I have lost count now but making a stab at it I think this the seventeenth summer that we have made the trip across the centre of Ireland to spend a couple of weeks esconsed in The Cottage on the Pier in Ahakista.
When we first started coming the journey would take seven hours.
There were small sections of dual carriage but most of the drive was over the old road that threaded through the green centre of the country slowing to make its way through every town and village. There were few opportunities to overtake and even if you managed it the chances were a couple more miles down the road there would be another tractor to slow things down again.
Last night we got off the ferry in Dublin half an hour before midnight and four hours later we were pulling in to park in the orchard across the road from The Cottage almost taking out an abadonded grey dinghy as we did so.
The journey from Dublin to Cork is now all moterway and dual carriageway and after midnight there were very few cars or lorries. We almost glided across the country growled on by the grunt of the engine and the music that shuffled out of my Ipad.
It was only after Cork that the road slowed but it was stil easy driving in the dark past the rush of orange montbretia on the side of the road.
When we arrived the night sky was clear and flecked with stars. After we slept for a few hours a slow sea fret had come in layering everything outside in a soft shean of wet.