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Ireland. I am ready to move on. I feel that if I see one more grey stone wall surrounding a tumbled grey stone cottage lonely against a spitting grey stone sky I will puke.

Conversations are invitations to complain:

Aren’t you tired?

I’m a little tired.

Aren’t you scared?

No, not really. Just cold and hungry.

It is freezing out. More rain on the way.

I expected that. It’s winter in Ireland.

Don’t you get lonely?


You must be daft to be cycling here now.

I agree.

I decide to go immediately to the Isle of Mann to see my Uncle Charles and Claudia. The ferries have stopped running directly from Dublin to the Isle of Mann, so I have to take a more circumventious route:

I take three busses to Dublin then a ferry through the night to Holyhead Egland. The connecting bus to Liverpool is full. I camp on the frigid floor of the station. On one side is a snoring man and on the other is a double door that lets in cold air every time someone enters. At 4:30 AM I board a train bound for Liverpool, change once, and arrive in Liverpool 8:30 AM. I meet an undercover cop with a bicycle on the train, and he tells me about a hostel. A hot breakfast in the hostel fuels some life in me after a sleepless night. The ferry to the Isle of Mann leaves in the evening, giving me a day to explore.

I am in the land of the pound now, and prices are painfully high, about 50% higher than in the US. The breakfast costs me $9. Fifteen minutes of internet costs me $1.50. I buy the ferry ticket to Isle of Mann, with the return it costs $75. I am nervous about burning money so quickly.

Liverpool surprises and is a pleasure. Best known as the home of the Beatles, Liverpool is a thriving cosmopolitan waterfront city with a rich checkered history. For example, Liverpool was once the shipping center for the slave trade with America and the Caribbean.

The Ferry from Dublin to Holyhead