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Wednesday, May 29

Wednesday dawned clear, so after breakfast we packed up and took the bikes the 2 miles or so down to the town of Waterford proper. We parked in a "disk zone" but a local woman told us that the "meter reader" didn't come round until about 11AM, and that they rarely issued tickets on this block since only locals parked here normally. We walked past part of the old city wall and down the hill to the river. After visiting a couple of shops we found a lovely scarf for our friend Janet, and then walked down to see Reginald's Tower, which is a stone tower that was part of the earliest fortifications from when the Vikings controlled Waterford (and much of Ireland), about 950 AD.

Since we had a ferry to catch, we saddled up and headed east on the N25 (after a little circuit round Waterford trying to *find* the N25 Eastbound). The ride to the Ferry terminal in Rosslare was quite fun, as it was the first dry ride we'd had in a week. It was such a pleasure to be able to go 60 or 70MPH again, and to be able to see without having to deal with fogged glasses, fogged face shields, and rain drops and car spray muck. We arrived at the ferry terminal at 12:25 (Bruce had requested we be there at 12:30) and after a pleasant wait in the sunshine we boarded the ferry. It was cold and windy at the terminal, but at least the sun was shining, which made up for a lot.

The ferry crossing was a little rough, i.e. swells caused the ship to roll enough to make walking a little challenging, but we had lunch onboard despite that, and read and napped until landing in Fishguard, Wales about 3:30PM.

The ride from there to the hotel in Brecon, Wales was wonderful - the A40 is a good road, encompassing everything from dual carriageway to twisty 2-lane road, the twistiest parts were good for about 50 or 60MPH, so we could enjoy riding fast for a change. There was a fair amount of slow truck traffic (and the occasional slow git in a car) but this just made for some challenging passing situations and just added to the experience.

Just 5 or so miles outside of Brecon the A40 was "closed" according to the policewoman, so we were put on a short detour on narrow scenic Wales lanes to get into Brecon the "back way". This put a slight kink in our finding the hotel but Kate did a great job anyway and we were checked in at about 6PM. I even got a chance to wipe some of the muck off our bikes before dinner.

Dinner was great as usual and we sat across from Bruce and Brenda and got a chance to really talk to them - Brenda asked about William and we talked about him for a bit and then moved on two her (grown) children and then other topics. After dinner Kate and I retired early as we're supposed to get an early start riding down to return the motorcycles in London (actually Ruislip) tomorrow.

Bill at part of the old city wall, Waterford, Ireland
Bill at part of the old city wall, Waterford, Ireland
tower in part of the old city wall, Waterford, Ireland
our bikes queued for the ferry to leave Ireland
our bikes queued for the ferry to leave Ireland