Chris & Darren Vantastıcal Adventure
VW CAMPER & BUS|April 2019

Good friends, Chris Hansen and Darren Williamson, undertook on an epic road trip from Norfolk to Ireland in a Split Screen Single Cab, which they tied in with a visit to the Vantastival event. Here’s how they got on.

Chris Harisen/Paul Knight

It all began at Darren’s 40th birthday party (a mini VW festival held in his back garden) a couple of years ago when Darren introduced Chris to his longtime buddy, Anto, who had travelled from Ireland to join the fun. Anto just happens to be one of the organisers of the Vantastival VW and music festival in Ireland, hence conversation turned to the possibility of Chris and Darren driving over in an old VW to check out the event. Darren owns a very nice ’61 Split Bus and a ’51 Split Beetle while Chris drives the superb 1958 single Cab Pick-Up in this feature.

The road trip plan was set for 2018, which just happened to coincide not only with Chris’ 50th birthday, but also his truck’s 60th (oh, and the guys had initially thought that it was the 10th anniversary of Vantastival however, upon arrival, they found it was actually the 9th year. Anyway…)

Tuesday 29th May

After months of planning and some last minute packing, the lads departed Darren’s home in Watton, Norfolk at 2pm on Tuesday 29th of May and headed across country to pick up the ferry to Ireland from Holyhead in Wales. Whilst the ’58 is fitted with a later 1600cc engine, it’s still far from being a motorwaymauler, hence the guys were steadily plodding along with the trucks and lorries as they travelled from the East to the West of the UK. Chris commented: “The scenic drive via the A5 through North Wales / Snowdonia to Holyhead was amazing but, after 8.5-hours on the road in a 60-year old VW, we were glad to finally arrive at Blackthorn Farm, which was to be our first overnight checkpoint.” He continued: ‘The Pick-Up had performed faultlessly, hence we were over the moon to have hit our first destination on time, so we set up the tent by the light of a full moon and celebrated by consuming the first of many pints of Guinness as we looked out across the Irish Sea.”

The lads rose early and, following a hot shower, then packed up the tent before hitting the on-site restaurant for a cooked breakfast. Chris said: “We were really impressed by the facilities at Blackthorn Farm, hence we decided to book a pitch for the following Tuesday night, which would help to break up the return journey.” And, at £24 per night, it wasn’t going to break the bank, either.

Wednesday 30th May

The ferry terminal wasn’t far from the campsite, hence the boys decided to take a slow ride past some of the local beaches and beauty spots before checking in for the 2pm ferry to Dublin. Our intrepid explorers opted for the fast ferry (a 3-hour crossing, which cost around £350 for a return ticket), however there is a slower (8hour) ferry available for those that are on a tighter budget or have more time to spare.

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