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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys, thank you for taking the time to read my post.

I have set a group up to raise funds for a very dear friend of mine, Tan. Many of you know her well and how much of an amazing and inspirational woman she really is. She was a VZI regular back in the original days and has always been a big part of my vw life and beyond.

It its with a very heavy heart that i bring news of Tans cancer diagnosis and what the future for her now looks like.

She has had to close her business, look for a new home and has a lengthy and difficult time ahead with her treatment.

i am in the process of setting up a gofundme page, that will be live soon. She will need all the financial help and support we as friends can give her. Treatment, appointments, consultancy fees and medication will all add up along with the extortionate rental costs now in Cornwall.

For now, i'm going to keep it brief and tell you that i am doing this fundraiser for Tan and her daughter Hannah.

The trip will see me going from Malin Head, the farthest Northerly point in Northern Ireland, to Mizen Head, the most Southerly point in Ireland.

Time is certainly against us, what with covid, potential lockdowns and christmas coming, along with the winter weather fast approaching, the trip needs to happen as soon as humanly possible.

I'll be in touch soon with more details and the gofundme page.

For now.

BIG LOVE and THANK YOU.

Ben.

Car Vehicle Tire Motor vehicle Tree
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
First off, THANK YOU.
To each and every one of you, your kindness and generosity has blown me away.
We have raised over £6000 for Tan, this will help her immensely in the coming months ahead.

She had an operation to remove the tumor from her Adrenal gland last Friday which was successful, the results of the biopsy wont be back for a few days. She is tired, sore and needs rest right now so i have contact to a minimum until she is recovered and has her strength back.

As for the trip, well it was a whirlwind 3 days.

With the storms due to come in this weekend, i immediately changed my plans, cleared the work schedule, serviced the car and got ready to hit the road on Monday.

With much to do, tools to pack, service items to scavenge, it meant i left later than i had hoped. Still i was on the road with a full tank of fuel at 11 am and heading for Malin Head.

That was a short stint of some 105 miles. The car was running great and as i neared the Glenshane pass, i wondered if it would pull all the way up in 4th gear, its a long pull.

The engine just got on boost and pulled like a train all the way to the top, at one point it reach 65mph which for a little 1300 was amazing.

I stopped at the top and checked in on the page i created on Facebook, then headed onwards, Dungiven, Limavady, Derry/Londonderry, Muff ( yes MUFF) then the last leg up to Malin Head.

Once i reached Malin Head, i stopped, took a walk and just took some time to take it all in, built Tan a rock stack ( its our thing) and sent her a load of pics and videos.

Then it was time to hit the road again, this time back to MUFF, where a good friend Emy said he would put me up for the night.

He took me out to dinner and we had a really lovely evening, i was knackered by 9pm and we headed back to his and hit the hay.

I didnt really sleep much, infact i slept very little the entire trip, too much going on in my mind to get to sleep.

The next morning (Tuesday) was the big one, i really wanted to get the miles in. So i headed off in the rain towards Letterkenny, then on to Sligo and then Galway.

I had it in my head that anything past Galway would be doing well but i was making really good progress, the roads were like billiard tables and traffic was very light, the bug was cruising along at 60-65 with ease.

Once i hit Galway i just decided to press on, i was still feeling fresh and had plenty of daylight left to rack up the miles.

I made it as far as Limerick and stopped for fuel and food, then i started to think about digs for the night. I drove towards Blarney and stopped at a few pubs, no room at the inn. Eventually i ended up in Blarney, it was dark and wet, the roads were getting worse too, so i was ready to stop. I made some calls and found a pub in the town centre, The Muskerry Arms. A great spot to stop for the night and the room rates were reasonable. So with over 300 miles covered, i decided this was the ticket.

I parked right out the front in the square, grabbed my bag and hit my room, ordered some dinner and it wasnt long before i was ready to turn in for the night.

Yet again, i barely slept, too much going on upstairs LOL.

The next morning i awoke to a wet drizzly affair, it was going to be a slow day for sure. i checked the oil, swapped the fanbelt as it was starting to get slack, packed my stuff, grabbed a shower and a full fry then bid farewell to Blarney.

It was 80 miles to Mizen head from Blarney, but the good roads were behind me now. This is the part where you wish you could raise your lowered beetle up to stock height, alas its as high as it can go.

With the weather playing havoc, standing water and poor visibilty, progress was slow. What should have been 2 1/2 hrs driving maximum, turned into 3 1/2 hrs.

I didnt reach Mizen Head until way into the afternoon.By that point, the sun was splitting the trees and the clouds and rain had cleared.

Reaching Mizen was quiet an overwhelming experience, i'd been on the road some 2 days and covered over 500 miles in the bug.

I rang Tan, we chatted and took some time to enjoy the moment, thenI had to go and build her my rock stack at the cliff edge. However everwhere was shut, so no access to the visitor centre which takes you across the bridge to the cliffs.

I was gutted, but i hadnt come that far to not build the rocks for Tan, it had to be done.

So i scaled a farmers gate, under an electric fence, trudged half a mile across a field, negotiated another electric fence and in true great escape style, shimmied under a barbed wire fence, whilst laughing my ears off :ROFLMAO:

I managed to get right to the cliff edge, built my rock stack and placed the one id bought from Malin on the top.

Then i just took half an hour to myself to soak it all in, it was pretty emotional if im honest, when you are on the road you get thinking about all kinds of stuff, in particular it really shows that we all have our sh*t going on in life, everyone has something they are having to deal with every day. Jolly Jim had just lost his dad and i rang him before i left Blarney just to check in. Hes been good to me. There were many people in my thoughts the entire journey.

Mizen done, it was time to say goodbye and head home (some 405 miles away)

I set off in brilliant sunshine, then it wasnt long before i realised the satnav had taken me into the mountains.

The next 3 hours of driving can only be described as Hell, a brutally slow grind in 2nd gear for well over 30kms. It was painful, it was getting dark, it was again, wet, it was also the coldest it had been for the entire journey. Bare in mind i had NO HEATING. Just a blanket around my legs and a hot waterbottle.

At this point, i was done, exhausted, scared if im honest, i just wanted to pull over and cry, i was ready to throw the towel in.

However, i kept going, the car scraping the road off the beam for miles, until i saw a main road, man, that felt amazing. Euphoric even.

Once on the main road, the relief was just , well, you know ;-)

I ended up near Mallow, headed for Limerick. The run to Limerick was ok, few rough roads but nothing like i'd endured all afternoon. My plan was to stay in Limerick for the night, but when i got there, all i could think about was getting home.

So i headed East for Dublin and just kept my foot down. Once reaching Dublin i got onto the M1 and ran the last 2 hrs for home.

Eventually i pulled onto the driveway at 1.30am, knackered but delighted to be back, the weather was starting to turn. I timed missing the storm to perfection, luck rather than judgement.

So there it is, 3 days 820 miles, in a bug, in winter with no heaters.

Would i do it again?

Absolutely.


I cannot thank everyone who got behind me enough, we have raised over £6000 for Tan, this is going to help enormously in the coming months, she has a long and difficult road ahead. But, i hope we have made her life easier in some small way.

Thank you all, each and every one of you.

I am truly humbled by your acts of kindness 😊
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Totally epic Ben great to hear the trip went well and amazing how much you raised, fair play dude 😎 made me very envious reading of your travels around GALWAY, my favourite spot over here and have fond memories of taking the bug there almost 20years ago, most enjoyable journey I’ve ever made I think. Testament to the build that the wee car took the miles, would have loved to have seen it head up the glenshane 😂
Thanks Jim 🤗. Next time ill take a slower approach and duck into the scenic stuff a lot more. Car didnt miss a beat, not bad for a 200 quid junkyard turbo motor 😁
 
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