Ok… Geez. This is embarrassing. Where do I begin?
After The Gobbins tour which is absolutely amazing, it was pretty late. My tour had been pushed back due to some scheduling stuff up. No worries from me because I’ve got my trusty steed of a campervan. I can park anywhere and sleep right? Well….. that’s debatable.
Ireland does not have the “Freedom to Roam” laws like Scotland or Switzerland and that makes it a little bit more difficult to be a campervan of courage in Ireland. Now, if my colourful little van was a white meat-wagon, I probably wouldn’t have much of an issue rocking up on the side of the road, closing the windows and having a good ol’ snooze on the side of the road. But… well… Have you seen the van? Yeeaaaahhhh…. I’m not touring around Ireland quietly.
So what happened? I left late from The Gobbins and I was tired AF. It was a pretty cool little hike and I got to wear a helmet to make sure I didn’t bump my head. That makes me look nerdy and cool at the same time, right?
I used my nimble thumbs to have a bit of an internet search on my phone to find somewhere that I could ‘camp’ aka, sleep in the back of the van with my sleeping bag on the wrestling mats with the curtains pulled. And I found a plate. I rolled up, windows down and arm out the door. I wasn’t playing music because I’m not that much of a derelict. And then there’s Lon. He was in his car and going home for the evening. It was 7pm.
Lon says, ‘Are you looking for me?’ I say, ‘I’m looking for someone!’ Then, after a bit of a chat, and a point to the spot that I could back the van up, I paid 10£ and I promptly pulled the curtains and passed out.
Flash forward 7am. It’s super bright. I put on my clothes, open the curtains, start the car and I’m off. I drive to the entrance – the gate is closed. I walk up to the gate and have a little look and ferret – it’s locked. Uh oh.
Then, a guy with his son drives up the the gate, has one look at it, and looks at me…. walks up to the office and then back to the car… and he looks at me, shrugs, gives up and backs the car up to his camp site.
I’m still sitting here. I thought.. oh, perhaps they open at 8am. It’s the weekend… So I waited. 8am came and left. During that time, a guy came by with his dog, played with the gate, it didn’t work… and he walked back to his campsite. Two ladies walked up to the gate, turned around and went back to their campsite. Then, an old guy put in his earphones, ran up to the gate, pulled it a few times, cracked the shits, and jumped over it and went for his run.
I was getting a bit frustrated. I had been sitting here for an entire hour and a half. I was looking online for opening hours, reading Tripadvisor forums and messaging friends.
My friend, Tony, gave me the mobile number for the campsite. I called. It went to voicemail. Then, he asked me… if I had actually looked and checked the gate to see if it was open. It wasn’t! I went up to the gate and saw the lock with my own eyes! There’s absolutely NO way anyone could open it without a key! Until…..
Two silver fox travellers drove past me, gave a little wave… and old mate got out of his car, gave the gate a shake and wouldn’t you know it – opened the fucking gate. My jaw was dropped – I was totally and utterly defeated. I pulled up right behind him. He got out of the car to close the gate and I was like…OH HELL NOOOO!!!
I guess there’s a valuable life lesson to learn. Whilst we can sit around and wait for the perfect moment, sometimes you just gotta get up and see if there’s another way to fix something. Sometimes it might look like death and destruction, but in actuality, if the gate does look closed, it might actually be open if you tug it.
I’m such an idiot.
An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!