Cead mile failte. Or, “a hundred thousand welcomes” in Gaelic. We arrived in Ireland on Sunday 8 May without really making our van’s nickname official. And yet, the decision was made on the day of our departure. Patrick.
Since we didn’t find what we were looking for in your lovely and zany suggestions 😉 we started looking for a name that is both decidedly French and easy to pronounce for our European friends. Of course, but why Patrick, you ask? Well, it’s as easy as ABC: the van is a “California coast” model, to which surfboards were attached. Surf + California = Point Break. Point Break = Bodhi = Patrick Swayze. Patrick. It’s elementary!
So we arrived in Ireland aboard Patrick on Sunday 8 May, with a respectful tribute to its patron saint… Saint Patrick! While we the French know him mostly for his saint’s day on 17 March, a day when we drink Guinness all dressed in green, he’s known across the Channel for having converted Ireland to Christianity in the 5th century. But let’s not get sidetracked with another bad pun and instead reflect on our first kilometres on the Emerald Isle, which required a lot of concentration because Patrick has to drive on the left! We are quickly adjusting. We are taking a liking to Irish roads which are winding, at times narrow and above all, they are leading us to magnificent discoveries. Patrick focuses on the road ahead and Bertrand focuses his camera, both in full admiration of their surroundings.
The three of us are discovering the joys of this beautiful country: the scattered showers interspersed with timid rays of sunshine, the green valleys that delight the sheep and cows, the castle ruins dotted throughout the countryside, the calm of the peaty lakes, the coastline ravaged by the Atlantic, the grey stone houses with thatched roofs, the cliffs culminating sometimes more than 200 m above the ocean. And from time to time we grant ourselves a little break in the warmth of a pub, delighting in a local craft beer.
It hasn’t even been a week and Patrick has made himself part of our duo. We are a trio with two heads and four wheels, ready to take on kilometres of country roads together, and we’re just getting started. Next stop: Scotland!
[Somewhere between the 52°15’19.0″N ; 6°20’19.6″W and the 54°37’44.2″N ; 5°53’20.9″W]