We’re well over 5 weeks living full time in our campervan & it’s going good. The kids are loving it, having fun & we’re finally unwinding & enjoying our new little home. My parents bought a bus last week which they are going to convert themselves over the next year which is such an exciting project. As a family, we’ve always been fond of campervans probably since my grandparents had their Hymer which we all used & loved travelling with them. I’ll treasure those memories & experiences forever.
Last week we took off in our own campervan for a few days without our dog Buckie. Although we all missed him, it was nice not having to worry about him. He knew we were leaving without him so was sulking all day & had to be dragged out of the campervan so we could leave.
We headed west across the Passage East car ferry to Waterford for Alex’s birthday where we spent about an hour searching around Tramore for a parking spot to go to the amusement park there. Height barriers and no caravan / campervan signs everywhere. We’ve heard of towns & villages having problems with certain campers & tents recently so the rest of us have to pay for it & we have definitely felt the unwelcoming vibes in these places. Eventually we found a temporary spot outside a hotel but we had to move straight after we had a little fun on the hurdy gurdys.
We drove back to Dunmore East that night as we camped there on the quay before & lo and behold, we arrived and there was a brand new “no campers, no camping” sign on the wall at the lighthouse. We couldn’t believe it, we were tired, it was late & we were leaving early the next morning so we pulled up tight in front of the lighthouse (which Liam is the caretaker of) & slept it out.
I think Ireland may be a bit stuck in a rut when it comes to campers. Honestly, everywhere we’ve pulled up where there are campers is so friendly & respectful of the environments and always leave no trace behind them. They all say how Europe is so much more camper friendly. Almost every town and village has free camping spots with cheap or sometimes free facilities & the campers then stick around and spend money in the villages. Unfortunately it seems Ireland is going in the opposite direction.
Last weekend we headed to the All Together Now festival in Waterford set on the gorgeous Curraghmore estate in Portlaw. It was super family friendy, clean, easy to get around and there was so much to see & do. I just think they got this festival so right. And then there was the music, my favourite band the Villagers were outstanding, there was First Aid Kit, Fleet Foxes, Mogwai, Roisin Murphy, This is the Kit and we loved the smaller stages all set around the house which included the Bandstand, kids together area, comedy spiegel tent & the HotPress tent, not to mention the wellness area & the art installments!
It was Irelands first festival to ban plastic so there was lots of drinking water available all over the estate for people to refill their water bottles. It was so clean, even the portaloos were ok, until the Sunday which was the busiest sellout day. Yep that day the portaloos were pretty terrible, the kids were horrified. There was recycling bins all over the festival which everybody used properly & all of the food stalls and beer tents used bio degradeable cups and plates.
It was lovely having the camper, we left it every morning at 11am and didn’t get back to it until 11-12 at night. We were well prepared, we made our lunch, snacks & dinners up before we walked into the festival and loaded our backpacks with food, jumpers, loo roll, cans of beer & water. We intended to not spend a penny at this festival as we had everything we needed in the camper. Lucky Liam though, found €10 in the grass at the fairy area which bought the kids some ice-creams then we just had to have a go at the ferris wheel … €20 for all of us was worth it. On our way out of the festival on Sunday night we came across a beer tent called ‘Lamps lager’ & so we had to have one as Liams nickname is Lampy so 2 beers & 2 waters set us back €17. All in all we spent €37 which isn’t bad at all.
I have to mention, we were the last campervan leaving the camper field & we drove past all of the other parking, teepee & tent fields on the way out which were all had piles of rubbish. The campervan field didn’t have one bit of rubbish in it whatsoever & the field was left exactly as it was before the festival.
We left in the afternoon in search of somewhere quiet to recover & ended up ten minutes down the road at Bunmahon which was such a lovely spot & actually very camper friendly with lots of places to pull in all along the Copper coast drive. In Bunmahon itself was a gorgeous beach, cool playground, the most interesting geological garden walk with a fort & ogham stones set in the middle of it. The Geopark center is located there in an old disused church & most interesting of all the area is a global UNESCO geopark. I couldn’t believe the place wasn’t busier but I believe they are looking for ways to develop geotourism in the rural villages all along the copper coast between Tramore & Dungarvan.
We hope to hit up some festivals across Europe & our dream is to finish up this trip at Glastonbury 2020. We went to Glastonbury festival in 2010 in our first camper along with my Mam, Dad & sisters who went in our Grandads camper & it was the best time of our lives so we all promised each other that we would go every ten years. Mam & Dads bus should be well ready by then.
Now that the weekend is over, we’re back to planning and sorting things out before we head off to Europe. There’s still a few bits to fix on the camper, we have to get her through the DOE, we have to get various certificates for it for different countries across Europe (air quality certificates etc), travel insurances, sell our car, get ferry tickets, Buckies final vaccinations, kids vaccinations, fixing up a few things at the house, sort out bank stuff, manage our loans, pay our bills…oh I’m giving myself a headache just writing it I have to stop!