as grey as it gets so we are having an afternoon off. If by some fluke of nature it improves later, we may go in to the city for dinner. If not, we will dine in.
Which we did!

5 June. Turning into a reasonably dry day. We took the bus in to Galway and I was so glad I was not driving. A big double decker bus on a cooks tour of the suburbs on the way to the city winding through narrow streets with cars parked everywhere. Every turn was tight enough to require the bus to use the oncoming lane to get around. It took nearly 30 minutes to cover what could otherwise be a 5Km trip. Anyway, we got to see a lot of Galway on the ride. The old area of the city is pedestrian only which is a huge bonus. Old buildings, some narrow lanes, buskers everywhere and the place very much alive. We spent quite a few hours exploring. Galway is a pretty city with a lot of character. About 3pm we bussed back to camp for a rest, then took the 5:30 bus back in to enjoy the nightlife. We chose a pub that had alfresco drinking and sat and watched the world go by. It was cold, but we were happy with the atmosphere. After a while, I went inside and found there was a whole lot more to the pub than the front bar. Live music, our era too. The main area was on multiple levels and the place was really buzzing. We moved inside and loved it. If you could take this pub home in its entirety, you'd make a fortune. Like nothing we have seen in Perth. We stayed for dinner which was the only downside of the night, the food was decidedly average. Later, we took a cab home, a trip of about 6 minutes and only costing double what the bus would have cost. Top driver and it capped off a great evening.

6 June. Left Galway around 11am so we wouldn't get to Doolin too early. It was only 77Km away but took over 2 hours to get there. The road, once we left the main highway, was narrow and winding. One was even a zigzag or switchback road up a steep hill. Lots of fun! Very pretty drive though. The concentration level required was rather high and as such, tiring. We arrived OK and set up camp. Nagle's Caravan Park is right near the ocean and a 2 minute walk to the pier where the ferries operate. Like anything coastal in Ireland, it is windy as hell. We booked online for the cliffs ferry at 11am tomorrow and then wandered up to the pier to check it out. We had a chat with one of the guys from the ferry company we booked with and when he found we were on the 11am, he rang his boss to make sure it was running at that time. No answer from the boss, and I said "it's OK, we are flexible". He said he wished more people were like us!
Took a ride into the local town and found a pub about 1.2Km away so we put that in the to do list for tomorrow. Dinner in tonight.

7 June. A beautiful day today. A bit of mist over the cliffs and some low cloud but both were burning off quickly. We haven't seen so much sun since we arrived in the country. We checked in with the ferry at 1045 and the same guy as yesterday said he was really sorry but we could get on the 11am but it was going across to one of the islands off the coast here first and then doing the cliffs tour. He was stoked when I said not to apologise, it's a bonus for us. As it turned out, it was. An Tra is the closest and smallest of the Aran Islands and was very picturesque. We didn't get off there, just turned around and came back, then did the 1 hour cliff cruise. All that for €13 each, and on top of that, we got a free pass to the visitor centre at the Cliffs of Mohor which would have otherwise cost €8 each. Best deal we have had for a long time. The cliffs are spectacular from both the sea and land. We rode up to cliff tops after the ferry. Again, it was severely windy on top of the cliffs. Despite that, we had a great day. Rode back via the Doolin Deli to grab some milk and then back to camp. On the way, I was slowing down for an intersection when the instict alarm bells went off. A woman walked right in front of us, so close that even hitting the brakes hard, she was next to us when we stopped. Also so close that I yelled at her from under the helmet and she heard me! She probably would have walked into the side of us if I didn't stop. Now that would have ruined our day and hers. Hopefully it scared her enough to be a little more aware next time. It does make you wonder though, at the cliff walk, there was a girl walking along looking at her phone with no concept of her surroundings. I could imagine her simply walking off the cliff because it is not fenced and the path is very close to the edge. Anyway, enough of the rant about stupid people.
Tonight we are walking to Gus O'Connor's pub for dinner and a bit of music if we stay after 9:30pm. Tomorrows plan is to drive to Killarney where we expect to stay for probably 3 or 4 nights.

8 June. Left Doolin and faced the 200Km drive to Killarney. It doesn't sound much by Aussie standards, but it is sometimes hard work here. We decided to skirt around Limerick and then came across a lovely little village called Adare. Like many of the other villages we had driven through this morning, Adare had their Saturday Markets. One of the downsides of these markets is that the traffic tends to snarl through these villages. One small town took us about 20 minutes to pass through. The big difference with Adare is that they had roadside parking suitable for long vehicles like hours, so Adare got our custom. We checked out the local market which was actually quite small, the reason becoming obvious when we saw all the local craft shops that lined the main road. It was a good break at about the half way point. We bought burgers from a van at the markets and it was a good choice. Set off again to Killarney and arrived mid afternoon. The campsite is good, but it should be at €33 a night plus €1 per shower. Being a Saturday, we thought we should take in the nightlife in the city. Julie was feeling a little stiff and sore from yesterdays efforts so I did a recce on the scooter. I soon discovered it was too far to walk and also checked out the main area we had been put on to by the young guy at the campsite.
We decided to taxi it in and back. We had dinner at Scott's pub and walked to Danny Mann's for more drinks and entertainment. I had made a comment to the campsite guy that Danny Mann's must be where Danny Boy went once he grew up. He thought that was genuinely really funny. I was surprised he hadn't heard it before. On the walk between the pubs, we came across a busker singing with a guitar. He was singing "The band played waltzing matilda" and doing a great job of it too. I dropped a Euro into his bag and said it was from an Aussie. When he finished that song, I asked if that was a Redgum song and he told me it was actually written by someone else, who's name now escapes me, but then said, "This is a Redgum one" and sang "I was only 19". Again, brilliant, so I bought one of his CDs as well. Should have bought more.
Finally got to Danny Mann's and waited until 9pm for the band to start. They were very good too and played up to the crowd. The lead guy asked if there were any Aussies there and of course, I had to say "YEAH". He then did Wild Colonial Boy and later, like Eric Gudmunsen, the busker, they did The Band Played Waltzing Matilda. It was a good night out, the Irish sure know how to have a good time. Taxied home.

9 June. The weather was supposed to be reasonably good today. Sadly, forecast and reality can be very different things. We scootered to Ross Castle only a few Kms away. This castle was built in about 1420 and had declined quite badly until in 1973 a restoration was commenced. This was completed in 1993 and it is an excellent job. We did the guided tour, which is the only way you see inside. The seniors discounts here are wonderful! The whole area around the castle is now national park and includes the lakes. We rode home for lunch in the rain, and after that, we rode to Muckross Friary. This building is officially a ruin, but parts are still pristine and others that have no roof, while exposed to the elements, are still surprisingly in very good condition. We were pleased we went. We were going to go to Torc Waterfall but the heavens opened again so we went home instead. Dinner in tonight. Tomorrow, we are doing a Ring of Kerry bus tour. No way I want to do it in the motorhome.

10 June. Woke to a foggy morning but offset by a very good long hot shower. Yesterday, the water was tepid at best and I let the office know. They said they would fix it and they did. Well done, considering it was a Sunday. We needed to be ready to go by 0950 when the bus was picking us up from the campsite. It turned out that we were picked up by a shuttle service that took us to the main terminal. I spent an extra €10 to get prioity seating on the right side of the bus which would ensure we were on the coastal side the whole way and also up the front so we could get out early at each stop. Was it worth it? Probably not. The driver was very entertaining and informative as well as being a good driver. The only down side of a tour like this is that we stop at the tourist traps along the way, not that we had to participate, and I understand the local need for it, but not something we would have done on our own. All that aside, the scenery was magnificent. The day had started as a blue sky after the fog burned off and there was still enough to make it pretty special. Blue sky means blue ocean and green hills, something that has been sadly missing at many places. We were very happy with the Ring of Kerry and we could have done it in the motorhome in the same direction the coaches used, but to be honest, I'm glad we didn't. With lakes, hills/mountains and great coastal scenery, we were able to see all that without worrying about the road. We and four others got dropped off at the campsite from the main bus on the way back so that was good. Arrived home around 5pm and were planning to visit Torc Falls if the weather was still good. It started to rain on the last section in to the city so we decided we would pass on that. After we got home, it poured down, so there was no chance of getting out again. We have paid for another night here which will make it four all up. Killarney is worth the time spent here!

11 June. Not a bad day again, a few showers about but nothing significant. It was cold though, particularly on the scooter. We rode to Torc Falls which to our delight, didn't require a too rigorous walk or climb. They were good falls without being amazing. From there we rode to Muckross House and gardens. The only way to see the inside was another guided tour which was OK. Admission to places in Ireland are very reasonable, even more so with the seniors discount. The house was originally built in the 1830 and though that doesn't make it particularly old here, it has had an interesting history. Queen Victoria even spent 2 nights there 6 months before Albert died. The gardens were more a park compared to what you would see in England but the setting was excellent, being on the shores of Killarey lake. Back home for lunch. I did a shopping run to Lidl's and filled the scooter.
We taxied in to town again for dinner and entertainment. I caught up with Eric the busker in the same place and bought the rest of his CD set. He is very talented and really knows how to work the crowd. He was impressed that we met up again. Dinner at another pub but we were too close to the duo performing which didn't help my ears much. Popped in on a couple more, had another drink in one and stayed for a while. Chatted with a couple of American women who had sufferred a few setbacks with their trip, mainly missing connections, but had a good time with them too. Many Americans come to Ireland, not least because it is very close for those on the East Coast. All the ones we have met have been good, not an ugly American amongst them.

12 June. Time up for Killarney and time to move on. We headed for Blarney Castle, having decided not to go to Cork. Blarney is very close to Cork, but we had to see the castle and the Blarney Stone. I did my due diligence on which route we would take, comparing Google Maps with Tomtom. I thought I had it planned well as the two seemed to correlate. We ended up driving more than half the distance on L roads (I am sure L means Lane). While it wasn't too bad, the road we took was at times narrow and very rough. Tomtom kept wanting to take us from R (regional?) roads back on to L roads and we resisted those overtures. Turned out we overshot Blarney by 5Km or more but at least the final part in to the castle was relatively uneventful (which means we didn't hit any stone walls or other vehicles). Once we parked (I had emailed the castle and found we could park up with the tourist coaches), I checked the scooter and everything seemed ok, bar a couple of loose straps which I tightened, when I noticed the mat that we had to protect the seat from damage with the locking bar was missing. That means the poor scooter was under considerable duress on the trip, so much so that the normal pressure of the seat clamp was insufficient to stop the mat from being torn between them. Bit of a worry, but the road was hideously rough.
Once we got to the castle, we managed to park the motorhome and went in. We were told that there was a 90 minute wait to get to the Blarney Stone, at which we said, we didn't care, we only wanted to see the castle. What we weren't told, was that the castle and the stone are one and the same. So to see the castle, you had to join the same queue. To cut to the chase, the castle is actually just a shell (looked amazing from the outside) and the only attraction once you get inside, is the Blarney Stone which is right at the top of the castle. The climb up is via a tight spiral staircase and you don't stop until the top level. You then walk around the edge of the top level, kiss the stone (we passed on that) and then walked down again. Sure, you could stop on each level and see a stone room which was the same every time, but the reality was, it was all about the stone. If we had known beforehand, we would not have bothered queueing for an hour and a half to do something we didn't want to do anyway. Ces't la vie. The only real downside of all that was we got to Blarney House (part of the complex) 15 minutes too late to go inside! It was only open between 10 and 2. Gripe there, lack of detail from the ticket office. Poorly managed customer relations. Anyway, in a perverse way, we enjoyed our visit to Blarney Castle. The gardens were very good and some of the features like waterfalls give it a good finish. Some caves too, but they were getting far too below my headroom for comfort.
We left Blarney and took the motorway (what a delight after the morning) to Cashel, home of the Rock of Cashel. The campsite we are staying at is very small, only room for about 10 sites, but is right across the road from not only the Rock, but also abbey ruins in the paddock next door! Tomorrow should be a lot of fun.

13 June. We slept in for the first time in a long time. 0850 we woke up. Usual morning routine and we walked up to the Rock of Cashel. We got free entry from the campsite as part of a local business initiative and that saved us €16 which brought the camp fees down considerably. It was cold, very cold, and with a light drizzle, though the visibility was reasonable. By the time we got to the top of the hill where the Rock sits, it was misty and the drizzle was a bit heavier. Still very very cold. We did a self tour of the complex which was pretty amazing and paid €3 each to do a guided tour of the chapel. That was informative but a bit painful. Half of the time was spent outside in the cold and drizzle being told about the architecture ad nauseum. Inside, it was one small area which has been restored. Interesting but hardly amazing. The Rock of Cashel is a real spectacle, but like many such sites it has become a tourist mecca. Crowds of people literally by the busload. We did enjoy it, but were pleased to walk home, about 300m, and have a hot drink and lunch. After that, we went across the road to visit a 13th century Abbey ruins. It is stuck in the middle of a cow paddock and as such, we had to really watch our step going to the site. This place was less spectacular than the Rock but was far more satisfying. There were very few other people around and we could walk all over the place. This sort of place fills you with awe. You can almost feel the history. We have come across similar places before, and they are often the best experiences. How these structures would have been like at the height of their time tends to inspire the imagination. We loved it.
After that, we walked in to the town, less than a Km away and did a small shop, including a "fitness mat" which I will cut down to replace the scooter mat that went missing yesterday! Back home for a night in. Tomorrow, we head to Waterford (actually Tramore about 15km south) for 2 nights, then 2 nights in Kilkenny and another 4 in Dublin before we ferry to Holyhead. Rare that we do this, but the last week is fully planned!

14 June. The weather this morning was miserable, ops normal. We left Cashel and headed to Tramore which is the closest place we could find a campsite to Waterford. It is about 15Km away. We did a detour to go through Tipperary. As can be expected, it's a long, long way to Tipperary, it's a long way to go! Because it was constantly raining, we didn't bother trying to find a parking spot and have a look around. However, our impression of Tipperary was that the locals had a lot of pride which was shown by the way they looked after their homes and gardens. Pretty town. I had planned this drive meticulously so we stayed on major roads the whole way. We even paid a toll to cross the bridge in Waterford (only €1.90, which seems to be the standard toll in Ireland) and got to the campsite in Tramore without any hassle. We got some info from reception there and after setting up, we walked into the town. Tramore is a typical south coast holiday resort, much like Brighton. Half the town is old village, the other half is a side show entertainment. The old part is pretty cool. We planned to go back into town for dinner and a pub with music but after getting home around 1530, the rain did not let up. Julie cooked dinner and we played a few games, watched a bit of TV and we will turn in soon. We did the dishes in lukewarm water. Irelands caravan parks have been rather disappointing. As a camper, the one thing you really want is hot water, be it showers or washing up, and it seems to be something in short supply. This holiday has been good despite the weather, but the camping facilities have been scarce and inadequate. We found out today that there are just over 100 caravan parks in Ireland. That is about 400 short of what is required.

15 June. We woke to a beautiful sunny day. Then when we both had cold showers that cost €1.50 each, our mood was a little more sombre. We complained and they let Julie use one of the "statics" for a shower with its own instantaneous hot water, but that ran out half way through and went cold. We got a refund of our €3 and they later found out that the hot water service had run out of oil! Well, that's competency for you! Anyway, when we got back from our day out, the water in the basins was hot so I suspect they have fixed it. Sorry, but some of Irelands campsites are very third world.
Anyway, on the bright side, we caught the bus in to Waterford this morning . It was a double decker and we managed to get the front top, in fact, we were the only ones on the top. We took it through to the terminus so we knew where to get it on the way home, then walked the 400m or so back in to the city. We went to the Waterford Crystal exhibition and there was a tour in 15 minutes. At €12.50 I wasn't that interested, so Julie stayed and I went exploring. Waterford is an interesting city, with its history going back to the Vikings that settled there in 914AD. There had been locals there before that, but never in an organised community. The main historic area is called the Viking Triangle and is based on the original fortified settlement. Its history since then has been somewhat colourful and very educational. After the crystals, we did the Medieval Museum, Reginald's Tower (Named after Reginald the viking who first settled in 914 and then became the first King of Waterford) and the King Viking virtual reality exhibition which was very well done. Later in the day, we decided it was time for a drink so we had a wine at The Reg pub which just happened to be right next to Reginald's Tower. We then thought we might as well stay in town for dinner and ended up in another pub that had a barbecue ribs special. Caught the bus back at 7pm and now time to wind down. We did have a good day despite the inauspicious start and not a drop of rain fell! That's a first for this trip. Tomorrow, Kikenny.

16 June. We managed to have a decent shower this morning which was a bonus. Headed off to Kilkenny via all main roads including the M9. What a delight to be able to use the cruise control and have almost no traffic to contend with. We arrived at the campsite about 1130 which in the UK would definitely be frowned upon (before 1400!!) but not a drama here. The Irish are a pretty laid back bunch. Got the usual tourist info and set up the van. Took the scooter in to town, which is about 2.5km away and promptly got gridlocked. Kilkenny Castle which is a big tourist attraction here, and we could see why when we rode past it, had about 20 tourist coaches parked around it on the road. We will do the castle tomorrow. Today is Sunday, so there are thousands of day trippers here. Went to a shopping centre which was supposed to house a "Potato Famine" experience but we didn't think it was much of an experience at all. Based on going to markers and listening to an audio. Nope, not for us. Rode to St Canice's Cathedral and Tower. Julie did the cathedral and I did the tower, just as well, because I don't think Julie would have been too pleased with the steps. Despite my acrophobia, I walked out on to the tiny deck on the roof and had a quick look at the view and took a few photos in the wind and light rain. Headed home after that, Julie wanted to get some washing done and we didn't want to do too much today when we have all day tomorrow. Today has been my good deed day. Firstly, I had a German girl ask if I had a hose. It was a bit more long winded than that, but I got the gist that they needed a hose to fill their water tank. I loaned them our hose which they returned with a couple of Lindt chocolate balls. Later, I helped a Portugese girl who had a problem with her car. I put it down to the starter motor (hit it with a hammer, worked in the 60's and 70's) but that didn't work. There were others helping out and I left them to it. A little while later, I saw her again and asked how it had gone. No good. I asked her to turn on her headlights and they were very dim. Flat or stuffed battery, but it turned out that when someone else was jump starting her, they didn't rev the motor, so I suggested her problem was either a flat battery, dead battery, or fault in the charging circuit. She thought she had left some lights on, so I think it's a simple fix. Sadly, I wasn't prepared to move the motorhome up to help! At least she feels confident that it is diagnosed. We'll see.
We've been put on to a pub that has Monday night entertainment that is supposed to be very good, so that will be tomorrow night. Washing is now done and we will dine in tonight.

17 June. We rode in to Kilkenny at about 0930 to try to beat the rush of tourist coaches. We parked in the bicycle area right near the entrance. It was only €6 each for us seniors so it was good value. We only struck one tour group of Italians but managed to overtake them quickly. The castle has been seriously and meticulously restored and was opened to the public in the late 90's. The castle is furnished in mostly original examples and is a very good display. The outside areas are free to the public and the grounds are huge. After the castle, we did the National Design and Craft Gallery which is set in other medieval buildings that would have been associated with the castle. A long walk around the town and lunch at one of the many many bars here in Kilkenny. Checked out some of the original walls that are still intact. Kilkenny is a pretty town that has not only embraced its medieval past, it has protected the history with vigour. We rode home mid afternoon to rest up before hitting the town tonight.
We walked in to town via the canal walk which was very pleasant, but it was long enough for us to decide a taxi home would be the way to go later. We went to Matt the Miller pub for dinner and entertainment. It was, like many here, an interesting pub with lots of different areas and staircases linking many levels. The food was great but we couldn't see the band, not that we really needed to. After dinner, we thought we should try a few other bars. I chatted to the waiter about what we wanted to do and he suggested a couple of others, including the "Front Room" which we were told is pretty small. It was about 30m away so not a long walk. We went in and we were the only ones there! Felt it would be rude to just walk out, so we ordered a round. Robbie the barman was in a talkative mood so we chatted away for a while. Then Mick came in and joined us. His daughter is living in Ravensthorpe, WA, so we had a common interest there. Later, Mick's wife, Mary joined us too. All up, we had a really good session. Mick has my phone number so we may get a call from his daughter if she visits Perth. He bought us a round, so we owe him one. Taxied home about 2230. I had finally got what I wanted in Ireland, which was to yarn with the locals in a pub.

18 June. A casual start today, being only an 80 minute run in to Dublin. Probably the easiest drive we have had, despite to roadworks. An N road for about 6km then the M9 virtually right to the front gate of the campsite. This site gets a lot of mixed reviews so we had little in the way of expectation. We didn't have a choice anyway, it is the only caravan park within about 60km of Dublin, and this one is only 10km out. As it turns out, the pitches are the best we have had. Each one hedged and more than enough room for us. The facilities are dated but functional and there is a bus stop right outside the front gate. We were able to choose our own pitch so opted for one right down the back, as the site is close to a 6 lane highway. You stop here the low rumble of the traffic but it's no problem at all. Did some shopping at the local Tesco in the village of Clondalkin about 2km away then had the rest of the day off. We have 3 full days in Dublin starting tomorrow.

19 June. The bus service here is not exactly frequent. There is a bus at 0835 and the next is 1045. Otherwise it is once an hour. I can't talk Julie into riding the scooter in to the centre of Dublin (I can't blame her!) so we'll have to bus each day. It took 50 minutes to get there, and 75 minutes to get back leaving Dublin at 1700 in the peak hour. We started off from the bus terminus and crossed the Liffey River at O'Connell bridge and did some of the alleged sights and were left wondering if we really need three days to do Dublin. While II was consulting the map, a seagull on the lamppost above me decided to drop a wet one right on the map. I didn't notice until later that it also managed to splash my pants as well. They needed washing anyway. Fortunately, once we crossed back to the south side, we found things were a little more attractive. We visited the Viking quarter as Dublin like Waterford, has a big viking history. Not a lot of viking left but an interesting area nevertheless. In that area is a pub called Darkey Kellys which had been recommended to us by another traveller in Kilkenny. So, after Julie did the cathedral, we went there for lunch. Good lunch but we did have to remind them that we were missing the soup that was supposed to come with the toasted ham and cheese roll. All good in the end.
From there we went to Temple Bar, another character old area. Lots of people around and a lot of pedestrian malls which always makes ones day a lot more pleasant. We went to the National Gallery to see Julie's favourite painting, Renoir's "Les Parapluies" (umbrellas). It wasn't there, but it was at another gallery, the Dublin City Hugh Lane Gallery which was about a 25 minute walk away, sadly made longer by the helpful woman at the National Gallery marking it in the wrong place on the map. It was close, but we wasted over half a Km to get there. Big treat here was that we could photograph it, sans flash of course. When we first saw it in the London National Gallery, no photography allowed. What a winner. I was actually a little disappointed this time, I remembered it as being more vibrant in colour and larger overall than what we saw today. I put that down to the fact it was mounted higher in London and perhaps the lighting was different. Julie wasn't disappointed though and that's the main thing. We stopped off at the "Garden of Remembrance" remembering those who died for Ireland's independence. Then it was back to catch the bus home. We thought we should do an evening in Dublin and the only good time is tomorrow because the last night we need to get down early, having a pre 6am start to get the ferry to Holyhead. Tomorrow will be a late start and a night out!

20 June. We caught the 1230 bus, which picked us up at 1250 and we finally got off the bus at 1400. The bus ride here is a little painful in that it almost goes in circles getting to the city. We had a few things we wanted to do and started our route. We started with the old Customs Building, which was really fancy on the outside but not open on the inside. Next was the Irish Emmigration Museum. They wanted €14 each and really it was all about finding your relations. The only one we have is my great great great grandmother (I think I put in enough greats) but she was an orphan who was sent to Australia as an orphan bride. We didn't think any information would have been useful, so we passed on the exhibit. Next was Trinity College where the "Book of Kell" is housed. That cost us €12 each, but Julie was not going to miss it. As it turned out, the Book part was not that geat, but the "Long Room", that came at the end was worth the admission. The long room is the old Trinity Library which is still in use, but a little less so in the digital age. Over 200,000 of the libraries oldest books are there. An amazing place. I had noticed that the cataloguing system didn't have the letter J in it. We asked one of the attendants and got a multiple choice answer, but we all settled on J did not exist in Latin, as did U.
Next was Grafton Street which is a pedestrian mall which is a haven for street performers (read: buskers) who were OK, but not as good as Eric in Killarney. Then it was St Stehens Gardens (used by the "volunteers" in the 1916 uprising as a base) then Iveagh Gardens (which we suspect is pronounced Ivy) followed by a walk along the inappropiately named Grand Canal until we found a pub to take a break and a long needed drink. Rejuvenated, we walked through the rain to St Patrick's Cathedral which was closed, as we knew, but pretty good from the outside (I think I have said that before today!) and then a quick look at the outside and courtyard at Dublin Castle. This place is now government offices, so seeing inside is irrelevant. Off to Temple Bar, which is a small area of Dublin, rather than a bar. However, there is a Temple Bar in Temple Bar which was packed with tourists. We ended up in The Old Storehouse for dinner. Typical pub food but it was OK. We still had a bit of time to spare before the hourly bus so we went to the Auld Dubliner for a nightcap. I got chatting with an Austrian couple and in an unusual situation, I had to skull my wine because I was talking too much. Julie had finished hers. Made it to the bus in time and got home 50 minutes later.

21 June. We felt we had seen enough of Dublin and didn't want to walk another 10km around it today, so we had a day off. Julie did some washing, which will take the pressure off in 2 days time when we are doing the big clean up. I tried unsucessfully to get some nuts for part of the trailer. It seems they are an alien thread and diameter. I did however, get to be on intimate terms with the village of Conkalkin as I tried three different suppliers. Fortunately, what I wanted was not really important, it just would have been nice to have.
We have done our preparations for the ferry tomorrow and will be up around 0545 to get on the way.

22 June. We both had a bad nights sleep, but that's not unusual when we have to be up early. Took the long way to the docks in Dublin. The two choices were direct through the city or via the M50 ring road. Having ridden on the bus through the route we would have to take, we definitely opted for the ring road. Cost €6.10 in tolls but well worth it. We departed on time and all was good. The total stuff up was when we got to Holyhead, the PA calls told everyone to stay in their seats, why, we didnt know. When we finally got to the van, it was sitting all on its own, everyone else had left! The UK-Ireland ferry service just can't hold a candle to the cross channel services. We arrived in Holyhead (Wales) and headed toward England. We had a choice of a few routes to ultimately get to Theobalds Park, just north of London, where we do our annual clean up. We opted for the A5, basically from north west Wales to London. It turned out to be the most fantastic scenic drive we have done for a long time. The tight roads, the sharp corners, all paled into significance with the scenery. Brilliant. All this stopped as soon as we entered England of course, but the payback was we could drive a lot faster. Near Shrewsbury, we pulled over and checked to see where we could stop for the night. Chose a place near Kidderminster which turned out to be really good. We called them to see if they had a spot and they did. Nice folk and nice park. Not cheap, but what the heck. Tomorrow, we will head to Theobalds. It is about 2.5 hours away, so everything is running on schedule!

23 June. An easy drive through to Theobalds. Essentially all on motorways and the only real hold up was on the M25 just before the A10 exit, which was our exit. Fortunately, we got in the exit lane and went right through! All good at Theobalds. Julie got the washing done and I washed the motorhome and the scooter, along with taking the battery out (of the scooter). Tomorrow, we will do the last clean up and put the motorhome to bed. So far, so good, all is going well.

24 June. Last clean up done and suitcases packed. Emptied the water tanks on the van and drove to Peter and Margaret's, where we dropped off all the stuff we will be taking home with us. Next, off to Cranhams to put the van to bed. No problems there and we caught a cab to Upminster where we bought some medication for my now getting serious flu symptoms and some lunch. Train to Buckhurst Hill and Peter picked us up there. We played some Croquet on the back lawn which was a lot of fun. I won the first game! Margaret has a meeting tonight so we took Peter out to dinner to the local Toby's Carvery. All well, except for my flu.

25 June. Margaret managed to get me in to the doctors this morning at 1140. I've been getting a little concerned about flying 13 hours in 2 days time the way I was. They gave me a script for antibiotics, only because I had to fly, and I've started on them. Margaret and Julie played Croquet again after watching some youtube videos on how to swing a mallet. Tonight, it is Peter's turn to have to go to a meeting so we were going to take Margaret out to dinner at the local Indian restaurant. Sadly, I didn't even feel up to a red wine, let alone going out to dinner, so we stayed in and I got an early night.

26 June. Feeling quite a deal better today though still clogged up. After lunch Peter drove us to Woodford Station (it has stepless entry) and we got the train to Bond Street, where we walked to the Victory Services Club. We had an almost empty carriage until 4 stops to go when a whole class of primary school kids got on! We'll have another quiet night before flying out tomorrow.

27 June. Had time for a good VSC breakfast before getting a cab to Paddington Station. Took the Heathrow Express which only takes 15 minutes and drops us off right under terminal 2 which we were departing from. Through check-in and security and then only had to wait an hour to board. We prefer that to having to run at the last minute. We bought a box of tissues for me, my sinuses are still not good. Spent an our on board the aicraft before we moved, thanks to those pesky air traffic controllers holding us up. Departed an hour late but with favourable winds our flight time was only about 12.5 hours so our arrival time was only 30 minutes. That's still a long flight especially the last 3 hours. Used a lot of my tissues on the flight so it was lucky I had no one sitting next to me.

28 June. After leaving London around 1230 yesterday, we arrived in Singapore at 0810 this morning, local time. We are both pretty tired and got to our hotel at 0930. Check-in time is 1400 so I asked if they had a room available now. They said they didn't, but would expedite getting one ready for us. Good, we thought. Come 1130 and we were starting to feel sick from the fatigue, I opted to pay an extra $47 to upgrade our room for the 2 nights because they had one available. Finally got to our room at midday and promptly collapsed into bed. Woke again a bit before 1800. Fast food dinner and a bit of time at the hotel pool before Julie crashed and I walked to the Mustafa Centre, a huge cheap 24 hour shopping place about 1.5Km away. I went to look at the watches but found going through 20,000 of them a tough ask at 11pm. I crashed after a shower at midnight.

29 June. Got woken at 0900 by the doorbell. It was room cleaning and apparently our "please clean me" light was on! Probably just as well anyway because we may have missed breakfast otherwise. Breakfast was not part of our deal but they had a 2 for 1 special on, so it only cost us $12 each for brekky instead of $24. Bargain. It was a decent spread too. After breakfast we walked to Sim Lim Square to do some window shopping. When I realised we had already passed it, we were close enough to Mustafa to keep going there. This place is amazing. It is one shop but covers at least 3 large buildings with at least 4 floors in each one. The scale of the stock is mind blowing. You can buy almost anything here. Anyway, we manged to find a nice watch for me and it was only $35. Looks a lot more expensive so I'm happy! Walked Julie back to the hotel and I went back to Sim Lim Square but returned empty handed. Later in the day we took a cab to Gardens on the Bay, where there are 2 conservatoriums and many "super trees", framed trees that have vines growing up them. The cab ride was not what we hoped for. There is a miliary parade going on and some roads are closed. We ended up going twice the distance to get there and it also took well over half an hour in horrible traffic. It would hve taken us 30 minutes to ealk, but both of us are suffering with the flu and weren't up to it. After finally geting there, we walked around most of it. We avoided the payable entries, like the conservatories (expensive and with waiting times!) and neither of us felt good enough to give it its due attention. The rest of the place had been taken over with kids as there was a Kids Festival weekend! Besides that, it was pretty good. The big super trees are probably 5 to 10 years from being covered. It the moment, they look like a big wire frame with some green stuck to them. We took the MRT train back to Bugis St which, once we worked out the ticketing system, took about 5 minutes. Shame we didn't know that earlier. Back for a drink and then off to Bugis Station again for dinner in a food hall, Japanese just be different. All set now for a 0715 check out after breakfast tomorrow. Our seats are 2 together halway down the aircraft. The A330 in Singapore Air configuration is 2 4 2, so the window sides are all only 2 seats. What a bonus.