‘Mulder’ is our livelihood, he carries everything we need. Well ok he doesn’t have a shower or toilet but he’s equiped with everything else. He’s whisking us around this country, showing us many interesting places. He takes the looping, hilly Irish County roads with ease. At the same time he is dishing out lessons in driving/camping travel as well as exposing us directly to the cold Irish spring.
Our first night together was tough. Armed with advice that it was going to be extremely difficult to reach a business agreement on a campsite with an Irish woman/man splashed with St Patrick’s Day pride we decided to ‘rough it’. By ‘rough it’ we mean parked up together on the side of a road with no showers (or wifi). It definitely was a shock to the system after comfortable inner-London City living but slowly after several days we have adapted to this camping and driving styled travel.
Mornings mean getting up to jackets and lots of condensation on the windows. Often on this trip it’s also been waking up to a spanning coastline. Corn Flakes are the breakfast-of-choice thus far; ‘Mulder’ hasn’t been a fan and still insists on unleaded petrol. After sustenance it’s time for a shower (that’s often timed, free showers are a luxury on a campsite) while the other packs up and gets ‘Mulder’ ready to hit the open road. Initially this routine had taken 2 hours but we nearly have it down to 1. Cooking provides its own challenges. The wind proves it difficult to simply boil water on our gas stove (issues with camping on the coast) but we seem to be getting by. In the evenings we morph ‘Mulder’ back into a bed and settle down for sleep. It’s been cold, wet and windy most nights. Though we are protected from this rain (sleet and hail stones) and wind, the noise it makes can wake even the heaviest of sleepers. Comfortable warm sleep requires thermals, pants, socks, jumper, jacket, sleeping bags and duvet. Even after this any extremity that is not covered throughly will most certainly be cold.
Though it’s required extra effort we’ve enjoyed camping with ‘Mulder’; more than first thought. Yes we are exposed to the elements and yes tensions rise occasionaly over the difficulty to complete the simplest tasks (like cook a meal) but at the minute we question wether there is a better way to travel around this country. Quickly once back on the road we’re thawed out and eager to explore as much as we possibly can. Every 10km brings you more stunning coastline, centuries of history or another character ready to provide good ‘craic’.
‘Mulder’ is half the experience on this exhibition. He’s there to guide us around these country roads and take is to the next destination. We will miss him in our travels after he gets returned and passed onto another traveller ready to endure the trials, tribulations and sights that we have. It’s only been over a week since we started this journey but it feels like we have been doing this for longer.