Well where shall I start? Bonzo came up from Cardiff on Friday afternoon and we parked the bikes on the drive ready for an early start, after a nice meal and a few beers of to bed around 12ish!
We were going to leave about 6am but as we were up and ready at 4am due to the hot weather we left a little early around 5.30am to go up to Holyhead to catch our ferry.
First stop was to fill up as my light was flashing on the fuel gauge! Good start.
We pulled in at Balsall Common petrol station to fill up and then headed straight down the A452 to Stonebridge, on to the M6 where after 23 miles turned off on M54 and then onto the A5 towards Shrewsbury.
When you are around this way you have to make a slight detour down the A458 to Dinkys Diner and enjoy one of their breakfast’s (it’s the law) he he.
After our Dinkys breakfast we headed back onto the A5 through Oswestry, Llangollen and into Betws-y-coed in Snowdonia National Park. (Looks familiar?)
We continued along the A5 and stopped for a leg stretch alongside Llyn Ogwen Lake where there are some stunning views of the lake as it’s nestled between the mountain ranges of Carneddau and Glyderau.
We jump back on the bikes and head along the A5 and onto the A55 and then ride over the Britannia Bridge as we enter the isle of Anglesey. Once we arrive at Holyhead we fill up with fuel as its only 10am and the Ferry doesn’t leave till 1:50 pm, we went into the port and tried to see if we could get an earlier one, but that was the next one…..bollocks.
As we already had breakfast and Rig wasn’t with us hassling us for another we went into the ferry lounge and enjoyed a coke, ice cream and a chat with a few other bikers. It was eventually time to get on the ferry nice and we found a nice window seat and had a very smooth 3 hour crossing (Bonzos glad as last time he spent it in the toilet. lol)
We arrived at 5pm in Dublin and after a bit of a struggle to get the right road we got out of the port, we even had an Irish biker stop and sent us on the right route, very friendly these Irish.
After going through the Dublin Port Tunnel and paying our 3 euro toll we continued on the M1 and turned off onto the N51 and then left on Oldbridge Lane down to the park (not where it’s marked on the GPS web site it’s the first bridge and on the left).
We got our evidence photos done at the Battle of the Boyne and by now it’s 7pm and we have yet to find a hotel so I got out the trusted Garmin GPS and started to phone around a couple of hotels that it had listed but as it turns out Ireland has changed all their telephone codes (great!) so I thought I would use my iPhone to search the Internet for some hotels and that would not let me on-line!
We were obviously looking a little forlorn at this stage but then an Irish family come to our rescue and lent us their own phone (I love this place everyone wants to help)
We found what looked like a nice hotel in Navan called the Ardboyne Hotel that was just on the Dublin Road so I booked a us couple of rooms for the night, sorted!
We got back on the N51 and headed straight to the hotel and after 22 hot and sweaty miles we arrived only to be told by the receptionist that there was no room at the inn! It turns out they were mistaken after I explained that we had already booked and they did have 2 rooms for some strange English bikers.
We managed to get a nice large room and after having a nice shower and getting changed it was off to the bar for some slim line Guinness.
This is where it gets interesting there where a load of girls on a Hen night and the bride called Jacinta and she had all the gear on(!) with a badge which said Hen and me being a dumb git said what’s it for!! (plonker) after a laugh we got chatting to all the girls and had a good laugh.
The Hen party girls had some ‘Scratch a Dare’ game cards and one of them said they had to propose marriage to a stranger and there no one more stranger than Bonzo, one of the girls said she was already engaged and if it does not work out she will come looking for him.
After quite a few drinks the girls were off to a night club and asked if we wanted to go with them but as we had a early start we had to decline…..bugger would have been a good night…. Bonzo said we should have been here for the week…. he he.
We had a bar snack and more beer and then we toddled off to bed at what time I don’t know too much slim line Guinness!
I woke up at 2:30am (nutcase) and was dressed with bags packed by 4am and give Bonzo a ring and it turned out he was also awake (another sad git, he he) so down to the hotel reception to pay the bill for the room and the bar bill (who drunk all that – it must be him?????) and the bar is still full of people still drinking (lucky buggers)
We left the hotel about 5:30am and headed along the nice and very quiet Dublin road into Dublin (we are the only prats up on a Sunday morning!) and it was still warm and misty.
We arrived at the port very early (you would have thought we would have learnt) and wander in the ferry lounge.
The ferry left Dublin at 8:10am and we arrived back in Holyhead at 11.45am completing another smooth crossing, Bonzo’s was very glad.
We set off from Holyhead and back along the same road (A50 & A5) back home. We stopped for a rest and drink just before Betws-y-Coed and fill up with fuel and head home.
Me and Bonzo split up at Oswestry and he took the A483 down the middle of Wales to Builth Wells and across to Llantrisant and home to Cardiff and I have fast run along the M54 to M6 and home in time for tea.
Ferry crossing: £40 return each (Cheap or what?)
Hotel: 85 Euros (should have been 100 per night but we did not have breakfast)
Fuel: £64.07 (just mine)
Food and beer??? Who knows, could be into the thousands
Bob: 436 miles
Bonzo: 598 miles
Grim Riders Web Site
Grim Riders Battlefields Ride 2010 Google Map