So off we went from Roslare and headed south to Waterford and the mouth of the river barrow where we crossed on a short car ferry to Passage East. We decided that the village provided a good spot to set up camp. We absentmindedly ignored the ‘no overnight camping’ sign because Paddy insisted no one would care and that the Irish all have a tendency to not do as they’re told anyway. I had been invited for a Skype interview scheduled for a few days time so Paddy offered to set up camp and cook dinner while I spread out over the picnic table and started researching and note taking.
It was a stunning evening and we woke up early to another killer clear blue day. With a 6:30am start we were well on schedule to reach Dungarvan by mid-afternoon where we were meeting up with Paddy’s parents for dinner in a fancy restaurant called The Tannery. They had also booked us into the luxurious hotel opposite and we had a lovely evening with them.
The next morning we needed to get to Cobh but after our lazy start a bus was needed to help us along on our way. We got dropped in Midleton just north of Cobh and Cork and met a friendly Dutch family who were also cycling around Ireland for three weeks. We would stop in Cobh for four days staying with Paddy’s uncle and aunt Ger and Christine and catching up and meeting lots of Paddy’s family. Cobh (formally known as Queenstown until 1920) is a lovely city, which sits on its own island (Great Island) in Cork Harbour -the second biggest natural harbour in the world (after Sydney). The town tumbles steeply down all the way to the water’s edge where a long high street runs the length of the town full of shops, restaurants, pubs and small fishing harbours. The harbour is so large and deep that cruise ships, car carriers and naval vessels are able to berth right alongside the town’s long quay. So the water is constantly bustling with little boats and slow moving cargo ships. The town is famous for it’s emigration legacy – it was Titanic’s last port of call before it’s infamous maiden voyage.
We had a fantastic time with Ger and Chris, they are super company and we enjoyed our evening sea swims and wholesome dinners. Chris owned her own hair salon for many years so I enjoyed a haircut on our first evening too.
The next morning I had my job interview over Skype and we headed into Cobh where the internet speed is better. P’s aunt Miriam and uncle Danny had kindly offered their house up for me and after I was done Ger and Christine took us into town to take my mind off the ‘result’ later that day. Cobh town centre was heaving as the whole town was celebrating what has become to be known as ‘Australia Day’ – The day when the biggest Australian cruise ship docks in the harbour and 2000 Australian tourists pour out into the shops and pubs. At 4pm I got the call to say I’d got the job and with no further excuse needed we all piled into the local pub for a few ‘scoops’. Miriam and Danny joined us a bit later and it ended up being an hilarious night with much dancing to live music and Chris getting the whole pub singing…