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MONDAY 31st July

Lughnasadh ...long ago in Ireland at this time great gatherings of people would be held, for tribal business, sporting events and ritual purposes. the Crom Cruach was a sacrificial god associated with this time and today the last Sunday of the month is still known as Crom Dubh Sunday and also as fraughan Sunday (bilberry) on this day, many still go to gather the fraughans and thousands of people (15,000 this year) climb Croagh Patrick Irelands holy mountain. (known in other parts as Garland Sunday)

Today we are packing up the tigin for another little adventure. We are booked on the ferry to Scotland tomorrow. As is usual with us we don't have a plan , we just see where the road leads. Molly of course knows what's afoot and is keeping a close eye on the tigin which has been resting for the past few weeks.


We set off about 5pm and we spend the night in Belfast.

It was a long drive, taking about five hours with just a couple of short stops. It was a wise decision to travel the day before to avoid pressure driving to get there on time. All aboard for Stranraer and with just 105min crossing on board the HSS Stena, we were there before we knew it. Up along the coast road, which is similar to the Antrim coastline. We decide to bypass Glasgow as we are not city folk, across the Clyde which is pretty impressive. .







 Black Cab




River Clyde Glasgow

We spent the afternoon in Ayr, it is a seaside town, with nice little nookey streets and shops. It is wheelchair/taxi day with lots of colou rand horn blowing. It seems like a good place to spend the night. We stayed near the sea shore as it was a wild night and the sound of the waves was like a musical lullaby.




We explored the town next morning and sampled the local cuisine before heading for the Highlands. We had dinner on the shores of Loch Lomand. This is tourist Haven, with cruisers on the lake, enough for all.  




Just outside Fort William we rest up for the night. We are alongside Loch Linnhe. Luckily for us we are never far from a lake here. As we were preparing to leave we heard a stomach churning noise, and then a second, two air force jets were on maneuvers and flying so close to the water that they created a tidal swell. They could be seen and heard throughout the day but became less frightening to us.

We paid a visit to the tourist office as we just noticed on the map that Ben Nevis overlooks the town. Armed with all the information about the mountain, the terrain, the height (4,500ft.) we get excited at the prospect of "maybe" having a go !. But first things first, grub ! An elderly woman is coaxing passers by to try out some home made soup being served in a hall at the back of the church. How could we refuse? The elderly of the town are raising funds to refurbish their hall, and have been making soup, waiting on their customers for the last two months. The soup was second to none, with four choices, two vegetarian, for £1.50. It was the busiest spot in town, great to see people doing it for themselves.


 Loch Lomand

There was a continental market in town, and we spent some time here. Crowds are no longer a problem for Molly. We got some freshly made French bread for tea, ahh!! memories of last summer.

First glimpse of the Highlands                 Continental shoppers

So with some more thought we drove to the foot of BenNevis to make our decision. The brochure's say that it is a very dangerous and difficult climb, and not for the inexperienced unless in very good conditions. Climbers are injured every year on this mountain and its one not to be taken lightly. We spoke with the two men running the visitors center, they said that the forecast was not great, but felt that we should be able for it given the fact we had some experience and are well equipped , including GPS which they thought would be very useful at the high zig zagz to keep us from straying into the red burn or the five finger gully. Our minds were made up so we prepared for the trek and an early start. We are not sure about taking Molly, with all the warnings about the difficult terrain and the north face drops.No not today MollyAyr


4th August 06

Only 4400 ft to go

We decided to leave Molly in the Tigin but as we crossed the bridge we could hear her cry so she changed our minds for us.

It's seven minutes to seven and we take the first steps on the 4406 ft Munro, we are facing a 16km (10 miles) climb. The first few km are fairly straight forward steady climbing. Under foot is rocky but dry. We have a good supply of water with us also some fruit and chocolate a change of clothes and some first aid materials. The water quickly gets used up but there are many small streams where we get refills. This water is really nice to drink. Although it is still early we meet other climbers from Denmark a party of four complete with some photographic materials, and what a place to take pictures, already we are over the first clouds and its only 8.45. A quick check on the GPS and we are at about 2000ft almost half way, and well inside the recommended time for the accent.


Refreshing at 2000 ft




The views from above the clouds are stunning, the track that we have climbed is just visible here. To the right of this picture there is a large lake which looks enticing for a dip on the decent. The climb was the most challenging we had ever undertaken, with wild childish excitement and broad grins we seemed to take it in our stride not quite believing just where we are.


We are beginning to meet people on their decent, at first four young men, with not much time for chat, they are timing themselves and as we look back they are running down the mountain. There were fourteen climbers ahead of us on Ben Nevis this morning, some in a hurry but others had time to talk and share their experiences.






As we got nearer the top the north east face was to our left, this 2,000ft drop was the point of no return that the men in the visitors center said jokingly (or not) that they would not bother to send a rescue team if we went over here. Molly seemed to know this was not the place to admire the view. So on to the summit where the ruins of a weather station, a memorial where lots of climbers leave plaques and greetings to their loved ones also an Urn with an inscription, and an emergency shelter all contained within the crater on the summit.



Cliffs on North East face

All three made it, feels like we are on top of the world. Molly wants to know what all the fuss is about, it's just another mountain!!! It seemed like we were the only people in the world just now. For twenty minutes we were... and then a steady stream of climbers were arriving. We had our hot lunch as the sun shone for a few moments. Molly was anxious to get on the move so we took our leave. On the decent we met a couple of hundred climbers, of all ages. Some in a hurry, but most took time to talk and were glad of a bit of encouragement. Molly was like a celebrity, receiving compliments from all. The clouds were falling quickly and visibility was fading, now she became the hound of the Baskeville to some, a bear to others, as she like us, was covered in the white mist. There is no sign of the lake, it has been swallowed in the mist.

The lower part of the decent is stepped, which we now found difficult as the legs grew tired the steps seemed huge. Even Molly with four legs to her credit was glad to see the awaiting Tigin.

So we would say, have a go.... but go prepared and use common sense.


A misty summit



With a parting glance we bid farewell, well pleased with a great days enjoyment. Molly has taken to the bed and we won't be far behind her. Loch Garry is the perfect quiet place for the night. Next morning before breakfast we took a swim in the lake, beautiful warm clear water. So good for the aching calves and as we have read an advertisement for a traditional session in Dornie we hope to be fully fit.

We arrived in Dornie which is a small but beautiful village at the mouth of Loch Alsh. The publican tells us that the session is not happening as there is an American Pipe Band due to march from the Castle across the bridge to the town hall where a ceili will then take place. So it is time for our first Scottish Ceili.....


We sit in wait for the Pipe band from California, it seems that all but two of them got lost on their way from the Airport. But the show must go on....... So one piper and a drummer got the show on the road, and played a few tunes to the delight of the awaiting dancers in the village hall.

EileanDonan Castle (most photographed castle in Scotland


 The ceili was organised for the yearly visit of the Pipe band. It is mostly locals with a few visitors like us. It is a supper dance and bring your own bottle, which we were given by Nina who along with her friends made us feel so welcome from the moment we walked in the door. The dances were mostly couple dances, waltz's, two steps, a Canadian barn dance, the Dashing White Sergeant, Strip the Willow and a lot more besides. We soon forgot about our pains and aches and were on the floor until 1.30am. John, an older member of Nina's party invited us to call to his home next morning

After a good lie in we dropped in on John before leaving for the Isle of Skye. He had a lot to tell of his life in the Highlands. He drove the snow plough in his area for 20yrs, but that was when there was lots of it, nowadays they get a smattering by comparison. He did a bit of shusss...(deer poaching) in his time also. We bade him farewell with a promise to revisit if ever we come back in the region.



We heard of a traditional session in Saucy Mary's in Kyleakin on the Isle of Skle. Mary was the daughter of a Norwegian, and legand has it that she stretched a chain across from Kyleakin to Kyle to make sure that no ship passed through without paying a toll, at point of entry and earned this nickname for herself. It is a small harbour town where the Ferry used to dock before the bridge was built. The bridge was tolled until the locals formed a protest to have it abolished in 2004. We didn't stay for the session as it was a band organised for the tourists, not the taste of scotland we were hoping for. We visited Portree, the port of the kings where we found a little shop with celtic batik clothing. The colours and fabrics were irrestable so some purchases were made.






2nd Ceili

North to Ullapool where Nina had suggested we might find a Ceili, and sure enough in the tourist office window there was one advertised for tonight in Achiltibuie out on the peninsula. We were prepared with bottle in hand this time. Angus and Jenny along with their friends took us in hand and taught us the dances which we had tried on the previous occasion. The ceili's here are family affairs with up to three generations, the very young seen here, teenagers in the background, parents and even grandparents. Ten years ago the teaching of the dances has commenced in school to encourage the next generations to keep the tradition alive as competition dancing was taking over. " This is fun for all"




This remote village of Applecross is out on the western highlands, they serve locally caught fish here that is second to none. There is a high risk of fire in this area, and at various points along the road there is a type of rubber shovel for use to quench the flames if fire should start.








The roads in the highlands are mainly single track roads with passing places roughly every half km. not unlike the roads we are used to in Sligo/Mayo/ Roscommon, but without the passing places. Some of ours make these look like dual carriage ways




We head north from here to Durness( the most northerly village in the western highlands).The weather is gradually getting worse so it is time to head for better conditions.

We are running out of gas, the fitting on the Tigin is different from here. We source a supplier in Yorkshire who will send one if we have a postal address. An LPG fitter in Dingwall (near Inverness) has offered to facilitate us. So north east is our destination.








This group of young people were playing for the Ceili, as young as sixteen (third from the right). They earned their place in the band being chosen at feis's. They travel the circuit for the summer, they also sing, a couple of the lads play pipes and they played a never ending version of Arcady Strip the Willow, mighty craic... The accordion player on the left is studying music in Limerick NUI.






Having heard about the Findhorn foundation, we drove over to take a look. First impressions did not match our expectations. It has a campsite to the front and an Eco Village behind. The office was closed when we arrived so we took a walk around the village. The Eco houses were amazing and gave us food for thought. The newer ones seem to be getting bigger and bigger than the previous ones, it appears that money is no object. We thought about staying but didn't see anything to entice us to do so. Maybe we will make a return visit and reserve judgment until then.

It's dancing time again, we stopped in Nairn on our way back from Findhorn and low and behold they have a ceili starting in fifteen minutes. A quick wash and shave, and into the Scottish Legionnaires club where we are welcomed as before and enjoy a leisurely nights dancing as the age group are just that bit older. We pick up a spot prize in the form of Hamish the Teddy, Molly is not too impressed at having to share her bed. We are anxious to put our new steps into practice so when we hear that there is a dance in Croy tomorrow night a few miles away it is in our diary.....

In Croy Jimmy is snapped up for dancing here by Marian, also Pat and friends before he has time to catch his breath. Two musician's here, a beautiful accordion player, with a soft drum to back her. These were all new dances to us but no problem to Jimmy......You go there Jimmy ach aye.

Pat and her friends From Nairn organised tonight's dance and supper, they have invited us to come to their dance class on Tuesday next in Nairn, so if we are still waiting for our gas fitting to arrive we may just take them up on that. So with another spot prize of a bottle of Bacardi we head for bed on a high and exhausted.


11th AUGUST 06

Angus who works with the Scottish National Trust told us about Glen Affric, hidden away in Guisachan forest on the shores of Loch Affric. We took a 10km walk here to a waterfall after we bathed in the lake. Jimmy takes time out to practice his steps while Molly not impressed, says cut it out Jimmy and let's go for another swim.

We are tired after our walk and have our dinner. We are thinking of staying in this beautiful place for the night but while brushing Molly the midges are in a feeding frenzy so it's time to pack up and head for cover as quickly as possible. If you think Irish midges ( hairy fellows as they have become affectionately known) are friendly you ain' t seen nothing yet. It's no wonder they have invented a special netted hat and coat for protection. According to the locals there is no deterrent, just avoid them....




This beautiful Highland cow was very happy to pose when she saw the camera, unlike her companion who was having a bad hair day.

This Buzzard is a common sight on the edge of the forests in this area. It is easy to spot them as they draw attention to themselves with their mewing call. It is hard to get close for a picture as they cover ground very quickly. They favour high trees, open farmland and moorland.

Roe deer

We were so glad to find these friendly heartily fellows as we were beginning to think that the only ones were dead in ditches at the roadside having been hit by passing cars. Later a mother and a fawn darted quickly across the road in front of us but as our Tigin coughs at the mere sight of a hill they had nothing to fear from us.







In Inverness it is Marymas day and the pipe band lead the parade, where the queen is later crowned outside the town hall. There are stalls set up as it is tradition to sell local produce on this day.





Buzzards                                                                    Marymas parade

It's the capitol of the highlands but a small city. We quickly get our bearings. Parking is quiet cheap here just 80 pence for 4 hours. There are plenty of small shops and restaurants and on the outskirts the usual shopping centers


You take the highland....

                                                                The two beauty's of Beauly(or beasts !!!)

Seal skins are used in the making of the Sporran, and also leather. Day or casual wear are usually leather, semi dress wear are seal skin with a leather flap and dress/evening wear are seal skin with a pewter clan crest at the top.

This friendly fellow is drying out which seemingly helps aid digestion.

Gardening here is big time , and most of the towns are well decorated with flowers of many kinds for the Britain in bloom competition, not sure about the two flowers on the left..

14th August '06

 Organised chaos great craic

Yet another ceili, This is the one that Pat pictured here on the left invited us to, there is also some instruction on the dances which are many. They include ,the flirtation waltz, Mississippi dip, the eightsome reel, ....etc

I have finally tracked down a genuine kilt in a charity shop. It's an ancient tartan, the belt and hose are easy enough to get, the buckles range in price from £13 to £300..There are many kilt makers doing great business trying to meet the demand making new ones which cost in the region of £400.

                                                                                      we're all Celts that's for sure


Time for our second Munro , there are 284 munros in Scotland, they are mountains over 3000 feet. Its another early start, 7.30 The magical mists remind me of the tuath de danann, are they on this mountain? The whole place has an air of mystery about it as the mists appear and vanish, taking us with them to the summit where we find time to sit, watch and listen to mother earth, and of course have some food.


We reached the summit of Socach, which is also a Munro and we can see the cairn on Wyvis one and a half miles further on. The sun has come out to keep us warm at this great height. We are alone with the elements, an eagle soars overhead and bids us good morning.

Munro "bagging" seems to be a national pastime. Also tourists come from lands far away to bag as many as physically possible during there stay. We have heard of people who bag three in a day, which we now know means ridge walking from the summit of one on to the next, so its two for us today.


As is normal now we find the mountain path a friend , taking us always higher ,to a special place, a place of raw beauty and solitude. Giving us time to be alone with the One nature.

At three thousand feet the mists part and we see the small winding stream in the valley where just a few hours ago we stood alongside and quenched our thirst.

3000 ft and rising


Along the way we are very fortunate to meet a family of Ptarmigan they are a very rare bird in England and can be seen in the Scottish highlands and the Arctic. The family consisted of a mother and two wee wains. They are so graceful and beautiful, they were about 9 inches tall, their coat becomes white for winter snow camouflage. They were quiet happy to pose as, they sensed no danger from us, including Molly. Also we come across a flock of Dotterel they are shy and fly to unoccupied territory a rare sight to see .

We thank them and move on..


18th August '06.

In search of the monster!!!

Loch Ness

We seek 'im here we seek 'im there...... waiting at every moment for him to rise his head above the mist that hangs just above the Loch. Alas it was not to be!!

But wait could he be a she! could there be more than one ? we spotted this wee one who also seemed to be looking for the one most talked about.


                                                                                     Could this be....

Sunday August 20thTime now for reflection. We spent the night here at Loch Garry two weeks ago after climbing Ben Nevis. It is the perfect place to relax for the weekend. It is a beautiful private place for all three of us to take a swim in the warmth of the evening sun. With the misty highlands off to the north it is an inspiring place for a water colour in the setting sun.......Time also for tunes, with a new Salterelle to break in there is time every day to play and for Jimmy to learn new tunes Scottish ones this time.



Born celts


After much searching in charity shops and with a little help from Pat (Nairn ceili) we three head for the airport in tartan to greet our friend Sarah who is joining us for a few days. We also have a kilt for Sarah, she loved the idea so much that we sported the tartan for the duration of her stay (four days). Molly says the royal stuart is just her colour and happily smiles for the camera.

And so.... to the burning question? what does a celt wear under his kilt ? I know now, but then I'm not tellin !!!!



Kinloch Hourn

Chicken in the forest

We found a beautiful un spoilt place in Barrisdale glen, to spend some time with Sarah. This little place is a tea room/hostel run by a very interesting man called Joe, who after dipping in and out for ten years decided to stay. He made tea for us but was much in demand, as a boat was coming to collect him to take him to fix a laptop. It would be a great place to spend some time when the snow comes (who knows).


Joe's place

We hiked for a few hours in the beautiful sunshine above midge range. At 1,200 feet we were greeted by a pair of soaring golden Eagles who were playing a game of touch chase. Bearly touching wing tips, dipping, and up to begin the game again. A heard of wild stag called out a warning at 2,300 ft, they seem aware that tomorrow is the start of culling season and are keeping to high ground. Before we know it we are at the summit just 47ft short of a munro we look across at the next peak could it be just high enough to qualify? over we go, but it was an illusion, or were we delusional as it was 30ft lower. Just then two black Raven's appeared to mock us, they flew from the summit across to the further peak as if to say come on lads it's so easy. They are bigger surprisingly, than the buzzard, and can be found on mountains and sea cliffs.







This rock pool on the river made for a welcome evening dip, where earlier in the day we watched an otter dash for cover close by. Molly decided to give this one a miss as it was eight o'clock and she was ready for dinner.

Except for Joe's place the nearest house by road was a half hour's drive away. There was a seven mile hike to the end of the bay to a bothy, and it was possible to take a boat out of the bay to the other side of the peninsula. So this glen was the place for us.






Who's watching who ?

Keeping her distance at about 50mtrs this inquisitive one and Molly were playing mind games. Neither one prepared to relax the gaze until each realised that there was nothing to fear from the other. On the right here was a less fortunate one, the remains had been here for a very long time caught up on a fence post and being slowly washed away by nature.






                                Scot's pine at home

Nature at it's best with scot's pine in it's natural habitat.

Another trek for the tartan explorers. The ferns here were taller than us in places. It is a place for all who like undisturbed timewith mother earth.

Molly is happiest when being our guide.



40 foot less

We did'nt set out for the top

The lone stand os spruce and monkey puzzle,

Guarding the Loch, waved us off onto the deer stalked path,

Up into the glen, beyond the midges biting line.

There we stopped for water and to strip off into the purple heathered August day.

Above we were spied-and circled- five golden eagles, God like

Scrying our clumsy ascent.

We followed the ywisted remnants of iron fence upwards;

                                                                                                                       The life's work of some poor laird's lackey,

                                                                                                                                       Made to mark the possession of rock from rock, deer from deer.

                                                                                                                              The deer moved across anyway,

                                                                                                                               Shy spectators to our clamber cross their crags.

                                                                                                                            At the top the sky met us.

                                                                                                                            A raven tumbled through the wind and seas of mountains, tarn flecked rose all around.

                                                                                                               The water tween us ans Skye gave a wink as,

                                                                                                             Jimmy checked his GPS and stated

                                                                                                                    Not quite a 'Munro' ( we're 40' short  ) Sarah Duffy


August 24th

Strathdon the night before
We have been dodging the Highland Games for the last month, but what the hell we may never have the opportunity again ! When Sarah went home we headed off to the Lonach Games. They are held in the village of Strathdon. It has one shop, which is the post office and the off license, very well stocked. We arrived the day before the games and the place was deserted. (left picture) The poster said that the Highland pipe band would start to march up the glen at 6.30am, yea right......
                                            Sergeant James Mitchell
Well sure enough 6.30am, are we dreaming? we can hear pipers. It was games day, so we are really excited, kilts on and we are off. Young and old are in tartan, kilts trousers, sashes, frocks, skirts etc. The sun shone and the games got underway with the arrival of the highland pipe band who by now had consumed three quarters of a bottle of whiskey each from hospitality stops up and down the glen including one at Billy's Connolly's.
Approximately 10,000 people turned out for the games as it is one of the finest gatherings of games in the highlands. The numbers were surely helped along by the scorching sunshi
Celts and proud of it

The highlight for us was tossing the caber. The pole is similar to a telegraph pole which is no mean fete to just lift and hold it against your shoulder, then run and throw it with a spin to flip it over to land in the twelve o'clock position.

Mighty highlanders....

Well doesn't he look good in a kilt ? Billy arrived just before the Pipers, he has time for all, these young dancers are preparing to compete in the highland dancing competitions.

Major Forbes received a presentation from the highland games committee,on the occasion of his 90th birthday.On receipt of it he said never mind that what about a wee dram..........priorities




165th Lonach Games.

After the defeat at the battle of Culloden, when 4,000 warriors from various clans joined forces against 8,000 of a heavily armed English army, Pipe playing, wearing tartan, carrying weapons and speaking Gaelic were forbidden by the English. All who survived the battle were outlawed and hunted down.

The Highland Games are a celebration of being Scottish as much as the fun and competitiveness of the games themselves. Is was a gathering of the Highland people (10,000 today). Some travel great distances as this is a very remote area.

The energy and pride swells up in the spectators as the Lonach Pipe Band enters the games arena followed by the Lonach Highlanders, it was easy for us to identify with our fellow celts.


Wear it your way.

The pipe band lead the march with the Lonach Highlanders marching behind, a fine spectacle. Sergeant James Mitchell cycled out in front as it is tradition for the local police man to lead the parade. This is his last duty as he is retiring after the games.

Way to go James .....

8hrs later

Still standing

Highland fling/replicating the stag

August 28th

We arrived in Edinburgh for the last day of the fringe festival. These warrior dancers were really moving to the drum beat and the pipes.

It was time for "a scare at bedtime". We took the ghost tour (Auld Reekie's) around town and into the dungeon's of Edinburgh. Terry our guide "choose" a volunteer, an American witch to emphasise the search for witches to burn, she was well up for the challenge. While Terry told a scary but very light hearted grizzly account of times past it was anything but fun for the female residents of the time and if found guilty, their husbands and children were aslo put to death as coconspirators.

We walked the Royal Mile(the high street) from the Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, lots of tourist shops, the 3D Loch Ness experience and much more.

Ron Mueck an Australian sculpture had an exhibition in the National Gallery and it is amazing, not to be missed if it comes to a venue near you (our opinion).

Original garb

Street performers

August 29th

We took an over night trip down to Hadrian's Wall. The Roman Emperor Hadrian had this wall constructed over a six year period around AD 122. It was then 15' high, the parts that remain in tact are about 4'tall. Some of it has been restored. It is thought that it was built to keep out the barbaric Scottish. There were forts, mile castles, temples and turrets along the wall where all who entered had to pay tax. It is now a world heritage site, but a bit disappointing.

Rushing dam



This is the rock where Robert the Bruce took time out to rest after a long battle with the English. It is in Galloway and on the outskirts of Clatteringshaws forest. Like the Battle of Culloden the Scottish seemed to make the mistake of coming down from the hills to fight on open ground where their defenses were poor and their arms were limited. The familiar territory of the highlands would surely have served them better. We visited Murray's monument erected to a shepard boy who lectured in eastern languages. In Creetown we stopped off at the Gem Rock museum where there was a huge collection of crystals, gems and fossils from around the world.

                                                                                      Bruce's stone

August 30th

On a visit to Gretna Green on the border we discovered that weddings are still the order of the day with over 1,000 weddings there last year.

There are letters there from former times from every walk of life requesting instant marriages, some from Ireland. England passed a law that Scotland didn't heed, stating that you must be over 21yrs or have the permission of your father to marry. Ceremonies took place with fathers or brothers in hot pursuit to try to stop undesirables from marrying their daughters. If the knot had not been tied in time the couple would be ushered into a bed to deceive the parents into believing that they were too late. In the forge the blacksmith was the parson.     

Smithys anvil

Marriage room

August 31st

We couldn't leave Scotland without a visit to the Robbie Burns museum. He was a humanitarian, national hero, farmer, poet, musician, lover and international icon. In his short life he made a lasting mark on Scotland, and to this day is their best loved son

My luve is like a red red rose, Ae fond kiss, auld langsyne to name but a few of his compositions. He had a hard life working outdoors in all weathers which caused him bad health and he died aged 37yrs, he was outlived by his loyal loving wife Jean by 38yrs.

Robbie Burns

September 1st
It's time to leave ....

It has been a wonderful month and now it's time to return home, with a new box full of tunes. We feel really satisfied that we have gotten a true feeling for the country and it's beautiful people. We will return !

As they say here haste ye back..........


We found that while the country is very tourist orientated, (maybe a wee bit over done) services are available with even the smallest villages having public toilets and lots of places to pull over. It is very clean, almost rubbish free

.On the down side it is more expensive than Ireland. Food is much dearer both in supermarkets and eating out eg. lunch main course approx. £12. Fuel costs €1.60 per ltr. diesel.